Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's About Education, and Exercise.

This week's Run Across America showing at the White House with the First Lady wasn't nearly as animated as today's “Let's Move! Flash Workout Event" at Alice Deal Middle School.  The First Lady introduced the revamped version of Beyonce's 'Get Me Bodied' video for the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative.

The Alice Deal school offers boys and girls (grades 6-8)  basketball, cross-country/track, and soccer as well as baseball, softball and volleyball. It also offers cheerleading, fencing and rugby. Students take physical education and health for a semester a year.
Mrs. Obama can be seen at the school's outdoor facility performing some of the dance moves - even trying her hand at The Dougie.

"So this is an exciting day", said the First Lady.  "Over 600 schools all over the country -- and I heard they even did this in Japan -- at this same time are going to be doing what you’re doing, and I wanted to be here and see it.  Now, I haven’t had time to learn the moves. I’ve watched the video. I haven’t been like you guys, so I’m going to be off to the side just trying not to embarrass myself, but I am so excited to see you all get going."

How'd she do?   Watch the students' Flash Workout here.

While Mrs. Obama was promoting student exercise, her Commander In Chief husband was promoting education by honoring National and State Teachers of the Year - including Hawaiian teacher of the Year, Kristen Brummel, a teacher at Noelani School in Manoa, Hawaii where President Obama was a student.

"So, I thought that was pretty cool.  I went there in first grade.  It’s a wonderful school", reminisced President Obama, who's sister is a teacher.

President Obama with Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer and Education Secretary Arne Duncan
 in a Rose Garden Ceremony honor state teachers. Photo/CD Brown.
"Because in the end, the most effective teachers are the ones who are constantly striving to get better and help their students get better.  Those teachers who stay up late grading papers.  The teachers who give up their afternoons and free periods to give that student a little bit of extra one-on-one help, and spend evenings and weekends developing lesson plans and activities that don’t just teach the material, but make it come alive.  And the teachers who see the potential in students even when the students themselves don’t see that potential."

The National Teacher of the Year went to Michelle Shearer of Urbana High School in Frederick, Md.

Shearer comes from a long line of educators including her father, a chemist, who taught chemistry.  Teaching found Shearer while volunteering for deaf students.  "I teach because I love students", said Shearer. 
Michelle Shearer. 2011 Teacher of the Year.  Photo/CD Brown.
"We all have a responsibility to our students to provide them with the highest quality public education possible", Shearer said in an after-ceremony media interview.

"America wants to be the leader in public education.  And it's more than just teachers and students working in the classroom:  It's parents, communities, businesses.  Everybody buying into the idea that our students are worth it and that they are the future of our nation."

We asked Shearer what her thoughts are on the parents jailed for trying to send their children to a better school outside the district where they reside.

"All parents want the best education for their children, that's a given", said Shearer.  "And parents are an important partner in making sure that students get a quality education.  The most important thing is making sure that every neighborhood school is a quality neighborhood school.  Sometimes that means that different schools need different things.  When we think of equity we think every school needs the same thing.  We need to look at each school and see what that school needs for its students and community. I'm a believer in neighborhood schools, and I think if we come together as communities we can really take some of our schools that are low achieving and turn them into high performing schools."

When we asked Shearer if she thought the parents should be jailed for wanting to give their children a better education, Shearer replied:  "I don't comment on that.  My comment is making sure we have a great public school for every student in the country."

No comments:

Post a Comment