- Teachers should be 'developed', not 'fixed'
- Teachers need a wide variety of leadership opportunities
- More time needs to be devoted to teachers sharing best practices with a broad audience
- A new culture that emphasizes teachers sharing with each other and being given time to reflect is essential
If you've read my previous post on Keeping Up With #edtech, you know that I listen to the Edsurge Podcast. This week, they had Barnett Berry, CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality, interview and talk about his ideas around teacher development. It's not very often that I find myself still thinking about a podcast episodes days after I've listened to it. I found his interview particularly interesting and his perspective very refreshing. Below are my "bullet point" takeaways from the episode.
The language we use to describe the teaching profession and teacher development plays a huge role in the way teaching is viewed by both the public and prospective teachers. I appreciate the way Berry was very conscious of the way many pieces of legislation come across as methods for 'fixing' teachers. I also really appreciated the way he compared the teaching work load of a teacher in the US compared to other countries. I used to tutor English for teachers in South Korea, and the way they descried the day of a teacher aligns with Berry's characterization - a much larger portion of the day is spent on professional development and teacher leadership. I believe these two changes would have a HUGE impact on the teaching profession.
When Berry was talking about the importance of sharing best practices, I immediately thought of the goals of Project Cam Opener - a community of DPS teachers focused on sharing their teaching practice. Teachers are encourage to record both classroom practices and reflections and share them with others. I'm believe more communities like this will and should be created to help teachers engage in this valuable process. You can hear more about all of these topics in the episode below.
What do you think? What other underlying assumptions about teachers are preventing the elevation and progress of the teaching profession? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Mattea Juengel is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools.