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Want Better Schools? Exalt Great Teachers

Written by Zoe Weil | 1 Comment | Published on March 28, 2011 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2011/03/28/want-better-schools-exalt-great-teachers/

For my blog post today, I’m sharing an essay I wrote that was published on Common Dreams.org, a progressive news site. Here’s a short excerpt:

 

“We all have our stories of bad teachers. Most of us have memories of being bored, frustrated, anxious, and often miserable at school. We love our great teachers, and we remember them fondly and with gratitude, but for too many of us, they are too few in number to offset the bad and mediocre ones. Thus, teachers as a whole are commonly vilified, and the field of teaching is often perceived as a ‘semi-profession.’ The incompetent teachers really do have seemingly cushy jobs where they work little and get paid far more than they’re worth. And the great ones are often perceived as heroes and saints, but not as the standard toward which we should aim, nor as professionals worthy of six figure salaries. And thus we perpetuate the cycle of mediocrity.

It is obvious that we cannot have great schools without great teachers, but what is less obvious is that we will be hard-pressed to build a preponderance of great teachers while we are demeaning the profession in the public sphere; diminishing the status of teachers, and paying them salaries that are not competitive with those of other professionals. This is why I believe that we must transform our discourse on teaching. We should exalt the profession.”

Read the complete essay.

For a humane world,

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach

Image courtesy of kitty.eden via Creative Commons.

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