6 actionable steps to improve the teaching profession
I went to Twitter, and through the @TeachBetterTeam and #Masterychat, I was able to ask hundreds of educators: what we can do to recruit and retain more quality teachers (other than raising teacher salaries, which is a given)? I’ve compiled their responses into six categories. On Tuesday I posted the six categories with the tweets that inspired them. Today’s post is about actionable strategies for how we can create change in each of the six categories.
Please leave comments below to share your opinions and add your own suggestions!
1. Change the public perception of education in the United States
Actionable steps: (1) Talk realistically, but positively about the teaching profession to peers, colleagues, and the greater world on social media. (2) Share success stories made possible by education. (3) Thank your teachers past and present publicly and make it known how they have impacted your life.
2. Support future teachers better
Actionable steps: (1) Get future teachers into classrooms sooner with longer mentor-ships. (2) Implement and encourage students to participate in “future teacher” programs/classes in high school. (3) Ed. School classes –or at least one class–that prep future teachers for the reality of teaching beyond theory (paperwork, behavior, classroom set-up, communication with administration, etc.)
3. Support new teachers better
Actionable steps: (1) Smaller class size, or extra planning time with a mentor teacher. (2) Administration and veteran teachers commend new teachers when good things are happening in their classrooms. Constructive criticism must be paired with positive feedback. (3) Allow new teachers to try new things and “fail forward.”
4. Give teachers more respect and, therefore, more freedom
Actionable steps: (1) Allow veteran teachers to try new things and “fail forward.” (2) Provide more collaboration opportunities during school hours. Share share share. (3) Don’t automatically blame the teacher if a student is failing. Create a culture of collaboration, rather than combat, between struggling students and teachers.
5. Recognize/respect teachers for the work they do and the impacts they make
Actionable steps: (1) Central office and school admin solicit teacher feedback and use it in decision making more often. (2) Create a school culture that promotes shared ownership, collaboration and peer respect (3) Thank a teacher, past or present, in person, online (share that thanks on social media), or via mail.
6. Change laws about testing, loan forgiveness
Actionable steps: (1) Petition local and federal governments to reduce stressful, high stakes testing. (2) Push local and federal governments to provide more (& better) opportunities for loan forgiveness for teachers.
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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