Apr 6, 2011

If You Want To Support Teachers, Give Them Tools To Accomplish Their Goals

Tony Pedriana worked for over thirty years as a teacher, principal, and mentor in Milwaukee's central city. During his career as an educator, he has focused on improved pedagogy and professional development for teachers in reading. He is the author of “Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy.”
Ubiquitous among the pages of the StudentsFirst website is its appeal for increased teacher quality.  Some would view that as an indictment of the current teacher corps, and in some instances, it might well be the case.  But for the vast majority, it is perhaps the most powerful expression of teacher advocacy one could ever imagine.  What better way to show support for teachers than to demand that the educational establishment provide them with the best tools available to meet their goals for children?
Such advocacy would have served me well during my working years, especially with regard to reading.  Even though I had a license to teach in every grade, another that qualified me as a reading specialist, and yet another as an elementary school principal, I remained blissfully ignorant of a knowledge base that could have served my inner city kids to a far greater extent. 
It wasn’t until I took it upon myself to look beyond the conventional wisdom of reading pedagogy that I discovered that rigorous science, replicated by distinguished scholars over some five decades, had shown quite elegantly how we could teach all children to read, regardless of life circumstance.  And yet such reading science was conspicuous by its absence from virtually all of my pre and post-service training.
In its call for increased teacher quality, StudentsFirst is looking to change such a dynamic, one in which teachers are denied the product of legitimate science, then cast as the default scapegoat for student failure.  In this age of accountability, one couldn’t ask for a better expression of support.      

No comments:

Post a Comment