A change in culture

We need to change the culture to support teachers.

Photo of Heather Tyler
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Ever been in a parent-teacher conference where a dentist tells you how to do your job or a winemaker rolls her eyes as she tells you her child wants to be a teacher?  

Ever turn on the TV to hear the news tell you just how much you're failing our nation's children?

It seems like it is inherently ingrained in our culture to be anti-teacher. Teachers aren't professionals, teachers don't know what they're doing.  When this is a consistent message, it's not hard to see why teachers become disillusioned, defensive, and adverse to new ideas.  

I don't have a clear, concrete solution to help change the culture at the school, education, and country-wide levels.  I've been looking, and I don't know that there is one.  But the Teacher's Guild wants ideas no matter how far fetched or undeveloped and I know that in order to support teacher leaders there needs to be a multifaceted approach to change how we think about teachers.  

We need support from all levels- politicians, policy makers, media, administration, parents, and teachers.  We need to change how we think about and look at teachers.

How could a growth mindset help? What about design thinking?  Would looking at examples of corporate culture help? Do we need to form an advocacy group?

Even Dana Goldstein, education writer and author of The Teacher Wars didn't have a clear answer in her recent interview in California Educator magazine. http://educator.cta.org/i/602151-november-2015/47?

I know that changing culture is a long process and would likely need to be approached from many angles.  And that it will likely be frustrating (what isn't in teaching)?

I would love help thinking about how we can become a bigger force for culture change.  Ideas?

Another possible resource, haven't had time to read it fully: http://www.ncca.ie/en/About_Us/Strategic_Plan/leading_and_supporting_change.pdf

1 comment

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Photo of Sarah Lundy

Heather, this culture shift is VITAL & parallels what Trevor C. is ca;;ing for in the post,
"Celebrity Status!

What if teachers with really special skills were treated like STARS?". 

I don't know where to begin to shift the devaluing of our profession that so many of us have experienced too many times (especially demoralizing in the midst of a parent-teacher conference!) but I want to be part of the conversation that you & Trevor C. have started!