In my last two posts I spoke of teaching's revolving door. However, it would be a mistake to ignore the many promising developments in our education system that are moving towards a new, more sustainable model of teaching as a profession that promotes expertise and effectiveness across the career-span. In the United States, we are moving beyond our traditional "egg carton" school structures that isolated teachers and limited professional collaboration. Teachers today are working more collegially to share and develop their knowledge and expertise. Examples of distributive leadership and teacher leadership in schools are more plentiful than ever before, but ...


Although the book is nearly 40 years old, Dan Lortie's Schoolteacher raises another related issue that is actually more important today than it was in 1975. We want teachers to be more collaborative within schools, but collaboration is built best on relationships. If teachers - members of a team - are constantly coming and going, will this force those who remain to retreat to the safety of their classrooms? Lortie saw that happening in the 1970s. Or will collaboration and the connections now possible through technology actually make it less likely that good teachers leave the profession? This is a ...


As educators from around the world prepare for World Teachers' Day on October 5 in Paris, France, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Institute of Statistics illustrates the global teacher challenge in stark relief: Consider: A total of 6.8 million teachers will be needed by 2015 for universal primary education. 1.7 million new teacher positions needed. 5.1 million new teachers needed to replace teachers retiring or leaving the profession. (Source: THE GLOBAL DEMAND FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS - 2012 UPDATE) The world needs a lot of new teachers! How will countries meet this demand? Will ...


One of the major topics of discussion at the UNESCO World Teachers' Day summit on Oct. will be elevating the status of the teaching profession. I've lost count of how many times I've heard in that U.S. teachers need a major public relations campaign. People keep saying it because it's true. A critical mass of the general public doesn't grasp the importance and the complexity of teaching, and that deficit of understanding limits the will for many elected leaders to push for the comprehensive reforms necessary for teachers to earn more respect, more pay, and more ownership over their ...


I'll be at the World Teachers' Day event at UNESCO in Paris this Friday, October 5. I don't have speaking slot at the event, but I've been thinking about what I would say if I did. Here's my best attempt to get my thoughts on "paper." Everyone has heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a village to raise a teacher too. I learned this firsthand—strong teachers are built, not born—in my journey from being a clueless rookie to an accomplished veteran. I became a teacher in 2003 because I wanted to...


On October 5, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) hosts World Teachers' Day in Paris, France, focusing an international spotlight on teaching's global challenges. International conferences are a commonplace in fields like economics, healthcare and the environment. Experts at these gatherings share several common features: a global sense of urgency, multidisciplinary expertise rooted in a deep knowledge of research, theory, and practice; a body of knowledge and facts that transcend the participants' differences in language, culture, and context. We have become accustomed to such gatherings as settings for world problem-solving through the gathering of global experts, knowledge, ...


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