CTQ teacher Cheryl Suliteanu was voted the winner of Goldman Sachs' "Innovation in U.S. Education " essay contest. Cheryl, who teaches fifth grade in Oceanside, California, won for her piece titled "Community Schools."
In her essay, Cheryl advocates for expanding the role of schools to include multiple aspects of students' well-being. She writes:
Preparing every child for success in school is possible by establishing schools as community centers where all services are provided for families: medical, educational, recreational, psychological, and career readiness training.
Along with making this shift, we also need to reimagine teachers' role, Cheryl notes. Teachers need more time to collaborate with their peers during the school day, as well as to reflect on and analyze their instruction. Otherwise, teachers remain isolated in their individual classrooms, not benefiting from the experience and expertise of peers:
In my experience, every conversation about student achievement, about instruction, and about professional learning provides new insights, offers new ideas for instructional strategies, and provides critical opportunities to discuss student learning.
Three essay finalists were selected by a panel of education reformers, including John Danner (Co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education) and Randi Weingarten (president of the American Federation of Teachers). The final contest winner was determined by open voting on Goldman Sachs' website.