As a public school teacher, I am deeply concerned about the future of my profession. The growing trend in education is an alarming move away from teacher-designed instructional strategies. Today, teachers find themselves buried under an avalanche of mandates and initiatives from decision makers who lack the perspective and knowledge of the classroom teacher.
Experience in public education has shown that there is not a problem for which there is not a program where money is being spent and bureaucrats are hard at work. Yet, top down bureaucratic directives have never represented a solution to any of the challenges in education.
Teachers are highly-trained, highly-skilled professionals. When given the power to innovate in the classroom, teachers will motivate, challenge and inspire our children to achieve their dreams. The best teachers in my life were not those who followed some pseudo theory of education designed by an “intellectual” working for profit.
They were unique, unorthodox and creative in teaching their students.
We must provide the same autonomy and freedom for today’s teachers to flourish.
If trusted, supported and respected, the teachers of this state can be counted on to educate the learners of the 21st century.
Michael R. Burgess