Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the
greatest sources of low teacher morale.
Why do I think this country treats teaching so differently than it does, other professions?
You know – I honestly can’t answer this question. It amazes me that there are any teachers left, in the public, and many private, school systems. It seems as though all common sense has flown out the window, when it comes to schooling. Low pay, lack of disciplinary abilities, little support from parents, and communities. I’m pretty sure that all of these are contributing factors in the declining rate of students graduating from high school, across the nation…along with the ever increasing drug use in adults and children – of all ages.
But – why the teaching profession is not respected, is an absolute mystery to me. I’ve been in the classroom myself, as a volunteer, and as a substitute teacher, and believe me THEY EARN THEIR PAY – what little it is. Their job isn’t just the hours that their students are in attendance. It’s arriving before the students arrive on campus. It’s staying after they leave, to see that their classrooms are ready for the next day. It’s spending hours each evening grading papers, planning lessons, and endless bureaucratic – for lack of a better word – paperwork. (And that “planning hour” that each teacher is to get during each school day…that is a laugh. This precious 45 minutes or less, is spent using the restroom, making phone calls, more prepping of their classrooms and often eating their lunch.) But the good teachers keep getting up every day, and working for relatively low pay, and often with little respect, because they love children, and they know the importance of education.
Now, I will get off my soapbox, and tell you about a fantastic new book.
How The Secrets Of The Success Academies Can Work In Any School
by Eva Moskowitz
and Arin Lavinia
I could not put this book down!
I wanted to run out and buy a thousands of copies and send them to every board of education in every county in the country. I wanted to place a copy in the hands of every educator across the nation. I wanted to shout from the rooftops
“LISTEN UP – IT CAN BE DONE – IT IS BEING DONE!”
MISSION POSSIBLE, tells of the journey of the creation of the Success Academies, and why they believe that it’s possible, for schools everywhere, to see the same results.
What are the Success Academies? The Success Academies are nine charter schools, in Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Almost all of the students in Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn are minorities, most of whom live below the poverty line. These schools use a lottery system, to choose the students who can attend. Fifteen percent of their students are in special education and one tenth of student body, are not fluent in the English language. The schools operate on less money (15 – 20 percent), from city and state funds, than traditional district public schools.
What are the results? In 2009 their third grade students (which the Success Academies call scholars), took, for the first time, the New York State’s standardized tests in math and English Language Arts. Every single scholar scored proficient or better in math, and most scored at the advanced level. Ninety-five percent passed the English portion of the testing.
How did they do it? 1. Focusing on staff education. 2. More hours in the classroom. 3. Working at a fast pace…as Eva Moskowitz states “they propel their students forward with lightning speed”. 4. The principle that literacy is the key to learning – using the THINK Literacy Curriculum – which was designed by Arin Lavinia.
Please – stop and take a few minutes to check out
I have a copy of MISSION POSSIBLE, to give away to one of my readers. I highly recommend that you enter. As the mother of 10 grown children and 18 growing grand children, I KNOW that education is up the utmost importance. This book will open your eyes, and give you a whole new perspective on what can, and I truly believe, should be done in our nation’s schools.
* I was compensated for this posting, but the opinions that I’ve stated, are 100% my own.