Let’s Call a Truce in 2015

Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Commentary | 0 comments

What if the New Year ushered in a renewed focus on how to support teachers, and a positive and constructive conversation about the teaching profession?

We all want more and better educational opportunities for our children. Yet our national education conversation has become heated and divisive, particularly for teachers. Potshots are lobbed between opposing organizations that don’t solve anything and in fact, we often leave our teachers and students stuck in the middle of a blame game.

As a result, we see teachers who are demoralized, and teachers who are leaving the profession in the first few years. The most recent “Teaching and Learning International Survey” (TALIS) showed that two-thirds of current American teachers do not believe the profession is valued by U.S. society, even as they express high satisfaction with their choice of teaching as a career. We also are starting to see that fewer young people want to enter the teaching profession because, in part, the polarizing conversations have lowered the esteem of the career.

If we all have the same goal – to ensure that all students graduate from high school and are ready for college or a career – then why don’t we start the conversation from that common place? It is time to call a truce. It is time to come together to focus on the issues that matter. Through collaboration among education organizations at all levels, and input from educators, we will drive a new conversation around the conditions that foster good teaching.

NCTAF is leading a new and collective movement to support good teaching that results in deeper student learning. This will be an inclusive effort, engaging with a number of groups that are willing to put aside differences and call attention to what is working in our education system. There is much more power and momentum when we are aligned around a common goal. NCTAF will draw on its 20-year history of successfully convening stakeholders to focus on what matters most – every student having access to quality, caring teachers in schools organized for success.

The time is right for a positive, collaborative, action-oriented group to start pointing out solutions and leading the way to impact future generations of students, teachers and our nation, as a whole. I invite you to join us.

If you or your organization would like to be a part of our “good teaching” movement, send an email to info@nctaf.org and we will share details on how you can participate!

Melinda George, President, oversees NCTAF’s research, policy, and implementation projects, develops and maintains strategic partnerships, and provides thought leadership about teaching for the 21st century. Melinda served as NCTAF’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2011.

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