I was once told by an Athletic Director that those who criticize your work are in the vocal minority while those who support you are in the silent majority. I didn’t really want to admit that this was true and it took me some time to come to terms with this, but it really hits this subject on the head. My current principal and I have had this conversation recently as well when dealing with what it takes to get people to follow directions. If you take the time to think about it, I believe you’ll see that it makes sense and is applicable to what we do in our classrooms every single day.
There’s been a ton of talk lately concerning what needs to be done to reform the educational system in our country – and as I’ve said before, it’s warranted in many situations. But in all of this talk we are losing focus on something that is very important: there are a ton of teachers who day in and day out are working their butts off to get the students they are working with to the next level – whatever level that may be.
I came across this quote this morning through Alexander Russo’s twitter feed: This is not a war on teachers en masse. It is recognition of what every parent knows: Some teachers are exceptional, but a small number are dreadful. – Eric Hanushek
The problem I see with this statement is that not all parents know that some teachers are exceptional. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is that all teachers are being attacked when any teachers are attacked. We all should take offense at the fact that people think of our profession negatively and we need to change this attitude. One way that we can achieve this is to do something about the small percentage of teachers who are bringing us down in the eyes of the public.
Meaningful dialogue on how to evaluate teachers and determining what great teaching looks like must occur. We must be leaders in this sector and make our voices heard – and our voices must become the positive vocal majority if we want to effect positive change in our industry.