District Teachers ‘In The Spotlight’

Wyoming Department of Education > Uncategorized > District Teachers ‘In The Spotlight’

Dear Superintendents,

‘Tis trite but true, teaching is loving – loving both the subjects we teach and the students.  That connection is crucial, because (though just as trite but no less true!), they really don’t care how much we know until they know how much we really care. May we again set out this week to do both well, and may we again discover how true it is that the only thing more interesting than the subjects we teach is the students we teach!

Vision & Focus

Picking up on last week and further illustrating the human propensity for falling into various kinds of “mind blinds,” here is a good question for our classroom teachers to pose to their students at the start of class, just to get their wheels turning:  What is the one word that every Harvard graduate pronounces wrong? (Watch the mind blind overtake them!)

Let them struggle with it for a minute (they’ll typically say Harvard, graduate, word, etc.), then if you want to play with it a bit, follow-up with this question: What is the one word that EVERY college graduate in America (who speaks English) pronounces wrong? After a bit more banter (if you’re enjoying it), end with one final question: What is the one word, in fact, that every high school graduate in America (who speaks English) pronounces wrong?

Once you’ve milked it as much as you dare, write the word WRONG on the board. Then say, “The word that every (English-speaking) Harvard, college and high school graduate in America pronounces wrong is … WRONG!”  Get it?

The salient point here is to simply illustrate how easily we all fall into those pesky mind blinds, and that the purpose of education is to help us break out of the same, by teaching thinking via those core academic disciplines. The other point is that this whole project can be lot’s of fun!

The Primary Priority

If the purpose of education is teaching thinking, then it begins with teaching reading. That’s the foundation, and we must get really good at laying a strong foundation: the literacy of every child in every classroom in every school in every district in every county. This must be our standard and our primary priority, and may we never rest until we meet it.

Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship Q&A

If I already work in the school district, do I still need to go through an application process?

Yes, the apprentice candidate will apply for a new position with the school district. If selected by the school district, the candidate will be required to sign an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor as well.

In The Spotlight


The WDE and U.S. Senator John Barrasso celebrated the 2023 District Teachers of the Year last week in Casper. Each district has the opportunity to select an outstanding teacher to represent them as their Teacher of the Year.

For all your efforts, you are ‘In the Spotlight’ this week.


Mark Your Calendars

The State of Wyoming, Department of Health, Public Health Division has contracted with Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care to conduct the Wyoming Young Adult Survey – now open to Wyoming residents aged 18 to 29.

The survey measures substance use and other health-related behaviors, is anonymous, does not record personally identifying information, and should take about 15 minutes. Participants who complete the survey will be able to enter a drawing for one of twenty-five $25 gift cards and one of two $100 gift cards. Share the survey here.

Monday memos: