New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

Listen to Teacher's ideas first

There is no one more important in the learning of a child than the teacher. They are the most qualified persons to advise on what works, what doesn't, how performance should be measured and what they need in order to improve the education system and their student's learning.

 

So ASK THEM. Form each school individually and democratically, empower teachers and involved parents to generate their own ideas. Reach out to teachers you know and let them know about this site. Get teachers nearing retirement working side by side with younger teachers to start creating that generation arc. Ask them how their performance should be measured instead of imposing test score requirements (because there's nothing like fear of losing one's job to get kids learning!). This doesn't mean that the measurements won't be quantitative, just that (like any other professional) the metrics will be a more realistic representation of the teacher's successes and opportunities, not to mention it would enable more accountability (it's hard to make excuses for failing to meet goals that you set yourself).

 

Yes, there are bad teachers just like in any profession, but I think these are the exception. Most teacher's hands are tied by bureaucracy, burdensome testing procedures, inept administrators, and parents who employ babysitters with initials like TV and PS3. Most teachers care deeply about each child's learning and are ready to go to work fixing this thing. Yet it seems whenever reform is mentioned, the usual suspects drag out the usual tired ideas to fight about, and the voices of educators are quickly drowned out by the screaming of ideologues that claim to have all the answers for every child.

 

Again: There is no one more important in the learning of a child than the teacher. I received my endorsements but decided to work at a coffee shop after graduation because I made more money (really), now I do project management in supply chain systems. I would LOVE to teach, but it would be crazy to give up my salary and job satisfaction to deal with the constant harassment teachers get from every direction. It's amazing that we still have millions of teachers that care and are engaged at school every day.

 

To every teacher reading this: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Post your ideas in the comments or submit new. We want to hear from you.

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Idea No. 46