Let’s hold leaders to the high standards set for educators

By TEA Executive Director Terrance Gibson


For many of us, the start of the new year brings excitement, anxiousness and the unknown. Whether it is the anticipation of the new students we will encounter, new legislative agendas to navigate or the unanticipated opportunities - we see the start of a new calendar year as an opportunity to reset, refresh and start anew in areas of our lives.


As educators we also see the new year as a continuance and rekindling of the standards that we set to be the best of the best for our students.


As I engage with educators across the state, I am always impressed with the high standards, professionalism and commitment to excellence exuded by those in our profession. As executive director of TEA, one of my top priorities is to be steadfast and consistent in sharing with policymakers and all stakeholders the great work of Tennessee public school educators.


The professional practices, commitment and efforts to improve standards permeate our state and are apparent in Tennessee educators no matter the community. As an organization, we are committed to exposing the mistruths of anti-public school employee rhetoric.


Whether working with the Tennessee Board of Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or the General Assembly, our TEA trumpets the high standards we see among Tennessee’s educators. These standards are on display throughout the year and the commitment to students never wavers.


We must impress upon policymakers to have the same high standards and commitment to design opportunities to celebrate public school employees, create policies that retain quality educators and invest resources to attract individuals to our profession.


As we promote, advocate and lead, we must set an expectation that state leaders collectively recognize and reward educators for their outstanding instruction and dedication to advancing the profession.


So as we start a new calendar year, I want to applaud educators for maintaining a commitment to excellence and a dedication to our students no matter the day or year. On behalf of all of the staff here at TEA, I want to tell you again that we recognize, value and respect the work that you do for your students, your colleagues and your association.