As the school year comes to a close for districts across the nation, I’d like to pause for a moment to honor a group of dedicated educators I encountered in early May at Manatee County School District in Florida. In many ways, they exemplify the many educators I’ve had the pleasure to work with across the country during the year. Like their colleagues, they face increasing diversity in the classroom, budget and staffing cuts including salary reductions and furloughs, and challenges with their existing technology systems and applications.
One would never know all of this if you attended the voluntary evening workshop session Knovation hosted or perhaps took part in a classroom demonstration or one-to-one coaching session on a typical busy Friday at a middle school. Everyone brought their A-Game, sacrificing either personal time or planning time to find ways to use digital resources to reach all their 21st Century learners. Energy filled the room as they worked side by side with colleagues to build digital lessons designed to spark their students’ interest and motivation to learn.
In Manatee, like so many other stops I’ve made this past year, I leave with renewed hope, filled with inspiration at the energy and dedication teachers bring to improving instruction and making a difference in the lives of their learners. Thank you Manatee staff, for reminding me what it means to be a professional in one of the most critical and challenging career fields. Thank you for the selfless gift of your time, intellect, energy and passion to educate our next generation of leaders!