During the week of June 25, 2012, I will be attending a terrific event at the Melbourne-Viera Conference Center here in Florida. It is sponsored by a fabulous company, The English Teacher's Friend, which is a non-profit organization.
As a long-time educator, I am well-aware of the struggles teachers and administrators face in selecting appropriate books for school age children. Many of the textbook publishers offer only package deals that tend to bleed American schools dry. Educators have very little control over the individual purchases they can make that are suited for classroom use.
Preparing students for standardized testing is not the reason most teachers entered the profession. Our children deserve the best teachers using the best available materials at a reasonable cost.
The English Teacher's Friend believes teachers are the key to student success. Of all the fractured opinions being discussed about our country’s educational system, this simple fact is the one on which almost everyone immediately agrees.
We all remember our favorite teachers – the ones who inspired us, helped us learn difficult material, and oversaw our growth as individuals and life-long learners. The true dilemma of our education system is this: over the past ten years the art of teaching (and it is an art) has been dismissed in favor of relying on the science of teaching through standardized curricula and mass data collection. The English Teacher's Friend firmly believes that the change we must see in education starts with the teacher, and our current state of education has neglected this most important element.
This summer, the organization will host the First Annual Summer Symposium for 500 middle and high school English teachers. It will be five days of professional development and will not only be an opportunity for teachers to get practical tools to take back to the classroom, it will also be a time to reconnect and refresh. The Symposium will host people from all over the nation.
Since the organization needs corporate sponsors to make the Symposium a success, I am seeking lists of names of teacher-friendly advertisers that might be willing to support the efforts of The English Teacher's Friend. I would appreciate any leads that might be sent my way, and any references to this post on your blogs and websites would be wonderful, as I am trying to spread the word for these wonderful folks.
John F. Kennedy