This idea of professionals needing permission to act on what they know is best for students is concerning. How have we gotten to this point in education? Perhaps it’s time to redefine what teachers need permission for and have an explicit conversation around expectations. In my opinion, teachers shouldn’t ever need permission to:
- make the best instructional decisions for students in their class
- be learners in front of their students
- take risks that benefit students in their class
- rethink the resources & strategies they are using to instruct students
- ask administrators for support in providing for the needs of students
- publish their work or their students’ work to a wider audience
This is probably only the beginning of what could be a very long list, but you get the idea.
I feel fortunate to work in a school district where we value teacher opinions and expertise. We have hired teachers in LASD, because they are knowledgeable, passionate and caring. We have placed great trust in our teachers. Our administrative team encourages teachers to take risks, rethink instruction, pilot programs, challenge assumptions and push back on the way we have always done things. In order to realize our vision of revolutionizing learning for all students we need every teacher within our organization to rethink current practices and take risks that are good for students. Without this type of culture how do you ensure you are providing the very best learning environment for all students? My hope is that we move from a culture of teachers seeking permission, to a culture of teachers acting in the best interests of student learning at all costs.
Contributed by Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction