Listen. I don't do this. Emails have been flying around left and right with things like "write your representative" or "rally for education." I never feel strongly enough to write. I never feel like I will make a difference. I never feel like my email matters.
But, NCCAT sent alumni an email about the possibility of losing its funding because of budget cuts. So here I am, sending an email to representatives... And I plan on just typing my feelings, I'm not adding in statistics or pre-written sentences.
In my 2nd year of teaching I went to NCCAT for a Connect to Your Future seminar. It was designed for teachers in their 2nd and 3rd year of teaching.
Some background, I am a lateral entry teacher. I had NO TRAINING WHATSOEVER before I went in to teaching. My first year wasn't even a full year. I only lasted a 1/2 year because I didn't have the support from that school/county. I moved to Statesville and started working at West Iredell Middle school in 2006. In 2007 someone suggested I attend NCCAT. Remember, I had no college/experience in a classroom before started teaching. I went to that seminar and came back a week later feeling like I could save the world! I was given so many ideas and strategies I could implement in my classroom before I went back to my room on the first day. I was given so many chances to feel validated.
Without that training and that initial support, I wouldn't have made it. I needed that cooperative learning opportunity to learn and grow.
I'm going again this summer to a thinking outside the box training because I know that professional opportunities for me means more success for my students. I struggled as a teacher when I first started. I needed all the help and support I could have gotten. Now, I am a success story. My evaluations are always above standard and I am seeing significant growth with my students.
I know if I didn't have the opportunity to feel like I mattered...at NCCAT, then my students would not have had the opportunity to feel like they mattered and they are kings and queens of this classroom.
Please. Even if you ignore me, listen to everyone else. These sessions give students the opportunity to have teachers equipped with the right tools for the classroom. NCCAT isn't for teachers, it's for students.