Monday, August 1, 2011

Who Speaks for the Teachers?

Julie Ramsay and I have just concluded attending and participating in an extremely busy but very exciting NBPTS conference.  I do believe the caliber of speakers this year (Diane Ravich, Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond, 2010 teacher of the year---Sarah Brown-Wessling and Pedro Noguera) contributed to making this an outstanding and most memorable event.

Here are my reflections from NBPTS 11:

Good teachers' voices are not being heard nationally or locally.  Over and over again at this conference I heard the question,  “Who speaks for the teachers?”  How can we stop the “beatings” (i. e. negative press) and tell the story of how teachers are helping students achieve even when faced with less and less resources? How do we best communicate that teachers are the solution and not the problem?

We must become teacherpreneurs, not only of the National Board process, but of our student successes and of the teaching profession.  We need to become less humble and more active!

Administrators and legislatures need to trust teacher voices and allow them to make policy and decisions that affect the classroom.

Teachers need to also trust student voices so that they can be given the autonomy to make their own decisions in the learning process.

 Within this decade 50% of our nations teachers will retire.  If accomplished teachers don’t find their voice, the quality of the teaching profession may never recover.

Social networking is a powerful engine for teacher voices. I have seen this first hand through the response the network has received on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.  We need more of your thoughts and comments!

Finally, my hope is that the ALNBCT Network will become the vehicle in Alabama through which our voices will and must be heard.

Resources:

If you are on Twitter, check out #alnbctnetwork and #nbct11 for the latest on all of this year’s conference activities.

If you are not on Twitter check out our Resources tab for step by step instructions.

~Nancy Turpen

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