Friends, Colleagues, and Neighbors,
As we move forward in this election campaign, I have been blogging about education, our schools, my beliefs, and, to be honest, some random stuff. You can find my blog at http://andrewtkemp.com/blog/.
Today, I want to talk about the mission of the Columbia County School District. According to the website (http://www.ccboe.net/) the mission is We LEARN.
Lead by Example
Expect All to Succeed
Achieve excellence through engaging experiences
Respect and value each other
Now and tomorrow
Lead by Example: This first statement is essential. I think we should lead by example. However, what we want for our children is to be critical and creative thinkers. This is the example we must set. We must have teachers that are critical thinkers and creative practitioners to make education come alive. I know that many are, but we need to strive to make our schools not just places of content, but places if learning and inspiration.
Expect All to Succeed: This is a primary part of my platform—education for all. I want to ensure a quality education for all students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or ability. I want all students to succeed. However, we can’t have generic measures of success. Students are individuals. Our measures of success should allow for individuality.
Achieve Excellence Through Engaging Experiences: Learning is an active process. Learning needs context. Learning needs to be engaging. I think that students spend too much time in textbooks. I understand and support the need for a strong education filled with literature, science, social studies, math, music, career education, and art. However, much of what we do is about learning facts. We need to have students be engaged in their education through rethinking what we do.
Respect and Value Each Other: In these times of conflict and a society at social war within itself, I think that teaching about others is of vital importance. We are a society of different views, different beliefs, and different ways in which we define ourselves. We need to celebrate the diversity of everyone so that, perhaps, we can learn from each other and find commonality and unity in who we are.
Now and Tomorrow: I know it might seem odd, but I like this simple sentiment. Our schools need to focus on now and tomorrow. We don’t need to be stuck in the past with what we do. We must allow students not only live in the moment, to make decisions that can change their lives for the better, but to look toward making decisions for a better future.
My name is Andrew Kemp. I am running for the Columbia County School Board District 3.
With the exception of a year, I have been a teacher or a student for my entire life. I have taught on many different levels. I have been a middle school teacher (okay, for one semester for student teaching...because of this, I have a profound respect for middle school teachers), high school, undergraduates and graduate students. I have coached soccer in youth leagues and high school. Education is in my blood.