March 08, 2019
dallas teachers speak

Dallas Morning News columnist Sharon Grigsby delivered an excellent piece Friday showcasing the inspiring Dallas Teachers Speak project. This inspiring showcase of some 158 Dallas ISD teachers is a one-of-a-kind photographic art exhibit that will open Saturday, March 16 at the American Airlines Center, and will run through May. 

Plans are in the works to place the posters in the UNT System building downtown, libraries, Dallas City Hall and the state Capitol in April and May. 

The project was a collaboration between UNT Dallas School of Education dean Dr. John Gasko and artist Karen Blessen, the founder of the nonprofit organization 29 Pieces.

From Grigsby's article:

Most recently, Time magazine’s “I’m a teacher in America” cover stories pushed this narrative. The much-talked-about series focused on how thankless the job is — with headlines such as “I work two extra jobs and donate blood plasma to pay the bills” and “I’ve been laid off three times due to budget cuts.”

There’s something to these portrayals. You’ll get no argument from me that many teachers deserve better pay — and the Texas Legislature is working out plans to make that happen.

But those magazine covers didn’t do the teaching profession any favors. Who would want their kids educated by such stressed-out, downtrodden folks? And who would be crazy enough to choose a noble career in education after seeing only the grimmest examples of difficulties?

Fed up with all the gloom-and-doom headlines, John Gasko, dean of the University of North Texas at Dallas School of Education, and Karen Blessen, with her 29 Pieces nonprofit, counterpunched with magazine-cover-style posters that tell a far different story.

 The result is the Dallas Teachers Speak exhibit, which spotlights 158 of the district’s best educators.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Sharon Grigsby and the Dallas Morning News for featuring this important project. The print version will appear in the Saturday, March 9 edition of the Dallas Morning News Metro section.