Would we ever blame the solider for losing the war? Yet we constantly throw our soldiers of the classroom to the wolves when the children of certain schools are not successful. The American Education System is at war but instead of mending the wounds of our Educational Staff, we crucify them and make them the scapegoat for every problem in education. The Baltimore Teachers Union has debunked the myth that teachers don’t care by signing a groundbreaking contract that will forever change the profession of education. On December 8th, 2010, the union and school officials sealed the deal that teachers in the Baltimore School District will not be compensated based on tenure but by professional development, job performance and “achievement points” for those that go above and beyond for children.
Stop the Blame Game
Like any field, there are some horrible teachers, but the black clouds over all educators, perpetuated by the local and national media, have given the illusion that this is the norm. Visit any Baltimore classroom and you will see some of America’s finest at work. Many school teachers are challenged at the door yet they make a way out of no way. Behavioral problems and oversized classrooms have to be bypassed in order to stay as close to grade level as possible. Lack of leadership has to be substituted with an educator’s sheer creativity to make it through the school year. What happened to the days where society loved its teachers? Oprah Winfrey and other concerned educational reformist need to have a part 3 segment of “Waiting for Superman”, to identify what school districts like Baltimore are doing to transform schools. Charter Schools are not the only systems that are working.
Hats off to the Baltimore Teachers Union and Leaders of the Schools
Let’s stop crucifying teacher into other industries, leaving behind a shadow of what once was. Educational Reform depends on the edifying teachers. This is not limited to honoring successful teachers with monetary rewards but placing these artists as mentors for new teachers, as Baltimore plans to do. There needs to be levels of qualified teachers, beginning with associate teachers and eventually earning the title of Master Teacher. This concept should be adopted nationwide. Teachers are professionals. They teach students to model best practices and this is clearly evident in Baltimore. Don’t let the art of teaching in American Schools die, support our teachers.