This weekend the city that Teachstone calls home was taken over by hatred. Some of us witnessed the violence first hand. Others watched from afar through social media and television willing that our friends and coworkers would be safe.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with thoughts of support and prayers. All members of our Charlottesville team are physically safe. Emotionally, we are all struggling to understand how this could happen in our city, our state, and our country. The images that you saw on television are not the images of the city that we know and love.
It is hard to know what to say to add to the eloquent words of many reflecting on the past few days in our beloved home.
At the core of the solution is developing true and real relationships among people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. Until we really know another, its easy to cast them off as an "other."
The relationships we form early in life are foundational to who we become as adults. Every morning young children across this country walk into classrooms with people who are very different than themselves. With the right support, the interactions that they have in those classrooms can help them understand that we are all one people, that compassion for others makes us all better, and that we can get through even the most challenging of times, together.
As Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said yesterday, "[This] is a time for healing. It is a time for reconciliation. It is a time for leadership….I see a future that is brighter. I see a future where every single child—no matter where you were born or how you were born or who you love—has the same opportunities as everybody else in our great society."
It is not easy. But we thank each and every educator around the country who sees it as his or her responsibility to help children truly know and understand each other. It is what gives us hope, even in the darkest times. And it is something that we will re-invest ourselves in to make sure that we are all doing our part.
Life is too short for so much hate.
—Your Teachstone Family
We're excited to share a sneak peek of just a few things you'll see at the 2019 InterAct CLASS Summit coming to Nashville April 15-16. In addition to everything you've come to expect (engaging sessions, interactive learning opportunities, delicious food, opportunities to network with other educators and thought leaders, and more), this year we're hosting a special free, pre-summit event! We're screening the film No Small Matter, the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education.
On August 1 I joined Teachstone as Chief Impact Officer. If my name sounds familiar, it may be because I am one of the authors of the CLASS and a co-founder, with Bob Pianta, of Teachstone. For the last 20 years, I’ve spent my days researching ways teachers can best support children’s and adolescents’ development and learning. I’ve conducted many studies, written many papers, and trained doctoral and post-doctoral candidates who have gone on to do even more and better work in this area. Most of those 20 years I’ve worked at the University of Virginia’s Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) and have had the privilege of working with incredible colleagues at UVA and elsewhere. Honestly, it’s a dream job: getting paid to think, write, and travel to talk about our work and find inspiration in the ideas of others. So, not surprisingly, when I tell people about my new job, I get a lot of quizzical looks.
Think about the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role today.
Perhaps it’s handling teacher turnover, managing your time while coaching over large geographic regions, or dealing with the disappointment of not seeing the results you thought you might see when you implemented that new professional development program.