hat would you say if you were given the opportunity to tell the Department of Education how the policies and programs that the federal government supported were affecting the students and teachers in our schools? Well, that is exactly what I will be doing for the next year along with 24 colleagues from around the country.
I am a kindergarten/first grade teacher in Los Angeles, but have a one-year appointment to work with the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. This is the first time that the department has formally involved teacher input into the policies and programs that affect our children. The program is called the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship Program. There are five Washington ambassadors that work in the department offices and 20 classroom ambassadors who work from their classrooms for the year.
We want to get the word out about how policies are made and how teachers can have an impact as leaders. Another teacher, Jocelyn Pickford, brought the idea to Secretary Margaret Spellings, who loved it. The teacher ambassadors represent urban, rural and suburban communities and K-12 levels. These are teachers who have dedicated themselves to make a real difference in public education. We want to share our stories and be part of the solution.