Real Teachers Do More than Transfer Information, Adviser Says
CANFIELD, Ohio -- “The human infrastructure” must be in place before the transfer of information becomes education, the senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of education, Greg Darnieder, reminded teachers, principals and superintendents from four counties Tuesday.
Darnieder was the keynote speaker at this year’s Excellence in Education Luncheon & Awards Presentation sponsored by the Eastern Ohio P-16 Education Partnership at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center.
P-16 works with the school systems in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
The senior adviser to Arne Duncan on college access initiative said he came here not to discuss federal education policy but to emphasize “the power of mentoring [students], the power of relationships” between teachers and students for students to stay in school, graduate and succeed in life.
Darnieder touched on a paper just released by Shaun R. Harper at the faculty of the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania, “Am I My Bother’s Teacher? Black Undergraduates, Racial Socialization and Peer Pedagogies in Predominantly White Postsecondary Contexts.”
What kept minority males in school and encouraged them to succeed, Harper found, were teachers who cared and took a personal interest in them.
Having worked in inner city Chicago before joining Secretary Duncan at the Department of Education, Darnieder could vouch for how critical this factor is.
Other critical factors, Darnieder said, are the importance of parents valuing education and “a final factor: all had challenging teachers who worked with them, who stayed after school to work with them.”
During his career in Chicago, the senior adviser said, he met Pat, who stayed in school and went on to become a teacher “because I saw the sacrifices my mother made for me.”
Then there was Bernard, whose third-grade teacher told him how smart he was and he determined to prove her right by striving the best student in every class he sat in or took. “He was smart,” Darnieder said. “He went on to earn a Ph.D.” and is a senior administrator in Denver public schools.
And he told of Kenny, whose teacher, Mr. Moore, gave him to courage to say no to drugs. His buddies invited him to join them in shooting up drugs in the projects but Kenny said he had to drop off his book bag first and never joined them. He called that a “pivot point,” where he could have turned 180 degrees in either direction. Today Kenny is a state representative in the Illinois Legislature.
Darnieder’ point: “It’s not just the transfer of information. It’s about relationships. How do we build the human infrastructure that’s so critically important? … Do we have the systems in place to develop [students’] gifts and talents?”
He did make some news: Michelle Obama will change her emphasis the remainder of her husband’s term as president to students staying in and completing college.
And the U.S. Department of Labor will announce sometime in the next couple of weeks the release of $100 million for career training.
Honored as the most innovative teachers of the year for incorporating technology in their classrooms were Carrie Sinkele, an engineering teacher at Chaney High School in Youngstown and Charmayne Polen, an English teacher at Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
Wanda Thomas, associate dean at Kent State University, presented the Maplewood Local School District the AAA award for meeting the standards met, performance index and value added criteria.
AA winners for standards met and value added were Canfield Local Schools, Champion Local Schools, Crestview Local Schools, Geneva Area City Schools, Hubbard Exempted Village District, Joseph Badger Local Schools, Lakeview Local Schools, Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools, Poland Local Schools, Weathersfield Local Schools, West Branch Local Schools,
“A” winners for standards met were Boardman Local Schools, Bloomfield-Mespo Local Schools, Columbiana Exempted Village Local Schools, Girard City Schools, Howland Local Schools, Jackson-Milton Local Schools, Lordstown Local Schools, McDonald Local Schools, Salem City Schools, South Range Local Schools, Springfield Local Schools, United Local Schools, Western Reserve Local Schools.
“A” winners for value added:
Beaver Local Schools, Bristol Local Schools, Campbell City Schools, East Liverpool City Schools, Horizon Science Academy Youngstown, Leetonia Exempted Village Schools, Liberty Local Schools, Southington Local Schools, Wellsville Local Schools.
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