After a Day of Renewal, un Accion de Gracias (a Thanks Giving)


                                                                                                                                                                              By Kelly J Dwyer

 

I continue to be a cheerleader from afar of those voices of courage, battling the so-called Reform Movement in education.  A big resounding thank you to G.F. Brandenburg, Diane Ravitch and Mercedes Schneider for their parts in noticing and bringing attention to Teach a Teacher and my 3 part expo on teaching in the nation’s capital.  Thank you to all who continue to write, comment, demonstrate, protest and EDUCATE about the issues facing education today.

By resigning my formal teaching position, I have not given up on teaching or teachers. I believe education is and has always been our only hope as a planet and a species.

Teach a Teacher is the evolution from those beginnings and my experiences as an educator.  It is our way of continuing to give our graces (la accion de gracias) to the educators of the world.  We truly hope to lift up local teachers’ here in Peru by elevating the esteem for their profession and giving them a renewed enthusiasm for their daily challenges. On the other hand, we hope to give the volunteer teachers an opportunity to renew value to their often devalued professionalism and skills, work closely with another culture and travel on their often, more limited budgets.

With the advent of Diane Ravitch posting news of Chile’s end to state-subsidized private education from the Shanghai Daily News, seems Chile may be ripe for sharing professional development experiences as well. There is hope. Some are realizing the error in handing over public funds to private profit seeking entities. Hopefully they will learn to value the educators’ opinions in the path forward.  Anyone want to head up a Teach a Teacher-Chile?  If I could put a bug Michelle Bachelet’s ear, I would certainly say, “Look to Finland for guidance.”

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.   Vietnamese Proverb

Although I lean Buddhist and slightly pagan, through my traditionally and raised Lutheran self and living in a most entrenched Catholic country self, Easter will always have that renewal and rebirth connection for me.  On this day after the day of rebirth and renewal, let me pay homage to a group of sites I recently discovered that are solely dedicated to thanking and showing appreciation for teachers.

On these websites one can submit stories about their teachers and thank them:  Thanks for Teaching.us  and Teacher Shout Outs

or this Story Corps National Teacher Initiative project.

Unfortunately the only real “teacher” blog that took a moment to thank teachers: Dear Teacher/ Love Teacher  , thank you Teacher Love.

And this: on the Ted Blog honoring Ted presenter and educator, Rita Pierson.

Note: What my education has also taught me is to “Beware the Jabberwock” and other “wolves in lambs clothing”. Way, way too high on the Google Search for teacher thanking was Students First. org.  No link there, I hesitate to steer you in the wrong direction.  😉

We so live in the time of doublespeak and truly deceptive language. Thank you to the teachers who continue to promote critical thinking skills, so that we may continue to have speakers of the truth disrobing the hypocrisy of phrases political phrases designed to deceive. 

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”    Gore Vidal

 

Teach a Teacher and our Volunteers provide Professional Development and help teach basic teaching skills  to Teachers in some of the poorest areas in Peru.   Please visit us at:   www.teachateacher.org and www.teachateacher.wordpress.com and      at teachateacher on Facebook.

Kelly J. Dwyer is Executive Director of Teach a Teacher Nonprofit.  A native of Montana. She has been an educator in the U.S. and internationally.   We live and focus most of our work in the Ancash region of Peru.

 

 

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