Teachers Beat Down: 3 Ways to Fight Back Without Losing Your Job


Many teachers returning to school this year report a growing sense of powerlessness to effect change and do their jobs. An increasing number of teachers are expressing their disagreement with education policy in a climate that often ignores them. In this segment we talk about how you can find your voice and impact the system without losing your job

Here are the three ways to fight back suggested by our guests:

1. Power in Numbers: Talk to other teachers in your school and collectively take your concerns to administrators.

2. Be as knowledgeable as possible. Before challenging the system, learn as much as you can about policy, and learn to be an advocate from those who already do it.

3. Be as respectful as possible. Take opportunities to respectfully disagree or challenge. Understand all sides of an issue and clearly and respectfully state your position without making your bosses look bad.

Resources mentioned in the interview

· Tom White’s post on “Teacher Advocacy”: http://www.storiesfromschool.org/2011/08/teacher-advocacy.html

· The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession: http://www.cstp-wa.org/

· Accomplished California Teachers: http://www.cstp-wa.org/

· White Chalk Crime by Karen Horwitz: http://endteacherabuse.org/BookSale/BuyBook.html

Other resources for teacher advocacy

· A lesson from teachers in FL, as reported by Valerie Strauss, “The Answer Sheet,” Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/teachers-fight-back.html

· An example of teachers banding together: Testing Is Not Teaching: http://www.facebook.com/testingisnotteaching

· College Board Advocacy and Policy Center: http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/preparation-access/teacher-advocacy

· Save Our Schools – Information & resources: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/

Guests’ websites

· Anthony Cody’s blog, “Living in Dialogue”: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/

· Marilyn Rhames’ blog, “Charting My Own Course”: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/charting_my_own_course/

· Tom White and others: “Stories from School: Practice Meets Policy” – National Board Certified teacher leaders tell stories of how policy decisions impact learning and teaching in their classrooms in order to spark constructive dialogue across the education community: http://www.storiesfromschool.org/

· National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse: http://endteacherabuse.org/

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