Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,
Almost a year ago I announced that, as of my retirement, I would pursue a project I am deeply passionate about, supporting our teachers (K-12). Part of this project included the announcement of a scholarship fund within the Poise Foundation of Pittsburgh, the Alissa Fountain Burse Scholarship, to benefit future teachers. The first of those scholarships will be awarded in early May.
Along with the endowment to annually award scholarships, we have been working on a grass roots project to develop plans and actively engage in ways to show professional teachers we support them; we value them; and we encourage them to maintain the highest levels of commitment and performance. My passion for this project is due in part to the legacy of teachers in my family history, dating back to pre-Emancipation of Slavery, and to the outstanding teaching career of our older daughter, Alissa Burse.
The site serves several purposes:
With respect to item 4, we are hoping you will select from some of the suggestions on the volunteer sign up page and sign up for an activity of your choice, or, define your own activity. Please share this site with your family and friends. And if some of you are willing to commit a little extra time to this effort, I would appreciate your volunteering to serve as an area captain. We can form a team of area captains to work from every corner of America and ensure that in time, the public will understand the challenge our teachers face and move to support them.
- To create greater awareness among people of the challenges professional teachers face today and help elevate the value Americans place on teachers.
- To provide another venue to recognize our amazing teachers across the country.
- To find examples where we can enhance teacher’s self-esteem, and encourage young people to be the future teachers of tomorrow.
- And finally, provide a way to encourage people to volunteer to take on some activity in celebration of National Teachers Appreciation Day/Week, May 4-8, 2015.
You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/supportamericasteachers
Or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/teacherbacker
Please take time to read my blog post “Why We Must Act Now to Support America’s Teachers.” We all must recognize that the challenges our teachers face today, unlike decades ago, are forcing many good teachers to leave for another career or take early retirement. And the pipeline of new well trained teachers is shrinking dramatically.
I understand very well that a superior education system is not dependent solely on great teachers. It is essential to have the highest quality of “Raw Materials”, e.g.,
Combine the best “Raw Materials” with superior “Processors”, e.g. . . . .
- Community Involvement
- Parent ENGAGEMENT
- Public Policy and Related Funding
- Highly qualified and dedicated Teachers
- A supportive School District Administration and Policy
. . . . And you have the ingredients for an outstanding education system resulting in children well prepared for the global challenges in front of them. But fail to have the best of any of these 5 ingredients, and we fail as a community to do our best for our children. And, I’m sure we can all agree that the quality of a community or city is directly related to the quality of that community’s educational system.
I hear the voices out there who complain that many of our teachers today are not well trained; they waste too much time on things that aren’t important; they only work 10 months out of the year; and the news reports of a few teacher pedophiles. But the vast majority of teachers are good teachers; and their greatest concern is not having support from the school administration, the parents and the politicians (pay is not their greatest issue).
Please join me in this project. Spread the word; volunteer to do something to support our teachers. They need our support.
Your feedback and comments on the site are most appreciated. If you would like to contribute a blog related to supporting our teachers, please let me know.
Thank you again. I look forward to hearing from you.
And keep well,