Operation Educate the Educators
06/08/2016 Published by: Amy Soupene
Hello Friends. How are you doing today? Are your kids out of school? Has your household made the shift from school-year busy to summer activities yet? I love summer, I always have. The warmth and sunshine, the lush green of plants and trees, the daily pace that’s just a little slower – all of it combines to a very happy time, in my opinion.
For many of us, however, the pace does not slow down. For the Military Child Education Coalition the daily pace skyrockets to warp mode! Our National Training Seminar is held every summer. Throughout the year we all work towards the pinnacle of NTS in order to host an event that is filled with learning, inspiration, and fun. This year looks like it will once again be a stellar event.
While the NTS is our focus, especially this month, we are working on initiatives and programs all year long. The reach of the MCEC has grown tremendously as we continue to keep our eyes on our mission statement: “To ensure inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.”
Today I’d like to highlight an initiative that began in 2011. I’m sure you’ve heard me say before that:
- There are approximately 2 million military-connected children in the US, of which there are around 1.4 million between the ages of 4-18
- Military-connected children move an average of 6-9 times between kindergarten and 12th grade.
- Military-connected children move on average every 2-3 years, that’s approximately 3 times more often than their civilian peers
- Approximately 10-12% of military connected students are served in special education programs
- Every school district in the nation has military connected students
Now, let’s think about what all this means. We have lots of military kids out there, moving and starting over on average every 2-3 years. Every time they move they have to adjust to a new school, new teaching methods, and a new culture. Obviously this would be challenging for anyone, but let’s add to that we are talking about children here. And, don’t forget many of these children have lived through multiple deployments of their military parent.
These students have quite the unique life and experiences. These students are intelligent and thoughtful, but often have trouble acclimating. And some, after moving so many times may stop trying.
What is the best way to reach these kids? Other than their parents, who spends the most amount of time with them? Their teachers, of course. Teachers can have an enormous impact on the adjustment of a child to their school.
In order for a teacher to understand military-connected children, they must be educated. Isn’t learning awesome? No matter what you’re age, you can always learn. Even if you’re already an educator, you never stop learning.
Operation Educate the Educators is an initiative that was born out of these truths. In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and second Lady Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to give more support to military members and their families.
In response, the MCEC and the AACTE joined together to create Operation Educate the Educators. Since its inception, OEE has surpassed its goal of 100 colleges and universities agreeing to the OEE guiding principles.
The OEE higher education curriculum is developed in order to prepare future teachers and youth-serving professionals to be able to support the educational, social, and emotional needs of military-connected students. This a creative and forward-thinking solution that will serve generations of military students.
Five years later, the MCEC and AACTE continue to support this initiative. We have designated a page on our MCEC site so your institution can learn more, sign the Guiding Principles ,the Pledge, and learn about Professional Development opportunities. On our Homeroom site you can join the group Educate the Educators. In this space you can connect with other professionals to share ideas and ask questions.
Never stop learning, never stop giving, and never stop striving to be your best.
***Help us get the word out about SchoolQuest™ by liking us on Facebook! Please visit our Homeroom on-line community and join the discussion. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are about this important topic! SchoolQuest™ is an initiative of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®). Follow us on the MCEC® Twitter feed . . . for the sake of the child!Share This Page
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