Response to Arne Duncan’s “Change is Hard”

Here is a link to the transcript of Arne Duncan’s speech.

Here is a link to and article about RESPECT on the U.S. Department of Education website.

“Your voice in rebuilding and renewing your profession is so important–and the opportunity has never been greater or more urgent. Almost half of our existing teachers are set to retire in the current decade. A million new people are coming into this field.

Today, however, half of those new teachers will leave the field within five years. That is unacceptable. And many other bright, young people don’t even consider teaching – either because salaries are too low, opportunities for advancement are limited, or working conditions are too difficult.” – United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

As someone who is actively working towards becoming a teacher in the United States I often find myself wondering if I have what it takes. I also wonder if I pay enough attention to what is going on around me in the education world today. Honestly, if it weren’t for CO 301-D I wouldn’t know who Arne Duncan is or what the new RESPECT Project is. I suppose I have been so caught up in merely getting by in school and passing my own licensing exam that it never occurred to me that the events happening in the nation with regards to education directly effect me and my future career.

I find what Secretary Duncan talked about very interesting, especially the fact that most of this new project is dependent on districts, schools, administrators, and most of all teachers. Teachers are the ones doing the work in the classroom and the people who are now in charge of peer reviews and working to make the system better for everyone. It was wonderful to hear about teachers who are making a difference for their students and their districts. My question, though, is how can every teacher make a difference. I know that teachers make a difference in the lives of children every day, or so I am told. But, how do you become that teacher that is a role model for other teachers and makes a difference for teachers and students alike? Where is there time to plan, organize a classroom, be a constant for your students, and become a person that changes what education looks like? Teachers are the ones who have the voice, but they are also the ones who are under appreciated in their field. So how much of a voice to teachers really have?

I love the fact that the states are recognizing the need for changing and instead of waiting for the government to get it together they are making those changes on their own. However, if only some states make positive changes where does that leave the rest?


-Kaitlyn Szejna


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