What Do Teachers Want? RESPECT
I digress in this blog, no mention of new and noteworthy apps, no tributes to awesome developers, no bemoaning lack of teacher training in regards to mobile technology... Soon, school is starting and this seven letter word has been on my mind for weeks. Please indulge me and check out the links to some interesting people involved in education and read their take on what is going on. If you're a teacher, please leave a comment - did I nail it or am I way off base?
"We need to begin to define what we mean by a professional educator, a person who is the steward of this system and who accepts, as an individual responsibility, the support and maintenance of a high level of general education and intelligence, for all members of a society, in support of the individual and social good. I suggest it is a role that has very little to do with content delivery, very little to do with standardized curriculum, very little to do with textbooks and classrooms, and is only orthogonally attached to educational institutions." This quote, from Stephen Downes' blog Half an Hour, is what initiated the copy and paste on my part and what I think it all boils down to RESPECT.
Teachers and students deserve to be treated with respect by one another and by all others in the school setting. We all also need respect when we are not in school. Parents need to be respected, as well as parents respecting their children, and others around them, no matter what the differences in religion, culture, or color. Adults and children need to learn how to speak directly to each other in a respectful, positive, non-patronizing manner. Years ago in my classroom, I had a teacher-made poster that read:
“You give respect - to get respect”
Simple indeed, but a very powerful message. Watch this video of what some students want in a teacher.
Here is what the candidate for Mayor of New York City, Tom Allon, writes about our present educational landscape, What Do Teachers Need? R-E-S-P-E-C-T! "If we train teachers the way we train doctors, we will have the right model at last. After the operating room, probably the most fraught and important room in America is the classroom. There is another intangible thing necessary to lift our country out of our downward spiral: R-E-S-P-E-C-T for teachers and the teaching profession."
John Merrow wrote in his blog, Taking Note, a post titled, What do teachers want? : "In the clamor, the voices of regular classroom teachers are difficult to hear, which is why I am devoting this blog to them. With apologies to Sigmund Freud, 'What do teachers want?' Some answers to that question can be found in recent surveys by Met Life and the Gates Foundation/Scholastic. I include some of those findings. Renee Moore, a veteran teacher who is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, says it’s all about respect. 'Highest on my list,' she wrote, 'would be more respect for the professional expertise of teachers, particularly for those of us who have shown consistently, year-after-year that we are highly accomplished teachers'." One of the comments to the blog post from John Thompson was, 'Definitely, what most teachers want is respect. Coming from higher ed and politics, the difference in the disrespect I received as a teacher was unbelievable. I came from alternative certification so I refused to accept many of the indignities that were routinely dumped on us. But, if you want to stick it out, you have to learn to ignore the insults'."
Ron Clark, a highly regarded education professional, wrote in CNN: Parents, Leave Your Kids’ Teachers Alone!
- Trust the teacher. When a teacher tells you about a problem with your child, just believe them and try to deal with it. Don’t fact check the teacher and especially don’t ask your child if what the teacher claims is true. Why would they lie?
- Never display the lack of respect for a teacher in front of a student. Great point right? Because if you don’t respect the teacher, why would your kid behave any differently?
From edutopia to edudemic, the message is loud and clear... Sing it, Aretha... R-E-S-P-E-C-T.