The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
21. Busting out of the Teacher Cage
| 181 →
Busting out of the Teacher Cage
Frederick M. Hess
Teacher leadership is popular today for a simple reason—it’s a terrific thing. And lots of people, from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to your corner grocer, have been telling teachers that they deserve to lead and to be heard. The harsh truth, though, is that no one deserves these things—whether one is a doctor, lawyer, cop, or teacher. While everyone can desire them, leadership and a seat at the table always must be earned.
This matters—a lot. Frustrated by schools and systems that consume their time and passion, teachers can find it all too easy to retreat to their classrooms. But doing so leaves them trapped in a classroom cage, stuck with systems and policies that they find frustrating or incoherent. Cage-busting teachers reach out in ways that identify the problems and surface workable solutions.
There are problems of policy and practice that befuddle teachers and need to be addressed. Consider the example of Alex Lopes, Florida Teacher of the Year in 2013. The state’s new teacher evaluation system mandated that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on student achievement, with teachers in nontested grades scored using schoolwide achievement. As a preschool autism teacher, Lopes had no tested students; thus, he was judged using schoolwide results from his high-poverty, low-performing school. His score was predictably poor, with the result that...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.