As you’ve seen on the BioRx blog, Author Shannon Ralph is 2015’s Kansas Teacher of the Year. She’s spending part of her semester traveling and speaking on behalf of Kansas teachers. Keep up with her other KTOY adventures here on the blog and on her Twitter page.
As I have traveled and presented this past year as the Kansas Teacher of the Year, I have been very aware that I represent the many teachers in this great state. I have worked to not only empower teachers, but to promote the profession as well. It has been an amazing journey for me. Recently I have had time to reflect and begin to narrow my focus to find a topic and a platform on which to continue my work after my KTOY year is over.
One of my recent experiences may be just such a platform. I was invited to be a part of a Teacher’s Advisory Council which is lead by Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education. The purpose of the Council is to build a network of educators to advocate for the teaching profession in Kansas. Our vision is to create an educational system which prepares Kansas students to enter the workforce of the 21st Century. We all know the type of jobs available in ten years will look very different than the jobs of today. The measures and systems currently in place in the educational world of Pre-K – 12 may not adequately meet our students’ needs. It is time to consider changing the educational paradigm.
So, we are ready. We had our first meeting last week. It was clear from the beginning that this group is comprised of members who are passionate about both student success AND putting an action plan in place that will lead Kansas to become a front runner in education. We have the vision, and now we will begin the work of building an action plan. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I do know it is important work and I am excited to begin. As our ideas develop I will report back!