I was out of town this weekend and away from the internet but took a moment to jot down some thoughts as the NFL draft rolled on.
Confession: I am not a sports fan. You can fit what I know about the behind-the-scenes workings of the NFL on a pin head. What I do know is that there is a lot of hoopla about the draft. I’m sure if I did some digging I could find how much was spent on the NFL draft including media air time, research, salaries for all the people involved, not to mention revenue generated for the city of Chicago. I got to thinking, what if we put this much effort into education? What if we were so passionate about education and the ramifications it has on our youth and our country that we drafted teachers?
Can you imagine a world in which people are as passionate about their local schools as they are about their teams? I’m talking hats, foam fingers, posters of legendary educators hanging in kids’ rooms! Imagine a team of people scouting and researching teachers, analyzing their skills, fighting to get the best of the best into their schools to make the greatest learning community possible.
Imagine if we spent even a fraction of the money on teacher training as is spent on preparing young men for the NFL draft. I’m picturing a “Combine” of education where instead of measuring how fast you run a 40 or how high you jump, they look at how deeply you push kids to think, how many modes of learning you can seamlessly blend to reach as many students as possible, how much target language and comprehensible input you use. Can you picture people at bars drinking their beer and watching coverage of the results?! “Man, that Mr. Smith is amazing. We better get him. Our math department was a bit weak last season; this is just the guy to turn it around!” “That Mrs. Jackson, my goodness! Have you seen what she does with American History? If I was 20 years younger, I’d be fighting to get in her classes!”
Now I’m not putting down the NFL draft or saying that I think any of this will ever happen but hey, a teacher can dream.