I had the opportunity to attend a lovely dinner party hosted by my AAUW friend Kris to meet her son-in-law Ritwick, with an interest in economics of climate change. Also Phanette, academic interested in nature conservancy from Paris.
What an inspiring evening. Ritwick and Phanette are researching endangered species as that is a powerful act to use to change policy for conservation. As part of the France-US partnership they have been interviewing various stakeholders in Houston. They are researching Private land conservation. Susan and Kris recommended they visit the close-by Katy Prairie Conservancy. We discussed the need for policy makers to care and to begin that mindset in elementary school. This conversation included Meg a former special needs teacher and Susan Boone, leader of AAUW-WHC Garden Divas.
This added to my continued thought that our current public school education system is endangered. The perfect opportunity to use the power of AI and technology was during COVID. Alas I observed the same timed lesson plan controlled methodology was implemented. And teachers with no experience in online teaching were thrown into learning the difficulties with little support. And now policy makers are trying to figure out why there is a shortage of teachers. Gee …
In 2016 nine White House Champions of Change had solutions. I was honored to be among that group. We must use the expertise of experienced teachers. We need a team of Professional Assistants (like PAs doctors have) in every school. Those teachers can be given the opportunity to provide Professional Development instead of paying a vendor. This one-size fits all bell-ringing schedule for the new teacher and the experienced teacher needs to change. Provide the opportunity to work a ½ day and use their creativity to be classroom change agents. And an opportunity to be a mentor, facilitator and/or assistant.
On Sept 4th 60 minutes they talked about the suicide crisis – No discussion on prevention, only about the problem. School gardens to learn about conservation with a staff member to support this are a powerful solution. I did this when I taught at Houston ISD’s Piney Point ES. It works as kids talk to you.
I am looking forward to seeing the results of the research by Ritwick and Phanette on endangered species and policy change. I am hoping others feel the importance of nature conservation and conversation.