Today I visited with the principal of a private school. After listening carefully to what I told him about the Teachers, Take Charge! Program, the principal told me that the budget for teacher enrichment had been significantly reduced.
No budget for teacher enrichment?
How is it logically possible?
What can we do about this?
What does this mean?
What it means is that the teacher-education-budget-cutting-decision-makers in schools are operating from the hugely mistaken and dangerous belief that:
- The current levels of education their teachers have, is good enough.
- Their teachers do not need to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
- That their teachers already possess cutting edge knowledge and skills.
- And that if their knowledge is outdated, well so be it, it’s about balancing the budget.
What these finance-focused decision-makers are not taking into consideration is that…
– New medical research reveals the most amazing information regarding how children learn. This new information calls into question the value of some of the traditional teaching skills and practices. Teachers need to know this!
– The latest research reveals why some children don’t learn and that it is most often not a problem in the brain, but rather a problem in the body, that is affecting the brain’s ability to learn. This calls into question many of the traditional approaches to treating children with learning challenges. Teachers need to know this!
– Research reveals that stress-related learning challenges in children is reaching epidemic proportions. This means that it is critical that teachers have the necessary skills to recognize, reduce and remove stress in the child, in themselves as teachers and in the classroom. Teachers need to know this!
Parents, Take Charge!
Make it known to the decision-makers in your child’s school that you expect teachers to receive ongoing teacher education, offered by the best specialists in the field.
- What teacher education programs do you offer for the teachers?
- How often do they receive teacher education?
- When was the last teacher enrichment program that was offered for the teachers?
- What new tools and knowledge did they learn?
- What can we as parents do to help the teachers implement their new skills and knowledge?
Please let me know what answers you get. I hope you get a better answer than the one I got today!
If you don’t ask these questions and you don’t make it known that as a parent, teacher education is an important issue for you, then you may be buying into the myth that schools often circulate which is…
‘Our teachers are very experienced’.
The question that parents need to ask is:’
‘Are they experienced teachers because they have been there for many years repeating the same teaching approach year after year?
‘Are they experienced teachers because not only have they have been teaching a long time but also because they have been exposed to ongoing, challenging, leading-edge teacher education programs year after year?’
You see the definition of ‘an experienced teacher’ is very important.
So parents, if you are like me, and the thought that your child’s school has cut the budget for teacher education concerns you, then ‘Take Charge!’ and let the decision-makers know this.