What teachers do
Nearly everyone has been to school so nearly everyone is an expert on schools and expert on the subject of teachers and teaching.
So they say.
And while we grump about that saying and love Taylor Mali for his rebuttal - we just sigh and flip the page or move on from the person trying to “bait the teacher.”
It is incredibly important that we start and join conversations about our schools – about teaching and learning - and that we start doing this right away.
We must not assume that people know what our secondary schools do.
We must identify the strengths of our local secondary schools.
We must identify the strengths of our teachers and of our students.
We should know the whakapapa of our school.
We should be able to explain how important our school is to our community and explain what secondary schools do.
We must be able to explain about teacher training – why teachers are expert in their fields and why they are expert in understanding how learning happens.
We must know what teacher registration requires and what it means.
We should also be clear that being expert in a subject isn't enough, caring about children isn't enough – you need to be a qualified teacher to be teaching our tamariki in our schools every day.
We should be uncompromising on the subject of teaching as a profession - and that we have the absolute right to be treated as trusted and respected professionals.
We should expect no less for our students.
We should expect no less a valuing of our own work as secondary teachers.
Leave no room for myths and anecdote, no longer remain silent, amenable and imply consent. Then we will see what value the government places on teachers, students, teaching and learning.
(with thanks to Edward Berger for his post "Saving community schools" http://edwardfberger.com/)