My entire work history involves children - three years as a part-time nanny, summer camp counselor, work with children and grief, teaching assistant in an expensive private school, and student-teacher in the Portland Public Schools. My diverse work experience has led me to see education as a deeply personal, social, and transformative process when done correctly; it can also be stale, violent, and forceful when behaviorism and testing strip away all that is human from schooling.
The emerging leaders of my generation (I'm 26) have always known economic prosperity - the MTV era of marketing, the internet and tech explosion, and the endless search for more and greater profits. There are alternatives to No Child Left Behind, charter schools, privatization, and high-stakes testing. I hope my generation can learn from the mistakes of our past and ignore the endless reform ideas of the business world and other economic interests in an attempt to address issues of global and national significance - poverty, climate change, and violence.