Ellen Wood of TWU Reflects on Her Public Voices Fellowship Experience

A guest blog post by Ellen Wood, a Public Voices Fellow at Texas Woman’s University.  Ellen is the co-founder of the Teaching Trust, a non-profit dedicated to preparing talented educators to take on the challenges of leading urban schools as principals and policy leaders.  She received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BBA in Acounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

ellenwood2The experience I’ve gained from participating in the Op-Ed Project through the Dallas/Texas Women’s University has been invaluable.     We’ve had the opportunity here in Dallas to mix non-profit leaders with faculty from the University.   I’ve met wonderful women who are strong advocates for issues that matter significantly in our community and country.    Even though our last session is this week, I hope that we all will continue to share our experiences as advocates with each other.

When I decided to apply for this program, I knew the timing was perfect.     Teaching Trust, the non-profit I co-founded—where our focus the first two years has been in developing school principals—was about to launch several initiatives related to education policy, something we strongly believed had to be part of our strategic plan if we were going to have broader impact sooner.   In December, we launched a program for teacher-leaders who wanted to learn how to advocate for policies that would attract, develop and keep the best people working in education.     Our plans included helping strong teachers activate their “voice”—through speaking to school boards and legislative committees that determine the district and state policies while also writing op-eds and blog entries in various venues that could broaden their audience.

The teachers who are in our first cohort of 25 Ed-Policy Fellows are on fire (similar to my Op-Ed cohort!)    They have practiced putting their voice as well as written words on the line….and are energized by that action.    Last week 4 teachers testified in Austin to the Senate Education Committee on the teacher quality bill that was being discussed.  One teacher wrote about the experience on our new blog “Let me say first that to be taken seriously as a constituent and to be respected for your experience and perspective about your field is one of the most empowering experiences you can have.  As the four of us gave our testimony, the energy in the room was electric.”

The experience I’ve had in the Op-Ed project…through the workshops and the feedback from my advisor on writing and pitching op-eds has helped me turn around and use that to train the teachers and leaders in our programs.  I’ve never been a teacher or principal, but I feel very strongly that those who are great educators should be speaking up.    Thank you to the Op-Ed Project—Katie, Chloe, Rose– for challenging me to define my expertise, developing the teacher voices that should be the real experts at the table.

10 comments

  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your
    content seem to be running off the screen
    in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get
    the issue solved soon. Cheers

  3. Howdy very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent
    .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I’m glad to find numerous useful
    information right here within the submit, we want work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for
    sharing. . . . . .

  4. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may I desire to recommend you some attention-grabbing things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article. I desire to learn more things about it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s