Hey, Amber here. Today on our way to meet with Congressman Ted Budd I noticed a fitting sign. The sign said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead. This encompasses exactly who we are: we are a small group of committed citizens. We are making our voice heard in order to make a difference in the lives of teachers.
Ted Budd, as I mentioned in the NEA post, is the congressman representing North Carolina’s 13th District in the United States House of Representatives, which is the district in which High Point University is located. We also had the pleasure of speaking with two individuals who work with Ted Budd. Those individuals were Sam Shumate, who is a Legislative Correspondent, and Paul Calkins (a High Point University student), who is an intern. Each individual was very welcoming and made us feel as though our voices mattered. For more information on Ted Budd, here is his website https://budd.house.gov/
We took the time to share our thoughts and opinions about funding for Title II. Title II funding can be used for teachers to improve their teaching through professional development. For more information on Title II, here is a link, https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/meghan-everette/17-18/The-What-and-Why-of-Title-II/
The main advice that we received as we prepared for our meeting with Ted Budd was to share our personal experiences. After introducing ourselves and explaining why we were there, Congressman Budd asked us what our experience has been with professional development. This was exciting for us because through asking us for our personal experiences he is showing that he cares about our stories.
Brianna shared her experience with professional development and how it had a positive impact on her teaching. She said that she received training in ACES. ACES stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. As a teacher, this training helps you to understand what a child has gone through and how that impacts their time in the classroom. Brianna shared her example of asking a student day after day to take her jacket off and hang it up. After the training, she said she realized that the child may be using her jacket as a security blanket and is not comfortable taking it off. For more information on ACES here is a link, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/aboutace.html
Kaila shared her experience with having a lack of professional development pertaining to how to handle certain situations. She explained how a student opened up to her about the abuse that she has seen in her home. Kaila proceeded to explain how she did not know what to do next. When she asked her cooperating teacher, her teacher also did not know what to do and told her to figure it out. In the end, it worked out well, but Kaila hope she can get more professional development in ACES, as Brianna has had.
A few others shared how they never received professional development (training) on how to use the Jan Richardson model for small group reading lessons. When they asked their cooperating teacher, that teacher also did not know how to use the model. Thinking about experienced and/or older teachers who have been out of school for a while, it is imperative they stay up to date with the curriculum and resources available since education is constantly changing. Moving from school to school, district to district, things are going to be done differently. For instance, I student taught in Davidson County. In Guilford County, they use Eureka Math. They do not use that in Davidson County, so I have no experience using Eureka Math. I will need professional development training in how to implement Eureka Math in my classroom if I teach in Guilford County.
Another topic we discussed is how we feel our program at High Point University prepared us for entering the teaching field versus other colleges and universities. We explained how High Point University’s education program has teachers enter a classroom their first year there. This helps individuals to determine whether they feel they are in the right field or not. We also have taken a course on diversity in the classroom. We took this discussion further into explaining how as we continue in the field of education, things will change. In five years, are we going to know and understand what practices we are required to use.
I and all the others here with me want to make a difference in the lives of our children. We want to have the opportunity to go to professional development to improve our teaching. Our children are our entire world. We will do everything we can to help them. We want to be considered as the teacher that every parent wants their child to have. We believe that parents should not have to worry about where they send their child to school because they know that the school is filled with great educators who are continuously learning and growing.
What great experience we had today talking to Congressman Budd! Thank you Congressman Budd for meeting with us.