Christopher Poulos, Connecticut State Teacher of the Year 2007

Advocacy


Christopher Poulos, Connecticut State Teacher of the Year 2007

While serving as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, I began to think of how my individual role on the state level could contribute to the mission of strengthening the bridge between education policymakers and the teaching and learning that takes place in Connecticut classrooms.  My conversations with teachers demonstrated a consensus that a disconnect exists between policymakers’ knowledge of current education trends and the realities of teaching and learning in the present day classroom.  Teachers spoke of the achievement gap in Connecticut, the widest in the country, and the measures that were in place to address the inequity between districts.

Consequently, I advocated for funding through ING to host a tour of Connecticut’s schools.  With their support, over the course of nine weeks, the Tour of Connecticut Schools initiative brought  policymakers from the federal, state and local levels into rural, suburban, and urban classrooms across the entire state.  After each school visit, we debriefed with more educators in a ‘town hall’ format, bringing conversations between policy makers and educators to being.

I have been part of a Federal initiative to bring teachers to the table when policy is made; to revitalize NNSTOY as a professional organization; to bring teacher voices to conversations at the International Summit; and to design teacher leadership models.

I strongly believe that advocacy is part of our daily work as educators.


Chris has worked extensively in the fields of Spanish education, teacher leadership, and community development.  Chris is a full time Spanish teacher at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, CT.  He achieved National Board Certification (WLOE-EAYA) in 2009.

Chris is an AFT Public Education Advocate and a member of NEA’s Expert Teacher Panel.  He has also consulted with  the US Department of Education and Connecticut State Department of Education on  classroom practice, school leadership, teacher quality, and professional development.

In October of 2011, Chris was nominated and chosen as an Aspen Institute Teacher Leader Fellow.  He is looking forward to this two-year learning experience and the subsequent contributions he might offer to the teaching profession as a result of the fellowship.

 



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