After a 10-year career in advertising and PR, I attend the University of Pennsylvania to get an MSEd in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. After teaching grades ranging from Kindergarten to 7th, I returned to UPenn to earn a Doctorate in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. Since then I have moved into educational administration. I now work as a consultant, supporting the work of schools, districts, associations, state boards of education, and private companies -- all to improve teaching and learning for students.
Over the past few months, I’ve had heart wrenching conversations with many teachers — experienced, passionate, wonderful educators. Most of them are thinking of leaving the profession after 15, 20, 25 years. Why? Despite their belief in the importance of the work, despite how much they enjoy working with the students … the lack of respect, poor compensation, and limited leadership prospects are becoming overwhelming. We’re fast approaching the tipping point where we simply won’t have qualified teachers available for one of the most important jobs in our society.
Education is a profession that relies heavily on talent but doesn’t invest in it. The average school district has only one recruiter for every 2,000 students. Sixty percent of districts don’t post job openings on social media. Only 6 percent have applicants teach a lesson as part of the hiring process, and two-thirds don’t even interview prospective teachers.
In Finland, by contrast, one of the highest-performing countries for education, it’s easier to become a doctor or a lawyer than a teacher…
The verdict is in … traditional approaches to teacher evaluation aren’t working. See the recent Randreport assessing the multi-year, multimillion dollar Gates effort, that found: “the initiative did not achieve its goals for student achievement or graduation, particularly for LIM students. ”
But there is a way to get evaluation right … for the past several years I have been working with schools who are intentionally designing systems that build collective efficacy. Join me at the IB Conference in Vienna this October to learn how to get evaluation right, or contact me at Tigris Solutions.
Only 31 percent of teachers reported that they have sufficient time to collaborate with other teachers.
Teachers who reported having greater opportunities and time for collaboration consistently reported higher levels of collaboration activity, regardless of the type of collaboration in question.
Peer observation was the least common form of peer collaboration, with 44 percent of teachers reporting that they never observed another teacher’s classroom to get ideas for instruction or to offer feedback in a typical month.
Access “The Prevalence of Collaboration Among America’s Teachers” here.
It’s always rewarding to co-host with my friend and colleague Rich Wilson … but today was extra special. Conversations with 20+ dynamic youngsters at the NJ GSA Forum. They dove right in, shared their stories, made new friends, and created action steps for themselves.
Can’t say enough about Dylan Marron and his podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me. His strategy of holding space for people who have published racist and homophobic things about him is evidence that there is incredible power in having these conversations, if only we are willing to engage.
NYTimes has an interview in today’s magazine section. Although given an unfortunate title, it’s worth reading and hopefully inspires a visit to his podcast.
Amazing proaction café as a follow up to last spring’s idea generation to support the LGBTQ+ community. Great conversations with definitive action items to push the work forward. The wisdom is in the room!