Where Are the Teachers?
Just back from the National Council for Social Studies' annual conference, Polski 3 raises an interesting question: Why don't the people who organize these things get more actual teachers to make the presentations?
Way too many of [the presenters] were NOT teaching students using the materials they were presenting. And why is this? Because they were college/university/publishers people. Browsing through the convention program, I'd guesstimate only about 1/4 of the workshops were actually presented by practicing classroom teachers. Personally, I prefer to hear about activities, ideas, etc. from someone who is doing these with real kids, not from some ivory tower of "research says," or they are presenting material from something they'd like to sell you. Am I being too harsh about the presenters?
Probably not. It bears noting that, here at our office, we frequently get press releases about think tank conferences and panel discussions on teacher quality and sundry other ed policy issues affecting classrooms throughout the land. It borders on shameful, to our thinking, how seldom teachers are featured as speakers or participants at these events.
But then, there may also be a good reason for this: Teachers have actual work to be doing.