Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale. Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions?
You know, as a former teacher I’m not so sure it treats teaching that much differently than it does any other government job. Now hear me when I say “that much” differently – I think to an extent that statement is true, but I don’t believe that it’s completely true. BUT – since this post is all about teaching, I’ll focus on that…
I think in the teaching profession many teachers become stagnant because they believe how they teach, because it worked a few times, is what will be best for all time. Unfortunately with the way our world changes, this type of teacher eventually becomes an unsuccessful one which in turn trickles down to the students becoming unsuccessful. Many times in my teaching career did I see a teacher who just did what he/she had done year in – year out because that’s what they “knew” and they didn’t want to teach outside the box. And unfortunately, I saw the detriment it did to their students.
I believe our country has slacked off when it comes to keeping teachers accountable as well. Having a teacher attend a workshop doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she will then become a great teacher once again, it just means they took a few hours out of their weekend / summer break to do what they needed to in order to keep their license. There needs to be more of a focus on peer mentoring & collaboration in the schools. That is when you will see true motivation and less stagnation.
While reading the book: Mission Possible by Eva Moskowitz (Facebook, Twitter), she touched on a lot of this in the first few chapters. She discussed how in her successful charter school the teachers collaborate with one another to provide proper & effective teaching methods to their students. Yes, they still attend workshops, but it is actually applied in their classroom, not shoved to the side. Her book does a great job on really highlighting the true issues of schools that fail. I highly recommend reading it if you are interested in the teaching profession or if you are a teacher yourself.
I was compensated for this post but all opinions expressed are my own.