Is Teaching a True Profession?

Report
Why/Why Not?
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9 characteristics of true professions:
1 - Acknowledged knowledge base
2 - Rigorous training/certification
3 - Workplace of high consulting and
collaborating
4 - Required continuous learning
regularly built into the work cycle
5 - Systematic evaluation of new members
6 - High public accountability/responsibility
7 - Internal maintenance of high standards
of practice
8 - Responsible for client results
9 - Make autonomous decisions guided by a
canon of ethics
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We gave it all away…
Initial degree - to higher ed.
Licensure - to administrators
Recruitment - to HR folks
Tenure - to administrators
Induction/mentoring - to no one
Professional Development- to everyone
Teacher evaluation- to principals
Pay systems- to school boards
Teacher dismissal -to all of the above
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Preparing professional teachers…
◦ Year-long residency in schools
◦ Local licensing – tiered model
◦ Teachers recruit & hire their colleagues
◦ Three-year induction with tenure earned
at site
◦ Organized into Communities of Practice
◦ Evaluated by peers, mentors, others
◦ Professional development by colleagues,
◦ Supported by union of United Mind
Workers
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Too many schools/districts today feature:
◦ Centralized, top down administrative structures
◦ Imbalance between power and responsibility
– Top down, multiple “reforms” stacked on one another that
seldom work
– School leadership (administrators) often create
– decreasing/negative teacher motivation
– Administration too responsible for the school culture for the
staff and students
– Teachers have little control over day to day decisions that
affect their outcomes for themselves and their
students
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Teacher empowerment and autonomy is the
greatest predictor of school improvement
(elementary level.)
For every point increase in empowerment,
schools are 7.3 times more likely to be rated
average or above.
Accomplished teachers know the most about how
/why students learn. In an new model they will:
Lead professional communities of practice;
Share expertise with colleagues;
Mentor and review other teachers;
Lead school improvement efforts
Inform policy makers as to what works/does not
work to improve teaching and learning
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Good for kids and fair to teachers
Adults and students want to be there
Student learning trumps student
achievement
Students are knowledge workers (Schlechty)
District-wide culture of collaboration
School systems are systems of schools
High standards but not standardization
Measure against Common Core standards
Kids not sorted by “date of manufacture”
1 - Continuous improvement through
command and control bureaucracy
2 - Innovation-based systemic reform
(here today gone tomorrow)
3 - Continuous innovation, improvement,
and motivation in individual schools
inside and outside the district
 Prepare teachers for ‘Communities of Practice’
 Unpack and ‘unfear’ the punitive culture of
‘command and demand ‘
 Redesigned Fourth Stage Unionism to create and
support the True Teaching Profession
 Think medical/law/architectural firm model
 Get far enough out to sea (of the old model)
to discover a new world
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Teachers are the deciders in:
◦ Self-governed schools;
◦ Teacher –led schools;
◦ Teacher cooperatives;
◦ Teacher partnerships;
◦ Communities of practice;
◦ Teachers in private practice.
FROM ---------TO
 Blue Collar
White Collar
 Industrial
Professional
 Single employers
Single schools
 Masses
Individuals
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Districts
Master
Contract
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Single Schools
ROA/MOA
Individuals
AMA, ABA
Policy Devel.
Policy Voice
Legal/
Leadership
Grievance
PD
Policy Devel.
Benefits
Lobbying
Development
PD
Benefits
Lobbying
Leadership
Development
PD
Lobbying
Indv. benefits
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“ I have come to realize how important it is
for excellent teachers to step out of their
comfort zones and use their credibility to
positively lead and impact our schools and
profession. If teachers remain silent and
concede vital leadership roles and decisions
to people with little or no knowledge of our
classrooms, how can we blame them for the
poor decisions they make? How will they
know unless we teach them.” NBC Teacher
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What needs to be done…
• Degree: Residency at school + higher ed.
Collaboratively
• Licensure: District + higher ed. Team
• Recruitment: teachers and district
• Hiring: Mentors on hiring and interview teams with
a real voice
• Tenure: Mentors and colleagues
• Professional development: teacher presenters
What needs to be done…
• Pay systems: teachers, district, state
• Teacher evaluation: peers, mentors, others
• Teacher dismissal: peers, mentors
“ If you change the job, you change the game.”
Richard Ingersoll, Researcher, University of Pennsylvania
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Districts
Policy Dev.
Benefits
Lobbying
Single Schools
Policy Dev.
Benefits
Lobbying
Individuals
Policy Dev.
Lobbying
•
Without changing the job…
– Top down “reforms” that seldom work
– School leadership (administrators) often create
– positive/negative teacher motivation
– Administration too responsible for the school
culture for the staff and students
– Teachers have little control over day to day
decisions that affect their outcomes for themselves
and their students
Current game may…
Squander valuable human resources through
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Misdiagnosis of issues
Unfair and ineffective reform
Decreasing teacher motivation
Poor comprehensive student performance
Changing the Job
“Change can only be done with us, not to us.”
Randy Weingarten, AFT President
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District-wide culture of collaboration
School systems are systems of schools
High standards but not standardization
Measure against Common Core standards
Kids not sorted by “date of manufacture”

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