Is the Tide Changing?
After months of what has seemed and sounded to many as "teacher bashing," "teacher blaming," and "teacher scapegoating," maybe the tide is changing. Last month the Save Our Schools March saw several thousand public school teachers and supporters descend on Washington, D.C. There has been scrutiny of schools and districts—notably Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Los Angeles—that reported stunning improvements of standardized test scores. And today there are op-eds and articles praising teachers.
Strange but true.
In the New York Times on Friday, op-ed columnist Charles Blow wrote "In Honor of Teachers." As if this wasn't unusual enough, he then declares in the first line that he wanted to write this piece specifically "to celebrate a group that is often maligned: teachers. Like so many others, it was a teacher who changed the direction of my life, and to whom I'm forever indebted."
But how do we expect to entice the best and brightest to become teachers when we keep tearing the profession down? We take the people who so desperately want to make a difference that they enter a field where they know that they'll be overworked and underpaid, and we scapegoat them as the cause of a societywide failure.
Add to this the "You Made A Difference" Campaign started by Huffington Post blogger Scott Janssen. This video campaign "is an effort to let teachers know how they have made a difference in former students' lives by allowing those former students to thank their teachers by writing a note or uploading a public video to Facebook or YouTube."
Take a look. What words do you use when you talk about your best and favorite teachers? Does your list include relationships, belief, inspiration, or support?
Is the tide changing from blaming teachers to appreciating teachers?