It’s been a long year, teacher friends! One that has seen a tremendous amount of change, reflection and momentum. Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and we wanted to take a moment to share five reasons we are grateful for this past year.
We are constantly collaborating – either with you on social media, email and customer service channels, or with each other as a team. To do that, we need some pretty sophisticated tools. 2016 rose to the challenge with platforms like Slack for team collaboration, Drift for our real-time customer service, CommPartners for our online conferences and WebinarJam for our online workshops.
The new Every Student Succeeds Act
It took a LOT of work from a lot of people and organizations for the new ESSA to be enacted. But sure enough, it was signed into law this year and that means incredible things for the arts and humanities. There’s inclusive language in the law for STEAM, as well as art classes for the sake of the arts. This was a major win and we couldn’t be more excited.
The Whole Child Movement
Finally – we’re starting to see momentum gathering around an understanding that teaching the whole child is critical for student success. This includes teaching the arts, social-emotional health, social studies, and mindfulness. This has been around for a long time, but 2016 has been a pivot point year towards making this a reality in schools.
Our amazing team
Even though I’m the one writing this post, this site wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our team of teachers, artists, and leaders. These educators write the articles, classes and conference sessions that support your work. They are some of the most dedicated, passionate and creative people I’ve had the privilege to know. And to top it off – we all like and complement each other. There’s nothing like a great team to make work more fun.
The opportunity to serve YOU
You are at the heart of everything we do. We always say that our job is to listen to your needs and then create whatever you ask for, so you can get on with the important work of teaching. Thank you for reading our articles, attending our conferences and taking our courses. You are worth every day of 2016 and beyond.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! You Are One Of The Reasons We Are Grateful.
Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.