John Kennedy is the junior U.S. Senator from Louisiana. He was elected in 2016 after serving as State Treasurer since 2000. A native of Centreville, MS, an hour’s drive north of Baton Rouge, he attended Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia law school and Oxford.
But what sets him apart from other lawmakers is that a decade ago he started substitute teaching in Baton Rouge schools several times a year. The decision to do so came after he sat in a committee room one day where elected officials were talking about elementary and secondary education and he realized no one really knew what they were talking about.
Since then he has learned that teaching is “an incredibly hard job because you not only have to be a teacher, you have to be a social worker, psychologist, nurse, mama and daddy.” He has also learned that it is hard to be a kid nowadays.
“Policy makers have to understand this,” he says. “You can learn more in one day in a classroom than you can in 100 hours of committee meetings or by reading 20 books.”
I could not agree more and have often said that in Alabama we should have a law that requires every member of the legislature to spend one day a year in a classroom, preferably in a high-poverty school.
Watch this interview with Senator Kennedy here. And then, why not send it to your state senator and state representative?