Here's a big giant fact for you:
There are nearly 400,000 teachers in the state of California.
When I visited Vermont last summer to facilitate a week of workshops for the Mobile Media Maker Camp, I was surprised to learn that the population of Vermont as a whole is a little more than 600,000. Folks there were shocked to learn just how many teachers it takes to keep the California Education Machine running. There are so many educators in California, that 1 in 9 teachers in America teach here in our state. With statistics like those, isn't it important for California teachers to have a voice? A positive presence to showcase the good that goes on in California classrooms? An advocate for great teaching? An advocate for student achievement, innovation, creativity, and access?
So, when I read conversations on Twitter about how the Teacher of the Year program isn't valid or doesn't hold merit, I respectfully disagree. It is important for teachers and public education to have a positive voice. I will use my voice to highlight the wonderful things teachers are doing across the state, to affect change when necessary and in whatever ways I can, to draw attention to the needs of students, and to stand up for the importance of technology-rich learning environments. This year is an opportunity for which I am deeply grateful.
If even you're not a TOY, you have a voice, too.
How will you use yours?