The shift away from efficiency and stretching in education
Did you know that 25 percent of teachers said they have given up on an assignment due to being overwhelmed with reports, tasks, or tasks that are more onerous than their students’ needs? Has your classroom gotten too hectic to mentor and support your best teachers? Does the busier class times and deadlines mean you missed the opportunity to give your teacher a quality extra day off? If you have fallen short in your coaching, you are not alone. Many teachers feel overwhelmed and discouraged about their abilities to manage their classroom time effectively. But your success as a teacher also depends on having a clear understanding of the relationships between you and your teachers. And, if you do not coach or mentor your teachers, you are ignoring your own good teachers’ skills and plans for growth. Making matters worse, not enough teachers are receiving coaching or assistance to deal with the issues that are holding them back. Unless we work together to find solutions for the issues causing problems and stagnating growth, some talented teachers will leave their profession. It’s no surprise that with the average teacher starting salary in the $40,000s, many teachers consider multiple sources of income to supplement their own teaching incomes and families. A Partnership to Build a Better Future for Teaching and Learning Starts with a Professional Growth Program that is Developed and Learners Enjoy.
But all of this is changing. To help all teachers better prepare and grow, Devora Kaye-Mlodinow founded the Alliance for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (AETL). By partnering with and leveraging existing programs that focus on the support of teachers, the Alliance plans to place a new emphasis on leadership, teacher education, and professional development for teachers. While the starting salary for teachers is not as high as some people would like, AETL’s vision is for teachers to have the tools they need to become better, more effective teachers. On average, teachers face three things that collectively stop them from becoming the best that they can be in their classrooms:
Efficiency – A growing focus on STEM curriculum has taken away time that could be spent teaching new skills or techniques.
Expanding – The expectations of teaching a greater number of students requires teachers to make more time to learn new techniques or strategies for their students’ growth.
Learning – Teacher time is reduced as research shows that teaching does not pay as well as non-teaching professions, such as technology.
A better way forward is a strength-based approach that focuses on the types of competence building professional skills needed by teachers to teach the best ways to inspire kids to learn. This doesn’t mean that all teachers need one year of training, it just means that all of the barriers to improving their overall quality of teaching could be addressed by a year of coaching, leadership, and professional growth.
This is a good topic to share in a staff luncheon. I recently found this article and wondered if it could be a topic that you want to explore. Here are a few questions you can ask your best teachers, in your regular, time-consumed, no-jargon way.