"We appear to be on a path to de-professionalize teaching. Implicitly we require teachers to teach to the test and evaluate them on student test scores. We seem eager to replace teachers with computers. We applaud Ivy League short timers as heroes. We revere studies that appear to be meaningful (i.e. students do better with good teachers) but resist actually paying teachers a professional wage. We demonize teacher unions.
In short, we are missing the point big time. If we want to liberate learning for all students, we need to liberate teachers and institute policies that professionalize teaching. To do that we need to dramatically overhaul the curricula of schools of education, demand excellence from teaching candidates, provide professional autonomy to teachers and reward success in the classroom with more than a pat on the back or a token bonus.
These are straightforward ideas, not original to me. Unfortunately, we suffer from political paralysis. Let’s get over it. Let’s be leaders in professionalizing teaching."
Most teachers unions are not demonic, but the simple fact is that as long as teachers act like blue collar workers, they will be treated like blue collar workers. We have to decide if we are professionals, like doctors and lawyers who work without unions, and take responsibility for ourselves...or if we are professionals of infrastructure, like teamsters. Only one will "liberate" teachers and give them "autonomy."
So true and well said.
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