4/9: Giving voice to teachers

Moderated by Maureen Downey

A voice often missing or ignored in education discussions in Georgia is that of our teachers. Today, we give teachers the floor.

A Georgia teacher who taught in the Middle East shares her experiences, good and bad, while a UGA education professor talks about the pressures on classroom teachers from irrational policies that impose one-size-fits-all requirements.

3 comments Add your comment

Ron C.

April 11th, 2012
6:04 pm

I too agree with Dr. Jones’ article. I am about to conclude a full year in student teaching in a middle school in metro Atlanta. I can tell you the pacing guide is too fast to be useful. There are way too many concepts being crammed down students’ and teachers’ throats. Why not pare down the number of concepts and have kids really learn some of the material before “moving on.” When I was in high school back in the 1980s, we did not have (nor need) so much emphasis on test scores. How did education get this way? Fear, paranoia, control, who knows? One thing for sure though, the current model is maddening for teachers, students, and parents, in short, ruining the morale of our society!

Marlboro Man

April 9th, 2012
1:20 pm

Pass the charter school amendmendment and some lucky teachers will be teaching in public funded private schools for the elite. Many lawmakers feel no reason to fund public schools as they send their kids to privates or charters.

Until schools get equal treatment, you will have unequal schools.

Mary Elizabeth

April 9th, 2012
9:38 am

Words, from the link above, from UGA education professor, Stephanie Jones:

“But individualization, inspiration and engagement aren’t in current policies, and neither is teachers’ professional knowledge. Instead, teachers must follow pacing guides and move on with assignments regardless of whether students are beyond or behind.”

“Punitive policies forcing the impossible combination of rigidity and test-based accountability are produced out of fear, anger, distrust and arrogance. They are written in an irrational effort to control the people in schools.”

“It’s time to stand in solidarity against mandated dehumanization in one-size-fits-all schooling and against overemotional policymakers who have a reckless stranglehold on schools.”

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I stand in solidarity with your remarks, Professor Jones. You are absolutely correct in your assessment. The propaganda to undermine public school teachers has taken a terrible toll on students’ lives and on public education. The policy of total standardization, with no leeway for individualization of students’ needs, is the antithesis of what will help students grow. That policy is being mandated by those in positions of power whose instructional ignorance is embarrassing to behold.