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A concerned member of the human race

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Are the "Reformers" Making You a Better Teacher?

The current spate of ed. "reform" will never make teachers better at their trade.  If teachers lose tenure, we won't see improvements.  Instead, we will see many highly qualified persons turned off by the degradation of the profession.  There will be more brown-nosing accompanied by the very real fears that one unqualified and reckless administrator could wreak untold havoc upon an entire system. 

Have all the observations made teachers better at their trade?  If anything, APs may have become better, albeit grossly overworked, by observing so many teaching styles; teachers could benefit from the same.  Given the current method of observations, teachers are put on edge.  Many scurry to invite their supervisors in for six (now four) observations, all planned using elaborate technology and resources, generally not yet workable on a daily basis.  So, what happens on all the other teaching days?  Typical lessons, effective, but usually without all the bells and whistles.   Teachers have not become more effective, either in name or in practice.

Contrary to making teachers better, "the reformers" have forced teachers to focus more than ever upon prepping students for tests designed to take no prisoners.  Teachers will prep despite the hopelessness of the task.  After all, no one wants to lose his or her job or be among the causes of a school closure.  Teachers and students will charge and fall, or rather fail.  

I suppose in some ways all this school reform nonsense has made me think more about what I value in teaching and in learning.  I've more clearly defined these things, in order to defend them, the essence of my career, my calling.  My Core is not "Common."   Their Core is antithetical to the heart of my profession as well as my being.  It's now time to pull this reform into reverse, make its backup lights shine bright as the "beep, beep, beeps" follow it into oblivion.  

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