Shannon Hudson, IMLEA PRESIDENT
Science Department Chair, Tuttle Middle School
Merriam-Webster defines transition as “a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another”. As I transition to the presidency of IMLEA, I can’t help but reflect on the transitions that educational professionals have endured lately. Our governor has changed and we have elected a new Superintendent of Public Instruction. Topics of concern still to be decided include vouchers, school choice, teacher and administrator licensing and certification requirements, charter schools, school accountability, the A-F school grading, RISE and other evaluative tools, merit pay, ISTEP or PARCC, the common core standards, and of course, No Child Left Behind. Even the National Middle School Association changed its name to Association for Middle Level Education. My head spins with the enormous potential each of these themes holds.
Having taught in the middle school arena for over 24 years, I don’t know about you, but I have experienced the gamut of emotions lately; from fear of failure to joy of success, from besieged to vindicated, from frustrated to hopeful, and from stunned to apprehensive to nervous as I am constantly bombarded with reports about and changes being made to our chosen profession. A colleague of mine defined teaching in the current climate as “trying to hit a constantly moving target while downhill skiing out of control”.
So how do we, as middle school educators, sharpen our arrows to hit those moving targets? We can help! IMLEA’s goals have always been to provide the timeliest, most practical items to help you navigate the slipperiest of slopes. We will continue to be the clearing house for legislative updates and will fashion a bridge with the new personnel at the Indiana Department to communicate with you.
You will notice our IMLEA.org website has even modified its design to better serve you. Take a look when you get a chance! We update the job openings listings as they become available. As always, IMLEA continues to sponsor Schools To Watch program. These schools offer inspiration to all educational settings. We also will continue to work with Generation On, which teaches our students to serve others in many settings. If you haven’t joined Generation On yet, I encourage you to do so. Regardless of your discipline, you can find lesson plans to inspire all students to make their mark on their world. The IMLEA website spotlights advances schools are making while teaching problem based learning. And we sponsor and highlight award winning teachers, students, and ideas with our Shining Star Awards.
I chose to peruse the Indiana Department of Education website last week because I had sorely neglected it. What I saw gave me hope. The new tagline is “Imagine the Possibilities- Making Them Happen”. Working together, we can work together transition while making endless possibilities happen.
Shannon Hudson teaches science at Tuttle Middle School in Crawfordsville, Indiana. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org