Candid Talk About Teaching and Learning
with Penelope Spencer, Nick Graves & Parker Watson
Faculty Lounge brings together three teachers with a combined 20 years teaching in both CPS and charter schools in the Chicagoland area. While their experiences have been vastly different, their passion for teaching and commitment to the betterment of their students is consistent across the board.
Penny Spencer was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. During her college days, she became enthralled by her science and math studies. Equipped with her BA, she became a high school teacher at a Southside charter school. She spent four years there before transitioning into new teacher coaching. As she states, "Whether one is a carpenter, a lawyer, a doctor, a hair stylist, or any other profession, an initial period of on job training is required. NOT just anyone can teach. It is an art and a science of specific skills that can take years to master. Without coaching, we fail to acknowledge the importance of educators to the future of our country."
Nick Graves was born, raised, and educated in the great state of Indiana. His love of math and youth mentorship lead him to both teach and coach during his first five years of teaching. Since making the decision to focus solely on teaching, he has become vocal and active in his school's immediate community.
Parker Watson was born and raised in New York and attended college and grad school in Pennsylvania. Her urban upbringing led her to the teaching profession and she's dedicated the last six years of her life to bringing about change in the African American community. By inspiring future generations to reach for what they don't know, she is certain that her ancestors sacrifices won't have gone in vain.
Together, Penny, Nick, and Parker will bring you a weekly show that will give you honest insight into programs, policies, and procedures happening in education. While the perspective will be centered mainly in the Chicagoland area, any and all education systems in the U.S. and the world are up for dissection.
Our fifth show dealt with reviewing the Top 10 Events in the 2011-2012 school year. Penny started the show by re-introducing us to common core standards, Urban Prep & Gary Comer's 100% college acceptance rates, and the turnover in CPS's central office. Next, Parker introduced the new evaluation system, Brizzard's hiring, and Chicago's election of Rahm. Lastly, Nick tackled CPS principals leaving their posts, the longer school day proposal, student, parent, and teacher activism as well as the record number of school closings/turnarounds.