The 46 Things Teachers Need!
1. Start with repealing the NCLB Act, high stakes testing, and programs like Bush's Reading First Initiative.
2. Have administrators who ask, "What do you need to do your job better and how can I help you do that?
3. Get rid of the factory mentality currently applied to schools. Schools are not factories and the factory model is inappropriate for education.
4. Fund smaller class sizes so that we can address students’ needs more effectively and help students learn.
5. Support from the public. We do not need more teacher bashing. If you can read this, thank a teacher.
6. Have far less interference from politicians, business folks, and standardistos telling us what to do. We know what we need to do. We live and breathe teaching.
7. Fund schools in needy communities so that they are on a par with schools from upper income neighborhoods.
8. Have more opportunities for students to take courses in the arts.
9. Do not engage in behind the scenes manipulations among business, politicians, and special interests groups who think they have the
answers and only want to line their pockets.
10. Provide a salary we can actually live on. Do you know that those in the home building industry make more money than teachers?
11. Give teachers the opportunity to shape our own in-service education programs.
12. Stop interfering with the "quick" fix. Schools should not be run by the quarterly report ala high stakes tests.
13. Free us from "bureaucratic" harassment. Just let us do our jobs.
14. Focus on what we do for humanity and understand that our students come from different homes, have different talents, interests, and
abilities. Let us address student diversity instead of trying to make students all alike, an exercise in futility.
15. Stop developing standards by committee. This activity does not add value. Instead it is a waste of resources. We know what to do. Remember, we are the experts.
16. Understand that the Halliburtons of education, the testing and publishing companies only care about making money.
17. Get rid of the fear and punishment model ala NCLB and high stakes testing. They take away precious energy.
18. Quit comparing schools. Schools by their very nature are different, because the people in schools are diverse.
19. Look at diversity as an asset, instead of a liability.
20. Give teachers a role in academic governance.
21.Have administrators that teach as part of their jobs. Many administrators have forgotten what it is like to be in the classroom.
22. Allow teachers to select the school administration from the ranks of the teachers, and have the administrator rotate back into the classroom.
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 they cannot do.
26. Get rid of the concept of mastery for it is an oxymoron. We never ever really master anything.
27. Provide teachers with the materials and resources they need. Many teachers spend their own money on the children they teach. What
profession so willingly does this?
28. Quit blaming teachers for the ills of society.
29. Quit insisting that we adopt whatever solutions has been most recently concocted as a panacea. There is no silver bullet or magic
30. Understand that teaching is a "real time" endeavor and teachers orchestrate many things at 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 and heroines, not the celebrities.
33. Provide planning time so we can thoughtfully do our jobs.
34. Understand the difference between training and education, justice and the law, religion and morality, knowledge and isolated facts.
35. Understand that the curricular areas are connected and that our job is to help students make connections, not just teach isolated facts.
36. Provide us with resources for parent education for parents are our allies.
37. Understand that the best people to determine how well a student is doing are the student himself/herself, the teachers, and the parents/guardians in consort with one another.
38. Understand that no high stakes test score can even begin to tell one all there is about learning. Standardized testing results are only broad strokes and are culturally biased and limiting, and this practice does not add value, but detracts.
39. Quit ranking, sorting, categorizing, and labeling students, schools, and teachers for it 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 we need better-qualified teachers. We are qualified 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 crawl out the classroom.
43. And quit managing by fear and punishment and thinking that the only thing that motivates us is money.
44. Understand that we are educating for human greatness - the long haul, not just for students to pass some high stakes test.
45. Remember the importance of local control and small school districts for they are better able to respond to student needs and this ever
46. Think before you open your mouth and say another dumb thing about teachers. Know what you don't know, and you don't know teaching. Don't think that you have the answer for us, and quit using education as a political football. Quit being so arrogant and get out of our way. Support us, and do no harm to us. Thank teachers.
How about the government sponsoring a National Teacher Appreciation Week. Now that would be something of importance.
August 26, 2008
thanks2teacher: YVONNE SIU-RUNYAN
Yvonne Siu-Runyan, Ph.D. is a professional
educator with 40 years of experience. She has
taught grades K-12 (inclusive) in imaginable and
unimaginable situations in Hawai'i, Michigan,
Ohio, Colorado, and California. She has even
taught in a one-room schoolhouse in a community
of 200. In addition, Siu-Runyan has taught all
levels in higher education - undergraduates,
post-bac, master's and doctoral degree students.
She has worked also at the administration center
and provided in-depth inservice education to many
teachers from various school districts and
communities. She is published in refereed
international, national, and state publications,
and has presented internationally, nationally,
state-wide, and locally. A woman of color, she
understands the power and value of diversity. She
thanks her teachers!