TREND Spring 2017 - Page 22

Lea Q Your positive comments about Tennessee teachers in your Senate testimony was dynamic. Teachers really are the key to success in public education aren’t they? A Teachers have an unparalleled influence on the academic, social, and emotional lives of our kids, and continuing to invest in the effort to find and support amazing classroom leaders is one of THE keys to our success in Tennessee. I feel so strongly about the power of great teachers to change recognize and honor this reality in policy development and decision-making. Q How can Tennessee continue to attract quality educators to our state? A To continue to attract quality educators to Tennessee, we need to have a multi-pronged approach. First, we need to offer world-class teacher preparation programs that attract and prepare teachers for the rigors of the classroom. Top medical and law schools consistently attract talented individuals who thrive in tough environments and seek challenge, and I’m confident there are future educators out there who also seek challenges that prepare them for the ultimate tough environment: the classroom. Offering a world- class education to future teachers could go a long way in attracting the kind of go-getters we want and in distinguishing Tennessee as THE place to prepare if you want to make an immediate and long-lasting impact in the lives of kids. Second, we need to re-imagine how we do teacher professional development at the district level. Too often, teachers bemoan how