Kronos is sponsoring a “Thanks to a Teacher” contest in honor of the upcoming National Teacher Day on May 6th. As a company that provides technology to help companies manage their workforce, we’re acutely aware of the critical importance of K-12 education in developing the workforce of the future. Teachers not only help their students develop the skills they need to succeed, they often play a pivotal role in inspiring kids to explore new interests. A great teacher helps you not only to succeed academically, but also can inspire you to pursue your dreams.
I’m asking for your help to identify and inspire those great teachers. We are going to select one outstanding teacher from your nominations. As a thank you to that teacher, his or her school will receive a $10,000 contribution from Kronos. C’mon, if you know anything about K-12 education, you know that schools can use all the financial assistance they can get.
The contest and nomination process work as follows:
- The Kronos “Thanks to a Teacher” contest is open to Facebook users who are legal residents of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia, age 18 or older.
- Written submissions of 300-characters or less will be accepted through 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 18, 2014. SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATIONS HERE.
- One winner will be selected by a panel of judges representing educators and industry leaders.
- The winner will be announced during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9.
My favorite K-12 teacher was Mr. Ives. He taught American History with boundless enthusiasm. He’d leap around the classroom, bringing those Presidents and conflicts to life. He was a superb pianist, and would enliven his lectures with musical selections of the period in question. That class didn’t make me a historian, but his storytelling skills have stuck with me all these years later.
What teacher made a difference in your life? Take a few minutes to submit them for this contest. It’s the least you can do!
photo credit: oddsock
Tomorrow is National Teacher Day . The tagline for the day is “Great teachers make great public schools”. The first event of this kind was in 1953, when Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. There has been an annual celebration since 1985.So, how far have we come with public education since 1953? We’ve already commented here on the declining literacy levels among US high school students. Consider as well this excerpt from The Teaching Penalty, a publication of the Economic Policy Institute:
Recent trends represent only a small part of a long-run decline in the relative pay of teachers. Using U.S. Census data we show that the pay gap between female public school teachers and comparably educated women—for whom the labor market dramatically changed over the 1960-2000 period—grew by nearly 28 percentage points, from a relative wage advantage of 14.7% in 1960, to a pay disadvantage of 13.2% in 2000. Among all public school teachers the relative wage disadvantage grew almost 20 percentage points over the 1960-2000 period.
In this era of No Child Left Behind, you’d think that teachers and schools would get additional resources to carry out their mission. Instead, school systems are often pressed to meet federal and state mandates with funding that is highly dependent on the local tax base. As a member of the Finance Committee for a small town in Massachusetts, I’ve had a front row seat at the difficult financial tradeoffs that need to be made to balance flat budgets against the needs of the K-12 students in our town – especially those with special needs that require expensive outside services. Teachers battle through tough collective bargaining to earn modest wage increases.
Most adults have fond memories of the teachers who made an impact in their lives – by exposing them to new ideas, by challenging them to perform at a higher level than they thought possible, or just by being there for counsel. Those of you who are parents of school age children know who are the teachers who’ve made an impact on them.If you want to say thank you tomorrow, by all means send a card or some flowers. If you want to make a real impact, however, vote locally and nationally for measures that provide these teachers with the resources needed to get the job done. We’ll get the workforce we invest in, not the one we wish for.
Happy Teacher Day, Mr. Ramsden, Mr. Perry, Mr. Brady, Mrs. Hennessey, Mrs. Silva, Mr. Reed, Mr. Schwartz and the rest of you unsung public school heroes who’ve made an impact in my life and those of my children.