WOW. This new article in the Atlantic is a must read: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/why-teachers-lie-about-their-classrooms/375099/
Last paragraph is most pertinent. “It’s no easy task for teachers. But I think we owe it, to ourselves if to no one else, to tell the most honest stories that we can. I’ll only advance as a teacher, and offer something of value to those around me, if I’m able to say what I do.”
Our role as instructional leaders is to make it easy and psychologically safe for teachers to be honest about their practice. Like all other professionals, teachers deserve the best in coaching, supports, and of course real mentoring if they are to not only be held to high performance standards, but seen as champions. I wonder how much we as leaders cause teachers to “lie about their teaching”.
Here’s a possible playbook:
School Principals and other Education Leaders: Up your supervision and teacher coaching game.
Members of the print and broadcast Media: Up your reporting game to shine a balanced light teaching in America, and recommit to respecting the profession.
Superintendents and School Board Members: Up your governance and policy game to ensure a REAL balance between rigorous teacher evaluation and coaching.
Lawmakers: Up your level of honesty about funding, standards, and societal standing your lawmaking places on teachers and teaching.
Parents: Up your use of power. Hold those mentioned above accountable. Vote. And, coach your kids to respect and embrace their teachers’ teaching
Teacher Unions: Rethink your advocacy away from so many current positions that do more to protect ineffectual teachers and less for upholding top teachers