General Education Questions
Kimberly Oliver (National Teacher of the Year, Broad Acres Elementary School, Maryland) gives expert video advice on: What would you like to say to parents about education?; What would you like to say to other teachers about education?; What would you like to say to kids about education? and more...
What would you like to say to parents about education?
I would like to tell parents that they are so desperately needed in the field of education. Education really is a partnership and we can't meet our goals without the help and the support of parents. I truly believe that parents are a child's first teachers and so teachers have a lot to learn from parents, and we need to have an open dialog. I would also emphasize that parents teach their children the value of hard work. Teach them a good work ethic and let them know that when they put forth effort, they're getting a little bit smarter each and every day, and teach them about the reward that they can gain from actually working towards a set goal and meeting it.
What would you like to say to other teachers about education?
If I had to say anything to teachers about education it would first be to thank them for their hard work they're doing and to celebrate the work that they're doing because it is a very rewarding profession that is making a difference in the lives of so many. I would also just encourage other educators to remain in the profession, to stick with it even though it's challenging and often times can be a thankless job. It is a job that is so necessary and thank you for doing it.
What would you like to say to kids about education?
I would encourage kids to become life long learners - to know that learning is fun and that learning can happen anywhere. It doesn't just have to happen inside the walls of our classrooms or inside the walls of our schools, but it can happen at home, on the bus, or at the neighborhood park. Learning can happen anywhere and it's what you make of it.
What education issues would you like to discuss with our nation's leaders?
I would tell leaders in Washington and in our state capitals that we have hard-working teachers who are really working with our students and trying to make a difference. It's important that we're focusing on equity in education – that we're giving children exactly what they need. Equity in education does not mean that every child is getting the same thing. In fact, it means that sometimes we have to be courageous and know that, often times, our neediest students might need more resources, more programs, and more funding, just to, kind of, level the playing field. So it's time that we really focus on the needs of every child, if we're truly going to make sure that no child is left behind.