Today I had the opportunity to stand in the regalia that is the office of the Governor of North Carolina and watch folks who love education as much as I do gather for the final celebration of the Teacher Working Conditions Survey. Since 2002, North Carolina teachers have had the opportunity to answer questions about their teaching environments relative to trust and respect in their buildings, resources that are available, and ideas about professional development. This year 103,934 teachers (86.46%) responded to the survey.
Each school that had 100% participation had the opportunity to win prizes for the school as well as for individual teachers from those schools. I watched today as members of the North Carolina Association of Educators, LEARN NC, the North Carolina Teacher Academy, the State Board of Education, and three business partners, AT&T, BB&T, and NCBCE gathered to draw names from a huge blue and green barrel built by local middle school students.
I couldn't help but watch the little slips of paper, over 50,000 of them, that held teachers' names (mine was in there, believe me!) And I was thinking about what those slips represented. Each was a teacher's voice, a teacher's opinions, a teacher's concerns. As the barrel rolled over, I watched that paper and thought about the enpowerment of educators, no longer quiet and speaking only to our students behind closed doors and closed minds. It is apparent that what we think matters, and for that I am extremely thankful.
See www.ncteachingconditions.org for more information.
Words of Farewell
11 years ago