I enjoyed hearing from other grantees about the successes and challenges of grant implementation. I learned about STEM-focused professional learning communities in New York and religious literacy training in Maryland. I heard from teachers in Arizona developing a Parent Empowerment Project and from teachers in Idaho focused on distributive leadership and code-writing. From Wisconsin to Kansas and North Carolina to New Mexico, I heard stories from practicing teachers doing amazing things in their classrooms, schools, districts and beyond.
As federal administration shifts in the coming months, I hope that the incoming Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will build on the work done by previous Secretaries Duncan and King. I hope the Department remains open to teachers and that it continues to advocate for best practices by elevating the voices of practicing teachers. There is power in teacher leadership and our collective efforts as Teacher Impact Grant recipients are demonstrating just how impactful grassroots efforts can be in creating sustainable solutions in our schools and communities.