By Ronn Nozoe
If you’re an educator like me, winter break is the perfect time to balance celebration and reflection.
A time to celebrate with family and friends, as well as a celebration of the school year’s midpoint. It’s also a time to reflect on how to improve, better support students, and be more present in my own life and career. The importance of taking time for thoughtful reflection applies to our ASCD team as well. It offers a much-needed respite from the day-to-day workstream that all too often becomes an impediment to the essential time we need to step back and refocus on the big picture.
When we take a step back at the beginning of each year, our team at ASCD recommits to our mission and vision and resolves to continue our work in ensuring that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Here are several of our priorities for 2019:
Elevate Educator Voice
Now more than ever, the voice of educators needs to be heard. From the halls of state and federal legislatures, to school boards and PTA meetings, educators need a seat at the table to ensure students are getting the resources they need to learn and grow. With more than 100,000 members, ASCD will continue to elevate educator voice in government, through our events and conferences, and in our publications such as Education Leadership magazine.
Fight for Title II Funding
Title II, Part A, the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, which was updated with bipartisan support in ESSA, is vital for states and school districts. ASCD will continue to advocate on behalf of our members, states, and school districts so that this funding for crucial professional learning initiatives is not cut as proposed. Eliminating Title II funding will harm educators and school leaders and imperil recent gains in student success.
Promote Civic Engagement and Education
Not a day goes by where we aren’t reminded of the importance of civic engagement and education. Students across the country are stepping up to engage in our democracy, and we as educators stand ready to support them in their mission. As the United States continues to engage in important conversations about the presidential election, our constitutional rights, and democracy, ASCD resolves to help provide educators with the necessary tools and information they need to help students be successful.
Advocate for a Whole Child Education
A Whole Child approach to education ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, and sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success. For more than ten years ASCD has put the whole child at the center of all we do, and in 2019, we look forward to continuing our commitment with the launch of the Whole Child Network.
We are excited for the year ahead and all the possibilities that 2019 will afford us. Stay up to date with our work by becoming an ASCD member.
About the author
Ronn Nozoe is ASCD’s Interim Executive Director and CEO.