From the Editor - Summer 2011

08/09/2011  |  Stephen Murphy Editor-in-Chief
From the Editor

It is a privilege to take the helm of SEEN Magazine with this, our fall issue. It’s been a pleasure to work with the dedicated staff at SEEN who bring such passion about education and our readers to every issue.

We have some great articles prepared for you for our “Back to School” issue. The special focus this time around is “The Education Career Path” — a broad topic that has been much in the news lately. So it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with Camilla Benbow, Dean of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

With Dean Benbow leading the charge, it is no surprise that Vanderbilt Peabody has maintained its ranking as our #1 education school for three years running. Dean Benbow brings a thoughtful perspective to preparing our future educators. It’s a complex issue with far too many black and white opinions being bandied about and the Dean offers a measured and nuanced point of view to everything from merit pay to No Child Left Behind to charter schools. Through it all, her focus on the true goal of educators — making a difference in the lives of children — shines through.

As I reached out to people to discuss the education career path, a topic that came up over and over was the issue of teacher retention. We have been hearing so much in the news lately about how to get rid of “bad teachers” but less so about the great teachers and how we can keep them engaged and in our classrooms. Teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate — almost one-third of teachers leave the profession within their first three years and almost half leave after five years. Why is this? And what can we do about?

Katy Farber, a teacher herself, examines this very topic in her book “Why Great Teachers Quit ... and How We Might Stop the Exodus.” Katy relies on the voices of actual teachers to examine why teachers — especially the truly exceptional ones — leave the profession and offers some real, actionable solutions to improve conditions for teachers. We are grateful to Katy for summarizing some of her findings for SEEN.

We are also looking at “Preparing Students for Post-secondary Education” in this issue and are lucky to have found Julie Hartline, the lead school counselor at Campbell High School in Smyrna, GA, to give us her thoughts. Julie was the 2009 American School Counselor Association School Counselor of the Year, and not only is she a talented and dedicated counselor but she has a fascinating backstory. Julie outlines how her school approaches preparing students for life after high school. It’s a great article – one we hope will provide ideas that you can use in your own schools.

As always, this issue of SEEN offers tons of resources for educators as they return to their classrooms.

In coming issues of SEEN, we plan to continue and increase our focus on those of you working in our schools, one-on-one with students. To that end, we want to hear directly from you! Please visit to give us your feedback, your ideas and your requests.

Here’s to a great new year of inspiring young minds! I hope to hear from you soon.

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