FROM THE EDITOR - Spring 2014

04/11/2014  |  Charles Sosnik Editor-in-Chief
From the Editor

From stem to stern, education’s about the people. And as educators, we are in the people business. It’s not about the school. Or the classrooms. It’s not about the curriculum. Or the technology. It’s not about the math. Or the science. It’s about the people. It’s the superintendent who communicates her vision within a community, inspiring parents to become active participants. The principal who partners with his teachers, creating an environment of trust and commitment. The teacher who watches her students’ eyes to confirm the “ah-ha” moments. With all our new technology, new teaching methods, new tools and directives, it still comes down to this: teaching and learning is a people business.

It’s my pleasure to introduce our newest columnist and one of the truly inspirational people in education, Dr. Joni Samples. I met Joni some time ago when I needed a national thought leader for an article on family engagement in SEEN Magazine. Joni is a life-long educator and former County Superintendent of the Year in California. We became instant friends. She helped me understand the importance (and amazing potential) of family involvement in the education process, and I became a big fan of her work. When you read her columns, you will see why.

Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran have made it their mission to help school leaders coach educators to inspire positive change. This coach approach starts from the assumption that people are both motivated and able to design and develop their own learning programs. It is an approach that facilitates self-directed learning and growth. As a school or district leader, you’ll want to read this powerful article. When you adopt a coaching stance as opposed to a training stance, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your people begin to move (and in the right direction).

As administrators and educators, and in many cases – both, we have the responsibility of making sure that all our students have full and unfettered access to the kind of education that will prepare them for a very different future. Indicators point to a future where STEM skills, math and science in particular, will be paramount. Even knowing this, we as educators seem to be dropping the ball. Too many boys of color and girls of all races are lagging behind in math and science. If this trend continues, a lot of kids are going to be denied future opportunities. I asked Doug Hatch, president of Core Learning whether digital curriculum could be part of the solution. You’ll find some very keen insights in his article.

With all the wonderful learning opportunities that digital curriculum and new technologies offer, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how powerful in-person experiential learning is. Class trips to museums, aquariums, theme parks and even entertainment venues have a way of energizing our students, making learning relevant and creating interests that last a lifetime. At SEEN Magazine, we believe strongly in student travel and encourage our districts to include substantial travel opportunities in every budget. With that in mind, I’m pleased to welcome two of our newest travel partners, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Madison Square Garden. Both add to the tremendous learning experiences in our Educational Travel and Experiential Learning section.

And to our readers, thanks for all you do. It’s been one heck of a year as we continue to fight the good fight. For you, it’s time to begin to wrestle down those 2014/2015 budgets. Enjoy this issue you have in your hands. It contains a lot of resources to help you in your budget process. For us, we’re working on some great topics for the Fall Back-to-School edition including Gifted Education, Public/Private Partnerships, and the Globalization of Education. All good stuff to be sure, and I can’t wait to get started. We’ll talk again in late August. If you need me before then, you can email me at [email protected] or call 704-568-7804.

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