- Teachers in Wisconsin have just lost their long-held right to bargain collectively, and other states are considering similar measures.
- Teacher tenure has come under heavy attack. A surprising number of critics assert (foolishly, we think) that if only the worst teachers in each school could be replaced, student achievement would suddenly increase in spades and test scores would rival those in other countries.
- Teachers are being told implicitly (and explicitly in many cases) that because they are ineffective, we need to look completely outside the fold of teaching and find alternate routes of licensing new teachers who can “fix this mess we’re in.” We believe alternate pathways can be effectively designed, but let’s not forget there are tens of thousands of already-licensed teachers in our communities who are unable to find work in the field.
- Teachers are forced to prepare students for a growing battery of standardized tests, tests that can’t measure the most important aspects of what it means to be educated.
- Teacher pay systems across the country are being re-written. While we agree that there is much to be improved upon in typical contracts, we are disheartened that so many critics think a better system involves linking pay to student performance on tests.
- And all of the above-mentioned challenges come with dramatically increasing class sizes, decreased funding at state and national levels, and the list goes on.
We stand with all those teachers across the country who continue to do amazing things for and with the children in their classrooms, in spite of all the maddening developments.
But let us not forget that it is also a good time to be a teacher.
- Every day our students look to us for help and leadership
- Every day we get to invest our whole being in nurturing kids
- Every day we help shape the future of our communities
Any day we have the opportunity to help, educate, mold, and inspire our youth is a darn good day.
Kyle Pederson & Joe Cotter, teachers and founders of Learner’s Edge