Deborah Tonguis: Advocating for Education Reform with What I’ve Learned at Walden

I have been an advocate for education reform, just within my campus.  Little things that we can do. I’ve served on many committees, and I’ve tried to offer leadership in areas that I thought would really translate into change down the classroom level. I think if I hadn’t been involved in this program though, I may have given up on a few of those things. Sometimes, when you’ve been doing this for a long time, you lose hope. I think what Walden’s program has done for me is it’s helped me to create a little army of teacher-leaders and have them work with me, trying to create change in a non-threatening way than an existing structure. Because education is like a big train, a big steam engine. You know, once it gets going, it takes a long time for it to start up, it’s almost impossible to stop or turn. And so I think that, as I start to recruit my fellow teacher-leaders, and as we all start to work on some of the problems, that helps. I don’t think I would have seen myself as one of those teacher-leaders if I hadn’t been engaged in a program. I really think that I probably would have retired. And now I see this next 25 or 30 years ahead of me as a real exciting time in our country’s future. It’s an exciting time to be an educator in the United States right now.