Monday, March 28, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen...I give you the COMMENT OF THE WEEK

interesting article: How to Raise the Status of Teachers Aside from
a pay increase, what are other ways of attracting high-quality
educators? Let Us Teach! Updated March 27, 2011, 07:00 PM
Vern Williams teaches honors math at Longfellow Middle School
in Fairfax County, Va. He was named to the National Mathematics
Advisory Panel in 2006. I really doubt that it is possible to raise
the status of teachers and teaching in the U.S. considering the
major stake holders currently involved in K through 12 education.
I understand why students in the top third academically refuse
to become teachers, while in Finland, Singapore and South Korea,
teaching candidates are selected only from the top third. Until
classroom teachers are allowed to make real decisions regarding
curriculum, assessment, textbooks and professional development,
the status of teachers will remain low. .What we, as teachers,
need to do is take back our profession. Most teachers will take
to the streets and protest over salaries, pensions and working 
conditions, but how many teachers would do the same if someone 
who has never taught their grade level or subject, imposed a 
new curriculum or demanded that certain pedagogy be followed? 
Until practicing classroom teachers are allowed to make real 
decisions regarding curriculum, assessment, textbooks and 
professional development, the status of teachers will remain 
low. At the moment, our profession seems to be in the hands 
of politicians, researchers, special interest groups, school system 
bureaucracies, unions, technology companies and textbook 
publishers. Even though I highly respected the members of the 
National Mathematics Advisory Panel I served on, I was the only 
practicing K through 12 teacher on the panel. Why should bright 
high school students decide to become teachers if they suspect 
that everyone will make decisions concerning their profession 
except them? In the 1990s, I spent three weeks during a few 
of my summers teaching for the Johns Hopkins University’s 
Center for Talented Youth. I found it fascinating how instructors 
were treated and respected. They were careful in who they 
hired, but once hired they trusted you to plan and teach your 
assigned course to your students without interference. Even 
though I was teaching sixth graders, I felt the prestige of a 
college professor. This is how teachers should feel each and 
every day in their classrooms if the status of teaching is to 
be raised.


  1. Getting a bit jumpy? Tis only Monday.

  2. Strike one for the ACPS Pre-Labor Day waiver.