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Monday, September 26, 2022

Truth to power: About This Teacher Shortage: Our Policymakers and Reformers Have No Clue


Many policymakers and education reformers have little experience teaching. Those policymakers who have experience tend to make their way out of the classroom as quickly as possible. Sometimes I think it is because they never enjoyed teaching. 

They often desire to reduce teaching to some standardization formula. Often the very type of reforms dehumanize teaching and believe teachers are like mechanical parts on some assembly line. In the end, they do more to hurt the recruitment and retention of teachers than almost anything else. 

Dr. Elliot Eisner, Professor Emeritus of Education and Art at Stanford University, who brought a history of teaching in Chicago public school before he passed, describes six teacher satisfaction for teachers. I always love this one:

"Despite the beliefs of some well-intended technocrats, there are no recipes for performance, no teacher-proof scripts to follow. Teaching well requires improvisation within constraints. Constraints there will always be, but in the end, teaching is a custom job within which the teacher becomes an inseparable part of what is taught." 

If you like to read about his six teacher satisfactions? Dr. Larry Cuban's blog is well worth the visit.

Truth to Power: These policymakers and education reformers without genuine classroom experience have no clue how to recruit and retain our nation's public school teachers. 

We cannot standardize the desire to teach,

Dr. Turner 

CCSU Literacy Center Director 

Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes gave us a clue decades ago. Just in case you like to listen to this tune that inspired my morning walk. 

"Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way

Maybe then they'll listen to whatcha have to sayCause they're the ones who's coming up and the world is in their handsWhen you teach the children teach em the very best you can
The world won't get no better if we just let it beThe world won't get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me" 
Teachers, we can do this!