Wake Up Teachers! Your Profession is Being Made Redundant
Wake up teachers. Your profession is being made redundant w discussions like this from Brookings. http://brook.gs/1jnE27B
More importantly, children are being left behind as "reform" addresses everything but learning!
Once again yet another article focused on what matters least in a discussion about improving the teaching and learning of our K-12 students. At the same time that the discussion of pay (for performance) pretends to offer solutions to our dying public school system, cheap, temporary labor provided by and for billion$ of non-profits like TFA, NSNO, charters and other privatization service providers are pushing out the K-12 teaching profession by facilitating its stagnation.
Our very own La. State Board next week will approve two new charter authorizers to flood the Baton Rouge "region" with start up charters. Next will come John White's push for TAP in the guise of mentorship and pay incentives for "teacher leaders." Just like Race to the Top which was sold as an option for those districts who wanted it, these two initiatives to privatize our schools devoid of local control and to further distract teachers from demanding real progress and innovation for improving teaching will quickly become mandatory statewide. The only way you can stop it is to offer real solutions and demand your local school boards and administration to support them.
Although teachers are human and would love to be paid high salaries at ANY point in their careers (which is why schemes like TAP and VAM to "reward" a very few teachers are enticing) they typically don't enter the teaching profession for the money. There is no denying that the end of career salary boost, that finally ensures a hard earned retirement benefit, keeps some teachers in the classroom longer than their capacity to endure the never-increasing level of respect along with the ever-increasing level of responsibilities would otherwise allow. But disincentivizing teaching as a career where experience could and should lead to improved outcomes is ill advised.
It is rare to read any blog or research that suggest how the teaching profession really needs to be transformed to fit the current and future needs of our children. Gone are the days when a teacher can earn her certification, teach 130+ kids a day five days a week from the first to the last day of the +/- 9 month school year, independently seek out summer professional development which she typically funds out of her own pocket, return year after year to pretty much the same conditions which she entered 30 years prior and then retire.
Students need their teachers to be up to date technologically with the opportunities, release time and support to be continuously learning to meet the needs of a brave new world. Teachers need to figure out why and how they are irreplaceable and become the masters of their professions. Little has changed in teacher education or the classroom to improve teaching while the wasted focus on measurement is paving the way for unsatisfactory and ineffective replacement by anyone seeking to make a fast buck with faux silver bullets.
Wake up teachers. Time to change the stakes and take the reins of your profession. It's not going to be done FOR you.