mandela.schumacher.hodge10 months ago
"For one, America can start by giving teachers more voice in policy and practice. Our voices in the decision-making process have been nullified or patronized, an attitude reserved for a woman-dominated profession. Teachers shouldn't just have a seat at the tables currently reserved for wealthy businessmen, technology experts, policy wonks, fresh out-of-the-Ivy-League newbies, and politicians. They should get the opportunity to create the table, creating the consortia, and developing the protocols for how we discuss our profession. Respect for expertise goes a long way towards making teachers feel appreciated." I love this paragraph. However, I think waiting around for those in power to give teachers a seat at the decision-making table is not the right approach. I think teachers have to take it upon themselves to get involved in policy discussions and create a seat at the table for themselves. This was the message I was trying to get across in my article http://blog.tioki.com/why-i-do-what-i-do/. However, one thing I'd like to open up to you and your readers is how do you motivate teachers to want to get more involved in the policy-making process? There are several groups out there (e.g. TeachPlus, YEP, Educators4Excellence, Teachers for Social Justice) and websites (e.g. Tioki) available for teachers to get involved in the broader policy discussion; however, the biggest deterrent I most often times here as to why teachers are not participating is that they "don't have time." As a former district and charter school teacher myself, this rationale resonates with me and I genuinely sympathize with this sentiment. However, how can things get better for teachers, if teachers, themselves, don't demand they get better? Aside from the private conversations teachers have with their colleagues and family members, how do you convince them to invest their time in voicing their concerns and ideas for improvement in the larger public discussion? Thank you for your time and for writing such a thought-provoking piece!