Last week I had the opportunity to hear Ohio Teacher of the Year, Anthony Coy-Gonzalez speak. He was outstanding. His presentation was about our dreams and our quest for better systems for all of our students. Coy-Gonzalez encouraged the audience to look back to the dreams we once had, or still hold - for ourselves and for our students. He said, "The needs of our students are clear. Our dreams and the work of fulfilling them will be the agents of change for the future of our students, the field of education, and the communities we live in tomorrow.
He stressed that as educators and district leaders, we are not in this work alone. By sharing our dreams, we might find a partner or some inspiration in the journey to fulfill them.
Coy-Gonzalez offered very practical suggestions for leaders who want to make a difference. They are as follows:
- Share your #Teacher/Leader Dreams @ACoyGonzalez Share with Anthony what your dream is for education, for students, for the classroom, or for the world. You can share this by email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consider an Educators Rising chapter in your district. We need more chapters in urban and rural schools and we are in desperate need of teachers of color! Grant applications are open until March 31st.
- Building and district leaders - ask teachers to share their dreams for their students, school, and profession. Find ways to say “Yes” and “How can I help?”
- Nominate one or more teachers for 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year. Being nominated says I am seen. That recognition empowers teachers and tells them to keep dreaming! We would love to see greater diversity in nominations and at least one nomination from every district.
- Find ways to support initiatives by grants or community partnerships.
- Share the challenges around equity with your school staff and open the forum to discuss how we can address these challenges.