Publication Date: 2008-09-12
This is from the Education Week blog, Aug. 26,
These are the things teachers need:
1. Start with repealing the NCLB Act, high
testing, and programs like Bush's Reading
2. Have administrators who ask, "What do you
to do your job better and how can I help you
3. Get rid of the factory mentality currently
applied to schools. Schools are not factories
the factory model is inappropriate for
4. Fund smaller class sizes so that we can
address studentsÃ¢€™ needs more effectively and
5. Support from the public. We do not need
teacher bashing. If you can read this, thank
6. Have far less interference from
business folks, and standardistos telling us
to do. We know what we need to do. We live
7. Fund schools in needy communities so that
are on a par with schools from upper income
8. Have more opportunities for students to
courses in the arts.
9. Do not engage in behind the scenes
manipulations among business, politicians,
special interests groups who think they have
answers and only want to line their pockets.
10. Provide a salary we can actually live on.
you know that those in the home building
make more money than teachers?
11. Give teachers the opportunity to shape
own in-service education programs.
12. Stop interfering with the "quick" fix.
Schools should not be run by the quarterly
ala high stakes tests.
13. Free us from "bureaucratic" harassment.
let us do our jobs.
14. Focus on what we do for humanity and
understand that our students come from
homes, have different talents, interests, and
abilities. Let us address student diversity
instead of trying to make students all alike,
exercise in futility.
15. Stop developing standards by committee.
activity does not add value. Instead it is a
waste of resources. We know what to do.
we are the experts.
16. Understand that the Halliburtons of
education, the testing and publishing
only care about making money.
17. Get rid of the fear and punishment model
NCLB and high stakes testing. They take away
18. Quit comparing schools. Schools by their
nature are different, because the people in
schools are diverse.
19. Look at diversity as an asset, instead of
20. Give teachers a role in academic
21. Have administrators that teach as part of
their jobs. Many administrators have
what it is like to be in the classroom.
22. Allow teachers to select the school
administration from the ranks of the
and have the administrator rotate back into
23. Learn from other countries.
24. Allow for the diverse learning styles and
interests of all students.
25. Focus on what students learn not what
26. Get rid of the concept of mastery for it
an oxymoron. We never ever really master
27. Provide teachers with the materials and
resources they need. Many teachers spend
own money on the children they teach. What
profession so willingly does this?
28. Quit blaming teachers for the ills of
29. Quit insisting that we adopt whatever
solutions has been most recently concocted as
panacea. There is no silver bullet or magic
30. Understand that teaching is a "real time"
endeavor and teachers orchestrate many things
the same time.
31. Understand that teaching is mentally,
emotionally, and physically draining.
32. Think about your great teachers, and talk
about them, for they are true the true heroes
heroines, not the celebrities.
33. Provide planning time so we can
do our jobs.
34. Understand the difference between
and education, justice and the law, religion
morality, knowledge and isolated facts.
35. Understand that the curricular areas are
connected and that our job is to help
make connections, not just teach isolated
36. Provide us with resources for parent
education for parents are our allies.
37. Understand that the best people to
how well a student is doing are the student
himself/herself, the teachers, and the
parents/guardians in consort with one
38. Understand that no high stakes test score
even begin to tell one all there is about
learning. Standardized testing results are
broad strokes and are culturally biased and
limiting, and this practice does not add
39. Quit ranking, sorting, categorizing, and
labeling students, schools, and teachers for
is demoralizing. People blossom at different
times and at rates.
40. Stop micro-managing teachers and schools.
41. And for crying out loud, quit saying that
need better-qualified teachers. We are
or we'd be eaten alive by our students.
42. Walk in our shoes for just a week without
anyone telling you what to do. You would
out the classroom.
43. And quit managing by fear and punishment
thinking that the only thing that motivates
44. Understand that we are educating for
greatness - the long haul, not just for
to pass some high stakes test.
46. Remember the importance of local control
small school districts for they are better
to respond to student needs and this ever
45. Think before you open your mouth and say
another dumb thing about teachers. Know what
don't know, and you don't know teaching.
think that you have the answer for us, and
using education as a political football. Quit
being so arrogant and get out of our way.
us, and do no harm to us. Thank teachers.
How about the government sponsoring a
Teacher Appreciation Week. Now that would be
something of importance.
Yvonne Siu-Runyan, Ph.D. is a professional
educator with 40 years of experience. She has
taught grades K-12 (inclusive) in imaginable
unimaginable situations in Hawai'i, Michigan,
Ohio, Colorado, and California. She has even
taught in a one-room schoolhouse in a
of 200. In addition, Siu-Runyan has taught
levels in higher education - undergraduates,
post-bac, master's and doctoral degree
She has worked also at the administration
and provided in-depth inservice education to
teachers from various school districts and
communities. She is published in refereed
international, national, and state
and has presented internationally,
state-wide, and locally. A woman of color,
understands the power and value of diversity.
thanks her teachers!