Putting students first: It’s what teachers do

In the better-late-than-never category, congratulations to the 156 teachers across this state recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards last month for achieving national certification. This class of 2012 means New York has 1,458 nationally certified teachers. Here’s a link to a full article that emphasizes the Schenectady schools.

Since Schenectady is my stomping grounds, I’ve met a number of those who’ve received national certification, as well as those who are not nationally certified. I bring this up because every teacher I’ve met deserves a huge write-up on how much they do for students, for families, for their communities. New York schools and students typically are at the top, or near the top, in most national rankings.

But nice write-ups rarely happen. Instead, teachers and public schools seem to find constant criticism, like in this article from a charter school founder.

So kudos to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. In late December, Tiffany Lankes wrote about Logan Newman, a member of the Rochester Teachers Association who teaches science and so much more at East High School. Here’s a link to the article.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, it explains how Newman developed an optics program and has set up partnerships with area colleges so his students got credit for their high school work. He also works to line up jobs with area opticians. In the next few years, he wants to include classes in which students make eyeglasses for children throughout the district.

Keep teachers like Logan Newman in mind when you hear people criticizing schools. Especially, if those critics have a financial stake in downgrading public schools.

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