Saturday, February 9, 2019

Mitchell Robinson: Want to Make Teaching Great Again? Here's How… | Eclectablog

Want to Make Teaching Great Again? Here's How… | Eclectablog

Want to Make Teaching Great Again? Here’s How…

A recent story in the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” focused on the fates of the 4 finalists for 2016 National Teacher of the Year…
Nate Bowling was the 2016 Washington state Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year. There were three other finalists who were the winners in their states that year: Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Shawn Sheehan of Oklahoma and Daniel Jocz of California. Hayes won the national title that year.
So what happened to the four in an era in which teachers are striking and speaking out about low pay, unfair evaluation methods, disrespect from policymakers and insufficient funding of their schools?
Are they all still teaching? The answer is no.
Given the current dishonest and deeply cynical narrative around “failing schools,” “poor scores by US students on international assessments,” and “the evils of the powerful teachers unions” that’s been promoted by none other than Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos–who is allegedly responsible for supporting and encouraging these schools and teachers–this really shouldn’t come as any surprise.
But the question remains: what can we do to keep more great teachers in the classroom? Here are a few suggestions for strengthening public education, and making teaching great again…
  • Create more space and room for growth for teachers: Give teachers more responsibility for creating curriculum, designing assessment tools, and determining school, district, and state policies.
  • Lower class sizes and make teaching assignments reasonable and manageable: An elementary music teacher with 600 students is educational malpractice just as much as a Kindergarten teacher with 40 students is.
  • Open up the curriculum, making sure kids have more choice in the courses they can take, and the opportunity to study music, art, drama, literature, history…not just math and science.
  • Get rid of standardized testing–there’s nothing “standard” about children, or teaching.
  • Pay teachers more, and ensure their benefits are fair and guaranteed.
  • Pay for teachers to attend professional development conferences–it’s the “R&D” of education, and teachers shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to spend their weekends and CONTINUE READING: Want to Make Teaching Great Again? Here's How… | Eclectablog