THE BEST TEACHERS ARE THE ONES YOU REMEMBER, Says Tracy Livingston, M.Ed., Veteran Teacher in Maricopa County, AZ
By Barbara A. Kennedy MPH/MSW
You remember particular teachers your whole life. They’re the ones who read “Beowulf” in the original old English, brought soap to school because it was flu season and the dispenser was empty, or took the time to teach you division after class because you were out for two weeks with the measles, and she knew you would never catch up, and you would learn to hate math because you were lacking a foundation block of knowledge. She made a note of your absence, and circled back, because she was a mature educator with an eye on students as individuals with certain needs.
Tracy Livingston is a stellar example of a teacher who has a positive lasting effect on the students she has taught in our classrooms K-12 for nearly two decades.
With a Master’s Degree in Education from Arizona State University, she served as President of the Maricopa Community College Governing Board, Board member of the Peoria Unified School Board, and has served as elected Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 22 for the last 6 years.
In 2018, Mrs. Livingston will run for Superintendent of Public Instruction, as a candidate who has a mission to put public schools back on track. “Parents need to be able to choose the best path for their own children, to get real learning back into the classroom, and to have access to the teachers as partners in the education and best interest of the children,” she stated passionately.
Much is discussed about creating individual curriculums, which was accomplished in one of her classes with one book and not one additional dollar spent on teacher development to learn how to make individualism happen.
“Recently, in a pre-school in Hangzhou, China, I taught a young class relatively new to English, having only one full year of study. But they all had the sounds and letter recognition mastered and were reading and writing sight words with ease. All any teacher needs is enthusiasm and a book, children excited and willing to learn, and a plan.
“Nothing in my lessons followed common core. Devoted educators, like myself, need to be free to teach, and one week in a country of complete control reminded me of the simplicity of good teaching, as we explored sounds, letters, words, their meaning, and appropriate verbal responses. Even the food, their source of energy, is superior to ours. Their lunches were fresh, healthy and tasty with all the food groups represented, even a sweet treat.”
The programs at this school focused on the pre-kindergarten formative two-year-old to five-year-old studies, childcare, and weekend Arts and Sciences extension programs. The most looming differences to our classrooms are class size and teacher: student ratio.
More money allocated with common sense to enrich curriculum, decrease class size, and increase high-quality K-12 educators is a priority that Mrs. Livingston embraces in our districts and will demand from our State Legislators.
“Teachers and parents know what is best for all students. It is time to step back and let them partner in a way that allows teachers to teach”. (#itstimeforateachertolead)
Volunteer, contact her with questions, and invite her to meet the parents.
Go to: www.tracylivingston.vote