To support teachers by highlighting the critical importance of their work and amplifying their voices in policy debates about educational reform.Recently I have joined several colleagues in addressing our local School Board and Central Office regarding scheduling changes that have affected our ability to effectively provide a quality education to our students. These decision-making bodies are in a tough place and are dealing with a difficult financial situation. We have also been placed in a tough situation, having to make decisions that affect the quality of education for our students. We are having to choose between timely and quality feedback, breadth versus depth of content coverage, distributed versus massed practice, and unfortunately sometimes between the welfare of our families and that of our students.
I respect the difficulty of choices that the decision-makers must make, but I hope that the difficulty of the decisions that teachers are having to make are understood by the decision-makers. So far, I'm not sure how far our voices have travelled. We've shared our concerns with everyone who can make a difference. I go back and forth between believing that we've been heard and believing that we're being tolerated. Either way, I am convinced that both locally and nationally the teacher voice is perhaps the most important voice (second to only the student) in education policy and reform, but we spend too much time behind our classroom doors. That is one reason why I've shared the link today. It highlights the positive side of education and the individual stories of successful teachers.
Only time will tell if our efforts have made a difference in our district. As difficult as stepping out and raising our voices has been, our students are worth the trouble. I hope that all of our teachers, locally and nationally, will find their voice to advocate loudly and effectively on behalf of our students.