A Crossroads in Education

I have always been the teacher to share.  In fact, if you ask me for my opinion about something in education, you may never shut me up again.  As a Literacy Coach in my county, this was a wonderful trait, as you get the most "Bang for Your Buck" by providing meaningful in-house staff development.  I couldn't understand when teachers refused to share their fantastic strategies with other teachers.  I had been in their classrooms; the work they were doing with their classes was nothing short of phenomenal.  Sadly, now I see where that refusal to share was coming from.

The collaborative climate, where teachers freely exchanged ideas and tips, is turning.  Some teachers are starting to figure out that they can shine (in the eyes of their administration) by NOT sharing.  At all.  Not strategies, best practices, how they would deal with a behavior issue, community resources to help a student in need, nada.  In many school systems, teachers are being pitted against each other in order to get increased contracts (no tenure = no job security from one year to the next) and even linking the performance of the students to the pay they use to raise their own families.  Here's an amusing yet scary video from the North Carolina Association of Educators...  (Please note: this is not a union, or anything close.  In NC, teachers are not allowed to unionize.)



Why is this a bad idea?  Because it pits teachers against their team members, trying to get better scores on a test.  In NC, it is a part of our evaluation, whether we teach tested grades, kiddos with special needs, students who have been learning English for 3 years, affluent communities, inner city schools, etc.

The fact is, every child is society's responsibility.  Shouldn't we do our best to help every child in every classroom, even if they are not in our own?  That's why I have always been an advocate for the students in my school.  That's what I try to do with this blog, and through my daily stewardship in the public school system.  We are at a crossroads, America.  I assure you, teachers are not the incompetent bad guys we are (occasionally) portrayed to be.  Think back to the teacher who spent a bit more time to encourage you, who sparked an interest, who taught you to read, or write, or be creative...

{Source of This Amazing Infographic}
Here's a picture of the supremely awesome shirt my Kinder son made in class last Fall!  <<Swoon!>>  His teacher is amazing!!!  Love it!


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