Readers of this blog or of my book, The Influence of Teachers, know that I believe that the harsh criticism of teachers and their unions is largely undeserved. I also believe it is hurting public education.
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 below.
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.”
That seems to be consistent with a Met Life finding that most teachers feel they are being ignored. “A majority of teachers do not believe that teachers’ voices are being heard. Seven in ten teachers (69%) disagree with the statement that “thinking about the current debate on education, teachers’ voices in general have been adequately heard.”