Remember: schools are part of a community ecosystem. We have the right and responsibility to ensure public officials don’t replace the symbiotic relationships that school employees have within the community, with potentially parasitic relationships with faraway companies who would take from our public coffers without necessarily putting enough back in.
A true commitment to personalized learning requires a renewed appreciation of the persons who make it possible. Tech is great, but let’s get real: no app ever painted a classroom, or hand-sewed pillows so its students could have cozy places to learn to love reading. No smart board ever improvised a harmony with its student’s rising voice, teaching a new skill and inspiring a new song in the process. And no computer ever offered a warm smile or embrace to comfort a traumatized child, or food to a child without enough to eat. Teachers and other school employees do all of these things and more. We should be finding ways to keep them where they can protect, nurture and teach students, not finding ways to get away with fewer and fewer of them.