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Show and Tell: Representatives Invited to Classrooms
posted by: Jill | April 13, 2011, 02:09 PM   

It's pretty obvious why Mr. Kevin Grover is Maine's teacher of the year for 2010. He dreams big and then he gets to work.

Recently, Kevin started a wikispace for educators like himself to be heard and understood by education stakeholders. He encourages educators to invite "a local, state and/or federal representative into your classroom." And the experience will prove to be one that "will inform, enlighten and make a difference." Kevin even provides sample emails to help interested teachers begin the process of bringing an official to class.

Kevin's reason for organizing his little movement is that "Too often decisions about public education are made by elected officials with little or no recent experiences in a classroom ... [they] must meet our students, speak to our colleagues and understand our passion."

With the approach of "Invite a Rep to School" Week—April 25-29, 2011—it seems only appropriate that teachers consider Kevin's invitation.

"Join me in contacting local town councilors, school board members, state representatives and federal representatives. These elected officials should spend at least one hour in a classroom between Monday, April 25 to Friday, April 29 . It is not a time for a panel discussion, whole school assemblies in honor of prestigious guests or catered lunches. It is time for sitting in on a math lesson, reading to a few students or joining teachers on their 20 minute lunch break at the photocopier. Please don't plan on showcasing a favorite lesson or prepare anything special. A usual day in your classroom will be enough. It is time for a dose of reality."

Not only do I see this as a wonderful opportunity to connect policymakers with education's boots-on-the-ground and allow them to really see a classroom at work. It is also has the potential of being very instructive for students. Definitely learning in real-life can occur here as students are introduced to leaders who are elected to serve their constituents. And as teachers share their experiences on Kevin's wikispace, they can collaborate with others about how to help education's stakeholders make informed decisions which are best for the classroom. Lastly, it's worth pointing out that the creation of a wiki to move forward this cause is a fabulous use of technology in education. They are easy to create, navigate, and manage. They're low/no-cost and easy to share.

Take a moment and decide if you will participate and "Invite a Rep to School" this month.

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