I am sure we have all heard the old adage, “Those who can, do. And those who can’t, teach.” Unfortunately, I think that is how a lot of our society thinks. With this thinking, teachers aren’t getting the respect that they deserve, and that lack of respect is why teaching isn’t looked at the same as other professions. Teachers simply aren’t viewed as professionals in the eyes of most of society; to some, they are just glorified babysitters. I am not a teacher. However, I have spoken to a few of my friends that are teachers, and they mention that the lack of respect and support is the main reason why a lot of teachers have low job morale.
There was a time when teachers were respected by students, parents, and others in the community. Now, it’s just the opposite; the administration doesn’t seem to value their teachers or their views. The administration will often take the side of a parent when situations arise, instead of standing up for their teachers. When the administration steps in, instead of it being to see how things are going and to offer support, teachers often worry that it’s more to see what is going wrong. As a result, they don’t feel secure in their jobs. In fact, teachers have become the scapegoat for a lot of the problems in education. Parents are quick to take the side of their child when addressed with disciplinary problems. Today’s parents’ mindsets are so different from the parents of the past. They are so worried about making sure their child is happy and not mad with mommy or daddy. So, they don’t discipline their child, even when the child is being blatantly disrespectful and out of order. This sets the wrong example for the child, and the tone in the classroom is forever changed.
Another complaint I hear from teachers is that they are having to take directives from administrators who, a lot of the time, haven’t ever stepped foot into a classroom to teach. They are being told what to do without even being asked their opinion on whether or not it makes sense. They also are being denied resources they feel would help in their job. Teachers, for the most part, aren’t getting any additional training and often times are fearful to mention when they are having a hard time in certain areas because they feel it may be held against them.
Teachers are treated differently than other professionals because we, as a society, often equate success with things one does after they have completed school. Overall, we are devaluing the teachers that helped the professionals (the doctors, the lawyers, the accountants) prepare to get to where they are today. We are forgetting that every professional had to go through the education system to make their current success possible. Teachers have to be everything from counselors to entertainers and a lot more.
Eva Moskowitz, author of the book “Mission Possible,” is a product of the New York public school system as well as a former college professor. So, she understands what has been happening within our education system and has done something to make a change. In 2006, Eva founded Success Academies‘ first charter school in Harlem, and in just 3 years, the school is among one of New York ‘s top public schools. So, I think she may be on to something.
“Mission Possible” focuses on sharing Success Academies’ way of education. The book discusses that the public school system needs to move away from its status quo and start addressing the real issues. According to Success Academies, the problem isn’t class size or school funding; the problem is that schools aren’t aiming high enough. The schools are doing just enough to squeak by. In this book, the author shares her views and secrets to successful school and bright scholars. There is even a companion DVD that shows clips of the program in action.
In the book the author brings up a few points that I definitely agree with — the main one being that we, as adults, really need to step up our game. We need to raise the bar in order to let young scholars work towards and achieve their full potential. Success Academies raises the bar for all adults involved — from the parents and teachers to the administrators. They did this first by letting the administration know that they need to start focusing on teacher support, instead of worrying about the business aspects (financials and other paper work) of running a school. Adults need to really start working with each other and learning from one another. At Success Academies, administrators are more engaged, teachers are getting the professional development they need as well as given the time for class preparation during work hours, and parents are more involved. The program at Success Academies is a fast paced, rigorous program aimed to prepare children for college as early as kindergarten.
Take a look here to see Success Academies’ Approach to Teaching and Curriculum
You can find out more about “Mission Possible” by visiting: readmissionpossible.com
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“Mission Possible” is a great read for parents and teachers; it provides a lot of insight.
Giveaway: Want to win a copy of this book along with it’s companion DVD? Leave a comment below letting me know what you think is needed to help public schools succeed.
One lucky winner will win a copy of “Mission Possible”. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email. Contest ends August 31, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.
This sponsored post (PAID POST) is part of a campaign presented by ReadMissionPossible.Com and The SITS Girls. I was also given a copy of this book in order to write this post. However, that did not influence my opinion on the subject.