5 Things to improve the teaching profession right now
We all complain about the state of education and the lack of new teacher candidates, but what can we do to change the conversation about education in our country (other than raising teacher salaries, which is a given)?
I went to Twitter, and through the @TeachBetterTeam and #Masterychat, I was able to ask this question to hundreds of educators. I’ve compiled their responses into six categories. Check back on Friday for a post with actionable strategies for how we can create change in each of the six categories.
Please leave comments below to share your opinions on the suggestions here or to add your own suggestions!
1. Change public perception
2. Support future teachers better
@alisonstoneCBSD We need better teacher preparation programs. Students need to be in the classroom sooner and need to be mentored longer. They need classes in cognitive biology so they understand how learning occurs. #masterychat
@GuidingTeachers A2 #MasteryChat better mentoring programs. College classes that offer more nuts and bolts of the job. Less overwhelming paperwork so novices can spend time planning. PLCs are great for novices and everyone-add to schedules at least twice a week.
@LearningGiant Our school has an ed prep program in it. They visit schools and learn alongside teachers. If they continue on, they can get a full ride to a local university which would allow them to student teach in our district. #masterychat
@dcpsmoss Make interviews more about getting to know the person; pedagogy will come through in their answers about themselves. People need to know you care about them, not just their content knowledge.
3. Support new (& current) teachers better
@TechieTeachOtt A2 I would like to see first (and even second) year Ts have a reduced class load (and not have it filled up with unnecessary meetings). I know that it is not really all that possible to do because of the way schedules work out, but new Ts need that extra time! #masterychat
@Daniel1Teach Equip & Empower them!! Give them the tools they need through intentional & purposeful PD to help them continuously grow! Ensure they have a strong mentor who will also help guide them through the first few years!! Let them know it is ok to take risks & fail!!
@GrayMttrs Most cite working environment as a reason for leaving EDU. We have got to provide our educators a safe & encouraging space where it is okay to admit that not every day is full of unicorns & rainbows. There’s no shame in admitting that or asking for help! #masterychat
@mrspmathworld Yes! We talk so much about what Ss need and how to support them but we forget that we also need to support and take care of our Ts.
@LearningGiant Give them a community. Develop shared language & understandings of what we all want and then work together to ensure that happens support when we struggle. As one of my division heads told me, you will spend more waking hours at work than with your family. #masterychat
4. Give teachers more respect and, therefore, more freedom
@MsHake418· “Everytime we turn around we are hearing about what we are losing, and mostly control in our own classrooms as everyone tries to tell us how to do our jobs. Trust us as professionals like other professions. That would be a start.” #masterychat
@GuiseGotTechEd A2: promote more collaboration opportunities. One of the leading causes of teachers leaving the profession is stress. Help each other progress together and cut down on the teacher workload. Share share share. #MasteryChat
5. Recognize/respect teachers for the work they do and the impacts they make
@AnangFoncha Support teachers morally and materially. Help them be inspired to teach even with didactic support and mere congratulatory messages. Be opened to teachers, not condemning even the worst, but rather encouraging them to bring out their very best.
@ElYaafouriELD Provide opportunities to feel valued as experts in our craft. Most teachers feel forever shy of the (arbitrary)”standards.” The fact is, we’re HERE. We’re showing up tough work. Sometimes, the recognition that our work is meaningful and essential is attraction enough.#masterychat
@DeppsDon Empower teachers 100. Create a school culture that promotes shared ownership, collaboration and peer respect! Allow teachers to take top off learning with the freedom to be creative, adapt next practice and the support to grow from failures! #MasteryChat#ChasingGreatness
@culliope a culture that is collaborative, collegial, celebrates growth and smart risk taking, assumes good intentions and provides support and allows for vulnerability and learning for ADULTS and KIDS would make people feel much more valued, valuable and supported #masterychat
BONUS: Change laws about testing, loan forgiveness
@ESTangelia First, eliminate high-stakes testing that drives so much of the pressure in schools. Then, provide quality support and mentoring for new teachers. Also, treat us like professionals with the same respect granted to other professionals. #masterychat
Check back on Friday for actionable steps that you can take right now to improve the future of education.
Make sure to share, sweet, and pin to share these ideas beyond the education community. The more people who commit to improving the teaching profession the more hope we have for the future.
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