Month: October 2016

A Teacher’s Bill of Rights

A Teacher’s Bill of Rights

I  To ensure that there is authority commensurate with responsibility for the instructional task. The teacher has the right and responsibility to ensure her professional needs are met before engaging in instruction.

II. To determine student level of readiness and freely devise a plan for growth based on the understanding that the teacher is a professionally prepared person with expertise and access to required resources.

III. To educate the student, parent and other stakeholders on the rights of the teacher to practice her profession.

IV. To define “respect” for students, parents and stakeholders in order to establish a foundation for positive outcomes. The desire, willingness and availability of a teacher is the first sign of respect.

V. To practice free of slander, harassment, disparagement or hostility whether from  personal, media, legislative, parental or community sources.

VI. To practice professional skills and expertise without administrative interference or hostility.

VII. To organize the educational setting, according to variable configurations, based on the professional determination of teacher and student need, including teacher-student ratio.

VIII. To elect a paid sabbatical every five years in order to replenish, renew and reinforce professional skills and the mental and emotional stamina required for the practice.

IX. To withdraw teaching services if they are not being received with the foundational relationship necessary for the practice of education. If the baseline respect, rapport and trust necessary for teaching has not been reached or cannot occur without outside pressures,hostility or distractions, the teacher will not be available for instructional endeavors.

X. To exercise professional autonomy in all factors necessary for education to occur, including the commensurate authority to hold stakeholders accountable for the disruption they promote which impedes instruction.

mandela

So Stop Trying To Do It Without Respecting Teachers as Professionals

Did I Miss Anything?

Thanks to Tom Wayman for this succinct expression of teacher disenfranchisement when being asked this question.

I wanted to include it here because there are people who actually ask the question of what this means, which is cause for further despair.

Tom is a Canadian teacher. I also wanted to include it because these sentiments are occurring all over the world.

The third reason is his gender. As a man he still experiences the total disregard that women have been experiencing during their careers as teachers. When a man expresses what women have been expressing, people tend to forego attributing it to our gender’s disadvantages. It is less likely to be seen as “just something she doesn’t like” or other whim.

When I want a student to consider another topic, for example, for a speech or essay, trying to get them to think I little more deeply, I am met with “Well, she didn’t like it so I changed it.”

Karen Armstrong, an Oxford graduate, noted thinker, and author of numerous lauded books on God and religion, discovered this same disregard while a teacher in England, described in her memoir The Spiral Staircase.

And lastly, he is my age, but I imagine we both came to feel like this some years ago.

Here are Tom’s words:

“Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here

we sat with our hands folded on our desks

in silence, for the full two hours.tom-wayman

Everything. I gave an exam worth

40 percent of the grade for this term Continue reading “Did I Miss Anything?”