(Jim Blockey) – An article in edweek.org “Duncan: Schools Should Disclose More on Teachers” has U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying, “Schools too often aren’t disclosing years of data on student achievement that could not only help parents measure a teacher’s effectiveness, but also would help teachers gain better feedback.”
I just do not get it; what does student achievement have to do with teacher effectiveness? Very, Very little. Student achievement has more to do with the students desire to learn and parents desire to support their teachers. Parents that support teachers are far more likely to have students that do much better in schools than those that show disrespect towards teachers.
It is simple, when students respect their teachers they will listen better, not be disruptive and this will bring about more learning. Not that teachers cannot be wrong, but when a parent feels the teacher is wrong they can go to that teacher without their child ever knowing about it. If they cannot resolve the problem they can go higher. The key is: At no time should the student ever be aware of it.
When parents, media and community leaders criticize teachers publically it gives students an excuse to be disrespectful. The student will blame the teacher for their lack of success and believe me that happens more often than you may believe. Anytime you give someone an excuse to fail, they usually will.
When a student does great in my class… I take absolutely no credit. It does not mean I am a good teacher, it means they were a good student.
Just the same when a student fails in my class… I again take no credit. It does not mean I am a bad teacher, it means they were not able or not willing to learn.
Teachers are like the Constitution… We give the opportunity to be successful; we do not guarantee the success thereof.
(Jim Blockey is a teacher and author of “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault”)