Few Teacher of the Year nominees, and a sorry Sunday
It was clear from the 10 minutes I spent in Kristin Covaleskie's classroom yesterday that she is a great teacher, and her students and colleagues adore her. I don't think anyone would dispute that she is worthy of being Baltimore's Teacher of the Year.
But I must say, I was stunned to learn that out of more than 6,000 teachers in the city, there were only seven applications for the award, and two of them were disqualified. (One teacher didn't meet the requirement of having five years of experience, and another is moving into an administrative position next year.) Teachers can be nominated by principals, colleagues, community members or themselves, but their applications must be submitted with three letters of recommendation. Apparently, people just aren't taking the time.
It seems to be no coincidence that two of Baltimore's past three Teachers of the Year come from Northwood Elementary, where Covaleskie teaches fourth-grade. And the principal, Edward English, says he has more teachers on his staff who are deserving of the recognition. English is obviously someone who attracts and recognizes talent, and he lets his great teachers know he appreciates them by nominating them for this award.
Dr. Alonso often says that in every school, there is at least one great teacher. The system has 190 schools and, I'd venture to bet, several hundred teachers who would qualify as great. So why aren't principals promoting them?
On an even more discouraging note... I came back to the office after the Teacher of the Year announcement and learned that two 13-year-old boys are charged with breaking into Calverton Elementary/Middle on Sunday afternoon and attempting to rape a staff member who was there working extra hours. Both Calverton students, they showed up to school on Monday, and that's when they were arrested.