Barry Newbold


Yes.  My name is Barry Newbold and I’m the Superintendent of Schools for the Jordan School District.

I think well k---well educated teachers have, uh, have many qualities and many characteristics and, um, I don’t necessarily think that there is a finite number because I think that changes over time, uh, for an individual.  But I think a well-educated teacher, if I can just name a couple of characteristics.  Um, well ed---well-educated teacher has a solid grounding, uh, in an academic discipline whether that be elementary education or in a specific, uh---uh, discipline in a secondary school.  Um, I think a well educated teacher has, um, has learned to value and respect the---the innate worth of an individual and, uh, and views his or her responsibility as helping that individual, uh, reach their potential.  I think a well educated, uh, teacher, um, enjoys learning and enjoys sharing what they learn.  Uh, a well-educated teacher, uh, recognizes the value of partnering in education.  Uh, the role of students, the value of parents, uh, in trying to maximize and, uh, and leverage resources, uh, to help students be successful.  I also think that the well educated, uh, teacher recognizes, uh, and utilizes---recognizes the social and political context in which education occurs, and uh, and utilizes that context, uh, to---to maximize a student performance.  What’s interesting to me is that these qualities and characteristics are things that are not typically learned, if we’re just focused on, uh, subject matter learning.  These are life skills and people skills and are part of who we are, uh, as an individual.

If I were talking to one of my children as they began that experience, um, uh, it would be---it would be most (interrupted for restart)

If I were talking to one of my children about, uh, why I think it were important that they have, uh, a general education experience, uh, in addition to whatever their, uh, their academic goals were, um, I’d, uh---um---I’d reinforce to them that, uh, it’s important that, um, as an educated person that we have, um, I think, experience, knowledge, a frame of reference for---for many different, uh, areas of knowledge.  Uh, one of the things that, uh---if I had a---if my---if my son or daughter were going into education, and I happen to have a son going into education, uh, one thing that---that---that happens, uh, as a---as a teacher is that you’re always being asked about relevance of a---a concept or subject matter.  And the more broadly educated you are or the more information and knowledge you have about, uh---uh, about the world or about subject matter, whatever, the easier it is for you to make a real-life connection, uh, for a student.  And---and that may be, uh, that connection that you make may really be, for some students, uh, a catalyst in, uh, uh, in---in either changing a direction or cementing an idea, uh, or, uh, or rein---reinforcing something that, uh, uh, that couldn’t occur in any other way.

One of the ways that I, uh, would determine whether or not someone is well educated, uh, would be, uh, simply by listening carefully to their conversation and, uh, getting an idea about the things that they’re interested in.  Uh, uh, the things that they might do in their spare time.  You can tell a---a well educated person loves learning and continues to learn, uh, both within their discipline but also outside of their discipline.  And, uh---uh, a well educated person will actually have a sparkle in, uh---uh, in their, uh, in their tone of voice and in their attitude, uh, that lets you know that this is a person that, uh, that ought---not only talks about learning but lives it on a regular basis.

No.  A---a well educated teacher or educator, I’m going to broaden that, whether that be administrator or counselor or anyone else, has to understand the role that public education has played in, uh, in the foundation and the building up and the sustaining of our democracy.  One of the unique things about, uh, about our democracy is that everyone has the opportunity to---to gain a foundation of knowledge and expertise and is able to gain skills that will help them contribute in an ongoing way, uh, to the building of that society that has given that to them.  And it’s important that we understand that, that is what has helped to make this country strong.  And whenever we talk about things that would erode the public school system, or that would begin to fragment those opportunities, we really are, uh, are playing with, uh, with eroding and undermine the very foundation stones upon which this country was built.

When I think about the competent, well educated teacher, uh, included in that, uh, is the---the fundamental notion that each teacher needs to---needs to understand the role that they play as a teacher in promoting and sustaining the democracy in which we live. They need to understand that public education, which means an education for, uh, for every citizen, a good education, an education, uh, upon which they can---they can build their hopes and their dreams.  Uh, that, that has been, uh---uh, a---a fundamental, uh, part of who we are as a nation and uh---uh, and---this is bad, I got to start over.

I have a very strong---I have---I have a passion about democracy and---and the role of democracy in, uh---uh, in holding together our society.  And, uh, and public education is the way that we sustain our democracy.  It’s the way that we learn to live with one another.  It’s the way to get along with---with people of different cultures and different backgrounds.  And, uh, we’d---we’d---we don’t---we don’t become more the same, as a people, we always become more diverse.  And, um, and this fundamental notion of how do we work together in a democracy (clears throat) is best taught and best sustained, second only to the home, in the public school system, because that’s where the youth spend their time.  And we have to recognize as educators that it’s our role to help teach those principles of democracy.  To help them understand why it’s important that, not only they learn subject matter, but they learn how to get along with each other.  That they learn how to solve problems and that they learn how to be a part of---of building up and con---contributing to our democracy.