Monday, October 19, 2009

Teachers Need...

You may have noticed that the lesson ideas posted here are not prescriptive. In other words, they offer suggestions and choices to the teachers using them, along with a structure for thinking about what is important in the teaching and learning.

This is intentional. It is not that I couldn't present a script for direct use - first say this, then that, and finally the other - but rather that I don't believe that is a best practice.

Teachers should be treated with respect - respect for their motivation, for their knowledge, for their abilities. Requiring the use of a script presumes that without one the teacher would be unable to work effectively. I just don't think that is the case.

I do not believe lessons should be, as is sometimes recommended, 'teacher-proof', as if anything other than word-for-word lessons leads to inferior learning.

What I do think is that teachers need support in getting better at what they do; they need opportunities to work together to improve their practice; they need the time and space to reflect on their experiences and challenges; they need to be treated as the professionals they are.

You may want to read the article in Education Week at this link: Stress, Control and the Deprofessionalizing of Teaching for more thoughts on this topic.

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