I have been reading (on and off) Rick Wormeli’s latest publication: The Collected Writings (so far) of Rick Wormeli and within the first 40 pages he puts forth a professional charge I think all people, not only teachers, should fulfill. He suggests, “write your personal list of what you would do if you were truly brave.” Although this sounds a bit like a bucket list (which I suppose it is), it’s more like a “Someday I Will…” list for your profession.
Here are my top 15 (in no particular order)…
1.) Require all administrators to teach at least 10-12 years before advancing into an administrative position–especially one in which he or she is required to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
2.) Get rid of tenure for the ability to negotiate promotions, salaries, bonuses, etc.
3.) Demand rationale (and then conversation and suggestions) concerning important decisions made by administrators and politicians that directly or indirectly affect teachers and students.
4.) Do away with traditional “grades” and move to a mastery-based evaluation system.
5.) Make learning more important than compliance.
6.) Create a fair and objective teacher evaluation tool that actually helps teachers improve.
7.) Do away with standardized testing.
8.) Create more intense, serious, and relevant teacher preparation programs.
9.) Abolish “everyone gets a prize” and “everyone wins”.
10.) Ease the cognitive dissonance many teachers have concerning doing what’s right and doing what they are told (is right) by those who do not understand education.
11.) Do away with SGPs. How a student performs on a test taken once a year should not reflect upon a teacher’s quality.
12.) Not allow any one person or group of people to determine the way a district or school runs. It should be a collective effort.
13.) Have administrators, parents, and community members trust teachers’ professional judgment concerning students, learning, teaching, and education in general.
14.) Do away with government intervention about “the right way to ‘do’ education” or at least go to Washington and teach officials about education and its importance to the future of our nation (as compared to the importance of power and money).
15.) Make it easier to get rid of incompetent, uncaring professionals in the educational field.
That’s my list (for now). What’s yours?