We’re always looking for new ways to insert ASCD voices into our conversations on Inservice. With this in mind, we’ve developed a fun question and answer session for our ASCD Emerging Leaders. The Emerging Leaders program recognizes and prepares young, promising educators to influence education programs, policy, and practice on both the local and national levels. Learn more about Emerging Leaders on the ASCD website. Applications are currently being accepted for new Emerging Leaders until April 1, 2013.
Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
My role as an educator consists of training teacher candidates. I teach methods courses, supervise during field experiences, and advise the candidates in their course work and in professional organizations. I also serve as the certification officer. It is my responsibility to keep students abreast of any curriculum changes from the Alabama State Department of Education.
What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
We are educational artists who have the tremendous capability to co-paint beautiful canvasses with our students.
Why did you become an Emerging Leader?
A colleague nominated me as an Emerging Leader, and I welcomed the opportunity to access ASCD’s breadth of professional development options. I also wanted to become an emerging leader to continue my educational advocacy.
As an ASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
I would love to continue to advocate for the need to transform the curricula to include students’ strengths. I am a proponent of new literacies. I also enjoyed the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA) conference.
What professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
The literature of Alfred Tatum, Jawanza Kunjufu, Yvette Jackson, Carter G. Woodson, Eric Jensen, Lisa Delpit, Janice Hale, Noam Chomsky, Paulo Freire, and Henry A. Giroux are some of my bibles. Each of the educators understands the importance of reversing underachievement through culturally relevant pedagogy and high expectations.
Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
My pivotal moment in education came as a developmental reading instructor. One of my reluctant readers asked me for a list of books to begin building his personal library.
If you could make one major change in education what would it be?
I would have a holistic approach to teacher certification and standardized testing for students. Policymakers scream about the success of countries like Finland, but they fail to mention that Finland does not have this overbearing teacher testing system.
What’s the craziest thing a student has ever said to you?
When I was a middle school teacher, a student wrote that I was a mature teenager trapped inside a teacher’s body. He was so correct.