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Let your teachers have a voice!

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Teaching and Learning
August 18, 2015

Let your teachers have a voice! Why not?? In the past week I have read two articles that both stated teachers need more autonomy within their classrooms. Frank Bruni quoted Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, in an August 12, 2015 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed column. Among the solutions he mentioned for attracting and retaining quality teachers in the profession is “… giving teachers a voice, a real voice.”

As administrators, we all know that true success with our students, schools and districts begins with the teachers. They have such as impact and influence on not just the students but the school’s culture.  So why not give them a say in their day-to-day paths?

One of this past week’s top NPR stories was Five Big Ideas that Don’t Work in Education by Anya Kamenetz. Ms. Kamenetz stated that an alternative solution to school choice might be “teacher choice,” which would give power to parents if they could choose the “best teacher within a school.” And that “best teacher” would have that title because he or she had autonomy with respect to curriculum and pacing based on the needs of the students in that specific classroom. Empowering! You bet!

Invite your teachers to sit in on hiring committees, textbook committees, scheduling meetings, policy meetings–they are the agents of change with your leadership as a role model.

This is just a thought, but I have to ask again: Why not invite your teachers to join the conversation?

Have a good week and best to all for successful school openings.

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