Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Open Letter To America's National Board Certified Teachers

I cried when I read the Open Letter. With what's happening with our Teacher Contract Negotiations with DCPS, this letter was very timely. I strongly feel that nobody would ever understand what effective teaching is but us, effective educators.
The letter "A Call to Leadership", written by a team of 10 National Board Certified Teachers, is sending a strong message to us. Here's some parts of the letter:

Dear Colleagues,

As a result of our collaborative journey, we have also gained a deeper understanding of the factors that diminish the impact of quality teaching standards on school performances. Chief among them is this:

Teachers are not yet considered full partners in the important work of education reform.

If we continue to sit by and let others define effective teaching, we will always be reactors, not actors, on the school-reform stage where the policies that control our daily work play out.

We believe National Board Certified Teachers can inspire and guide the work of re-imagining the teaching profession in their districts and states. We recognize that many exemplary teacher leaders are not National Board Certified, and we welcome them as partners.

Do you believe, as we do, that the teaching profession is at a critical juncture? Which road lies ahead?

Will teaching become a technical occupation staffed by a revolving-door cadre of entry-level knowledge workers who follow instructional templates and are judged by narrow data sets?

Or will we finally develop and realize a conception of teaching as complex, nuanced professional work, supported by a strong base of knowledge and constant inquiry, and worked by commonly accepted and rigorous standards of practice?

We know what to do. But if we ever hope to move from "know" to "do", we must also learn to lead at the highest levels.

Our best to you - our colleagues,

It is right here, right now, in DC Public Schools that a radical major education reform is happening. Colleagues, there is an urgent call to action. Are we actively responding to it?

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