My Quest To Teach

April 17, 2012

Invitation for All Teachers to WJCT

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 16:23
Al Letson Hosts Teacher Town Hall

Al Letson Hosts Teacher Town Hall


Invitation for All Teachers to WJCT
by William Jackson, M.Ed.

Teachers voices are needed for the Teachers Town
Hall being held at WJCT; Teachers Addressing the
High School Dropout Rate.

Five Florida stations, WEDU/WUSF/Tampa,
WFSU/Tallahassee, WJCT/Jacksonville,
WDSC/Daytona and WLRN/Miami are providing
their resources and services to raise awareness,
coordinate action with community partners and
educators while working directly with students,
parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers and
leaders to develop locally-based solutions to
address the dropout crisis in their respective

Fellow teachers, I’m proud to be a part of this Teachers
Town Hall effort and encourage your participation to let
the collective voices of professional educators be heard
as educational Experts! Teachers do want to better the
educational systems for children, and do meet challenges
in the educational system from funding, legislative actions,
parental misinterpretations to curriculum guides, but who
better to ask than a teacher to improve education for all
students. .

Teachers understand what needs to be done to help all students
succeed in the classroom learning environment. The direction
instruction needs to take and how to incorporate
technology, benchmarks, standards and other educational

Many teachers are working at their schools respectively
hours before the school day starts. In preparation to educate,
encourage and inspire young minds that may be the
community leaders of the future.  Many teachers arrive
at their schools before the administration arrives and are
still there when administration leaves.

These dedicated professional educators truly care about the
students they teach. The unfortunate aspect to this sacrifice
is time away from family and sometimes neglecting personal
family, health and other duties and responsibilities outside
of the teaching profession. A teacher’s time in developing
educational content, researching and applying current uses
in technology, parent/teacher conferences, applying diff-
erential learning strategies, and the time needed to participate
in professional development. These elements and more are
required to help students develop learning gains and pro-
gression in their educational journeys through the school year.  

The ultimate goal from Pre-K to 12th grade is graduation
and onwards to adult life for the students that are nurtured,
guided, encouraged, counseled and mentored in some cases
prayed over, prayed with and in rare occasions students are
adopted into a teachers family.

On the high school level, it is reported the graduation
rate has increased, students are showing gains, parents are
encouraging and supporting their children, growth in teacher’s
confidence has increased, but more needs to be done to help
students succeed. If one student drops out of middle or high
school that means that student somehow has slipped through
the proverbial crack in the educational system. This should not
be blamed totally on teachers, should not be blamed on parents,
nor societal influences; the educational and parental system
did not effectively meet the needs of the student. The team
approach that encompasses parental support and educational
guidance by teachers, administrators, guidance counselors
and other support systems; Full Service Schools, Parental
Involvement Services, etc, all have a valuable part to play in
a student’s success and to meet the needs of the student.

WJCT and the Florida Public Broadcasting Service is providing
an opportunity for teachers to voice their concerns and share their
professional experiences on how more students can be saved to
prevent or deter dropping out. The reality of students dropping
out can be witnessed in our legal system where youth may
become incarcerated because of participation in potential criminal
activities to support their basic survival needs, participation in GED
programs which are not free, but students still need financial and
other support from families that may not be available.

Many employers and the military are not accepting GED graduates
because they may not have the social skills taught from the traditional
public or even private school environments. Public schools provide
more than just educational mechanisms for academic growth, but a
holistic approach to educational success.

Mayor Alvin Brown of Jacksonville, Florida has stated several times
about public education, ”we must all work to ensure that our students are
receiving a solid education that prepares our youth to compete in a global
environment.” As a teacher myself of over 20 years at elementary level
and higher education (Edward Waters College) the economic
situation has changed in the last 5 years requires students to continue past
high school graduation to enroll in higher education (College/University),
vocational schools or specialized trainings in the medical fields, legal,
political and traditional areas of public service (law enforcement, fire/rescue).

Education is the key to career growth and employment opportunities
for everyone. Teacher’s Voices must be heard and respected or there
can be detrimental circumstances in the direction of educational reform.
If the experts (experienced teachers) are not respected or listened to
as can be seen in cities across the country; students educational needs
will not be meet. Students will be ill prepared to compete for jobs,
lack  necessary skills to attend higher education, military careers or
even enter into vocational educational programs.

Teachers are the lifeblood of any educational system.

Your voice is needed for the Teachers Town Hall at WJCT
to have your voice heard in a taped forum addressing Florida’s
dropout crisis. This is a unique opportunity to present a teachers
perspective on experiences, suggestions and ideas about this
urgent issue. Please join other teachers at WJCT Studios
(100 Festival Park Avenue,  Jacksonville, Florida)
on Saturday, April 28th from 9am to 12pm. There will be food
available for those attending and PLEASE ONLY EDUCATORS

The program will be taped and rebroadcast across the state on
PBS and NPR stations in May. The discussion will be hosted by
NPR’s State of the Re:Union’s  host Al Letson and will include
teachers from Tallahassee and Daytona.  
To register, please visit
For additional information email:
Call:  Circe LeNoble at 904-358-6329

More about Al Letson


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