Dear Future Teachers,
It is no secret that the public education system in our country is struggling. No money, too much standardization, teaching shortages, absence of resources, you name it. Our public education system isn't doing our kids justice. I've learned a lot about the different inequities and issues through my Education classes, but I thought it would be interesting to listen to the perspective of teachers currently facing the problems in our education system. I wanted to know what the biggest concerns from teachers were, and hopefully bring light to the real struggles our hardworking teachers deal with every day in the classroom.
"Nobody who is not in the classroom currently should be allowed to make educational decisions. Even principals should have to teach at least 25% of the day, otherwise they forget what it's like."
-From an NC high school educator
"There are several things I would change about education. First and foremost, I personally feel that charter schools are segregating our schools because many don't provide transportation or food programs. This automatically discriminates against our lower socioeconomic disadvantaged students. Charter schools are supposed to be closely aligned with their neighboring schools but many are heavily white. They are considered public schools and should be more balanced. Brown v. Board of Education made segregation illegal but somehow we have brought it back and we call it 'school choice'. I want my own children to be in a diverse environment so that they can learn so much more than academics.
The other aspect I would change is the amount of testing that is done and the pressure it places on students and teachers. There are so many things that teachers want to teach, but if it's not on the test, then it often falls into the 'if we can fit it in' category. We don't like it, but it's the nature of the job. We know that if kids don't achieve certain levels then it's going to reflect negatively on us."
-From an NC elementary school educator.
Finally, the following list was provided by an NC high school educator
Minimal to no standardized tests
Life/soft skills incorporated into all curriculum
All schools should be 1-to-1 (technology to student)
Modified school days/time much like college/workforce. No early start times
Higher pay for teachers
Administrators should be required to have experience as a teacher
When communicating with various teachers, I found it interesting how much of what they would change was similar to what other teachers were saying. I also noticed a lot of the issues they would change in the education system are the same issues I'm learning about in college. These problems are widely known and experienced by everyone in the educational system. I believe it's extremely important to listen to teachers when they voice their concerns about their professional field. They are fully immersed in their careers, so who better to speak out on things we can fix than teachers? If anything, this post should increase respect for all teachers. I hope to increase awareness of systemic educational problems and encourage you all to work for change! If you're a current educator and want to add to the list created in this post, please send me a message through my Contact Form on my home page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.