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The main purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for current and former Minnesota Teachers of the Year to post their thoughts on education. Traditional media outlets are often not the best venues for discussing a subject as complex as education. This blog is an attempt to convey our messages clearly and in depth.

Secondly, the blog gives us a chance to listen to you. Blogging is a two-way medium, and we look forward to learning more about education through your comments and feedback. If you’ve got something to say, let us know. We may not be able to reply to every comment, but we do promise that we read all of them.

Lastly, this blog will give us an opportunity to chronicle some of our experiences as Teacher of the Year. To some degree, this aspect is for our own benefit, but we hope that others may find some entertainment value in it.

Initially, this blog started as a blog to chronicle the experiences of the 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Mike Smart. At the end of his term, we decided to expand the blog so that all Minnesota Teachers of the Year, both current and former, could post. Presently, Derek Olsen (the current 2008 Minnesota Teacher of the Year) and Mike Smart (2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year) post as their schedules permit. If you are a former Minnesota Teacher of the Year and would like to join us, please contact Mike Smart and he’ll help get you started.

We also feel it would be helpful to mention what this blog is not. We do not include student stories that would violate the privacy of the classroom or embarrass students in any way. We believe strongly that students have a right to expect a degree of confidentiality when they work with a teacher. We don’t and won’t mention such matters publicly, whether in this blog or elsewhere.

This blog is free of advertising. Hosting fees and miscellaneous costs are generously provided by Education Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year program.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you find something of value.

Updated: August 12, 2008

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2 Responses to “Info”

  1. on 12 Sep 2007 at 9:24 pmJoe Lepley

    Mike, I read in the May issue of Ed MN that you have a connection to Japan. I would like to know more about this because the Winona school district has an exchange program wirh Misato in Myagi prefect. We are in the process of selecting our 25 ambassadors who will travel to Misato in April. My address at school is joseph.lepley If you are interested in knowing more, contact me. I’d like to learn more about your conncetion. Joe

  2. on 12 May 2008 at 8:42 pmKim Patzner

    Mike-I have been searching and searching for an elementary school program that includes a Japanese language class. I understand that Blake will be offering this next year but we found out too late and don’t think we would be able to afford the tuition even with assistance. My 8 & 9 year old love Japanese and have been studying with a private tutor for about 9 months. They will also go to camp this summer at Mori No Ike for 2 weeks. However I think that the best progress will be made with the daily lessons and practice that a classroom can provide. Any suggestions?

    PS- our family is hosting a Japanese exchange student for the 2008-2009 school year

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