My friend and colleague Carolyn Cohen sent me this newspaper article this morning. It was sent to her by a friend, also a teacher and colleague of Bernie Glaze, an extraordinary teacher who died of lung cancer in November. The article, which I share in full below paints the picture of the kind of teacher I fear is becoming extinct in our cities’ public schools, driven out by ill-informed administrators and misguided public policies. Three things in particular touched me in this story. The first was Bernie’s belief that all students could learn at very high levels and that they should be given the chance to take challenging courses regardless of their past performance. The other was the way she made her classroom feel like a home and her students part of a family. She knew what so many have forgotten — teaching is more about human relationships than test scores — human beings teaching and learning together with other human beings and our very basic need to be loved and feel as if we belong. I hope that Bernie Glaze knew how much she was valued before she died. It seems perhaps that she knew, given the story about her principal. In the final paragraph the author of this tribute piece says that in the midst of the rating and ranking mania, one needs to add to the list of criteria that make an excellent school, “teachers and administrators like Bernie Glaze.” I wonder who will have the insight and courage to support young Bernie Glazes in the making and keep them in classrooms where not only can they help students grow and develop to their full potential, but have the chance to become great themselves.
Dynamo Brought IB and Rigor To All Students