I recently retired from teaching.
I had the pleasure and good fortune to work with the finest group of people over the past 30 years – classroom teachers.
The solution to improving our schools is to allow these intelligent, creative, compassionate, and hard-working teachers to do what they do best – teach.
The solution is not to implement new programs and create “data-driven” schools. Instead, eliminate the constant testing and artificial reward programs and make schools a place for uninterrupted learning.
The classroom teacher is overwhelmed with useless tasks that do not improve learning. Teachers are bombarded with interruptions throughout the day, and are forced to sit through professional development that does not improve student learning.
Teachers need time to plan and do the essential work – preparing effective lessons for the students. And the one constant throughout my teaching career that affected my ability to effectively teach was class size.
Upon leaving, I had 32 to 37 students in my classes. This is too many for one human being to teach!
Perhaps if all the curriculum specialists were given a teaching position in a classroom with students, class size could be reduced and learning could be the priority in our classrooms.
I believe the best curriculum specialists are the teachers, and until this is recognized and all teachers are given better pay, our schools are doomed for failure.