When we remind our students that the reason they go to school is to learn to think, we remind ourselves that education is that uniquely parallel process that pursues both knowledge and wisdom – the learning side engages knowledge, the thinking side engages wisdom. To become both knowledgeable and wise, then, is the path to an educated mind. Because students crave both, we do well to indulge them. May this week provide innumerable opportunities to do just that!
Vision & Focus
A “mind blind” develops when we’re not in reality about something, when we miss the obvious or when we’re simply in denial. It is similar to a deer blind or duck blind. The only difference is, with the hunting blind, it’s the animal in danger – with the thinking blind, it’s the human.
When we’re blinded from the truth, we’re in a mind blind. When we’re running or hiding from the truth, we’re in a mind blind. We’ve all been there, we all know what that’s like. And as parents, teachers, and school leaders, we usually recognize it instantly when we see our own children stuck in one or our own students falling into one – whether related to their homework or to life. The bad news is, this is a real thing. The good news, we can help them break out in any number of ways, not the least of which is breaking out of our own.
The Primary Priority
I strongly believe that parents are the sole authority when it comes to teaching their children about sex and gender identity. Further, I am greatly concerned about the actions of teachers who are circumventing parental authority and imposing their personal views of sex and gender ideology on children without parental consent or notification. Even further, I intend to give voice to the vast majority of Wyoming parents who believe that school libraries are not the place for sexually graphic material.
Although I believe it is well within my duties as State Superintendent, I have decided to separate the press conference scheduled for October 25 from the Wyoming Department of Education. No state funds will be used in connection with this event and the final venue for the press conference is yet to be determined.
I want the focus of the discussion to be on the issue of parental authority and standing up against the inappropriate sexualization of Wyoming’s children.
Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship
This past week the WDE and PTSB hosted representatives from U.S. Department of Labor to sign the official standards for the WTA. What an exciting milestone for the project and for Wyoming.
Read the media release here. Watch the media conference event here. Visit the WDE’s teacher apprenticeship website here.
In the Spotlight
This week we want to honor the contributions of Brendan O’Connor, Executive Director of the Professional Teaching Standards Board.
Brendan has taken leadership in Wyoming to support districts by ensuring districts have access to high-quality teachers. Most recently, Brendan has co-led the efforts to establish the Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship Initiative. He led a team of district and postsecondary staff to develop Wyoming’s K-12 Teacher Apprenticeship Standards. This work has been described by the U.S. Department of Labor as the Cadillac of K-12 teacher apprenticeship models.
So this week, for your incredible service to Wyoming Education, Director O’Connor, you are ‘In the Spotlight.’
Mark Your Calendars
We are seeking your thoughts on the role of digital learning in the classroom to inform the state’s strategic direction. The first round of in-person listening sessions have been completed, but we have a virtual session set for 4:30-5:30 p.m. on October 25. Register for the Zoom event here.
For more information on the listening sessions, including the next round of in-person sessions, visit the WDE’s DLP website.