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edu180atl: jovan miles 8.4.11

I work for Atlanta Public Schools. This summer, I got to see the reputation of my district publicly maligned due to the unethical actions of a fraction of our workforce.  Everyday for several weeks there was a new blog post, tweet, or televised news story about how poorly children in APS were being educated and how ALL of the teachers, administrators, and support personnel had been playing a shell game with achievement data for nearly a decade.

After being inundated with this type of coverage for so long I began to feel like a villain for even working in the Atlanta Public Schools. That association, according to the local and national news media, was like being associated with Enron. Even if you had done nothing wrong, your personal and professional reputation was still sullied.

I met two men who lived in the community where I work. I met a postal worker at a restaurant and later, a truck driver at the library.

The postal worker stopped me to ask how I felt about the media coverage and also told me how proud he was of teachers’ work.

The truck driver saw me working with a student.  He explained to me that he was working to develop himself personally and professionally and asked for my help. I agreed. He thanked me for helping him and for the work I do in his community.

I learned how much of what I do extends beyond the classroom walls.

About the Author: Jovan Miles (@MilesAcademy) is a math educator and blogger. By day, he’s an instructional coach and by night, a husband and father. He blogs about life’s follies here.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jovan,
    Thank you for the hard work you do to educate young people. As a proud Atlanta resident, I am grateful for you and the work of countless others who have chosen to dedicate so much of their lives to the betterment of their communities. Your message, that much of what you do has an impact outside the classroom walls, resonated with me; I’m so glad you shared it. It makes me think about my life as a teacher, parent, friend, community member… the image of ripples in a pond after a stone throw come to mind. We can have an impact we never dreamed possible; we can have an impact of which are not even aware. Your message served both to empower me, but also to remind me to move with consideration, humility and gratitude so that my impact is a good one. Thank you!

    August 4, 2011
  2. pj #

    Keep up the good work!

    August 4, 2011
  3. Stephen G Kennedy #

    Jovan, your writing is something unique. While it is easy to pick up a brush and paint the canvas with broad strokes, it is much harder to see that people like you (and many others) continue to do valuable and important things for children, and for colleagues. When leaders tumble, they take many with them. People like you rise to leadership when you do heroic things for people you encounter every day. I felt very proud of you when I read your work here. Thank you! Stephen Kennedy

    August 6, 2011

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