and the ritual of ending a year at Brown School, I offer Cat Stevens today.
Today ends the four-week institute at Fairfield University with the Connecticut Writing Project and the spectacular teachers who joined me. I've been amazed by their passion, enthusiasm, drive to excel, and spirit to counter the anti-teacher environments existing in their districts. If anything became obvious this summer it was that Connecticut has spectacular educators who deserve to be heard, respected, and given a voice in what works best for kids. The administrative mandates trickling upon the majority by a top-down model does not work. It paralyzes creative teachers and keeps them from building relationships, connecting curriculum to diverse learners, and simply loving the job of teaching. Throughout the summer we have learned again and again that, perhaps, the deficits are not in the kids we teach (or the teachers who teach them), but in the educational systems that are paralyzing the joys of learning from occurring.
I've been on the road to find out for a very long time and I'm sure the journey will continue. As for this moment in time, however, I'm overjoyed and inspired by the colleagues I had the fortune to work with.