Speaking at the National Press Club last week, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, spoke her mind in no uncertain terms about the plight of teachers. Noting the profession’s “ongoing and alarming crisis,” she targeted two major causes…
First, is the issue of funding, as states are not investing enough in public education. One result among several is, as we know, our teachers having to take to the streets in protest.
However, she spent most of her time at the podium addressing the working conditions teachers experience. Fact is, as she explained, they are so micromanaged that, instead of truly teaching, they have no choice but to focus on standardized tests.
Said Weingarten, “This de-professionalization is killing the soul of teaching.” She then went on to remind all those in attendance that policymakers, union reps. School/district leaders, and teachers must to work together to “elevate teachers’ voice and judgment and allow teachers to make learning rich and fulfilling for their students.”
At another point in her presentation, she put it this way: “The classroom teacher is the only person who has the knowledge of the students she is teaching, the content she is teaching, and the context in which she is teaching… The assumption should be that teachers, like other professionals, know what they are doing. Teachers should be able to be creative, take risks, and let students run with an idea.”