Teacher Jessica Keigan reflects back on her hybrid role this past year and says more teachers must be brought to the forefront in policy making:
I love to eat out. In fact, for my 33rd birthday this year, I made a goal to visit 33 new Denver area restaurants. After a great meal out, I often think “I’d like to recreate that dish at home,” but truth be told, the reason I like to eat out is because I get to enjoy the expertise and gifts of the great chefs who are cooking for me. And even if I do try to cook a favorite dish, I would never go back to the restaurant and offer pointers to the head chef about how he is doing his job.
As a teacher, I think about this often, as I hear various individuals commenting on how teachers should do their jobs. Of course I had my opinions about how teaching worked prior to entering the classroom. I, like most people, am a product of the public school system, which means I had roughly 15,000 hours of classroom experience over my thirteen years as a student.
Now that I have finished my ninth year of teaching, I realize that my experiences as a student gave me as much information about how a teacher should do her job as eating at Duo qualifies me to bake award-winning pastries.
There is definitely room for a variety of voices in education. But the model needed for setting and implementing policy is one where those who spend the most time in direct contact with students have the most say.
One way to create this model is to expand our understanding of how schools use hybrid teacher-leadership roles, which provide teachers with direct contact with students every day, but also the time and resources to lead their profession. Based on the ideas put forth in the book TEACHING 2030, these teacher leaders, or teacherpreneurs, would be responsible for a variety of tasks that are currently completed by disconnected individuals in the system. Teacherpreneurs have the opportunity to share their expertise as classroom teachers to benefit those who surround them.
Read Jessica Keigan’s full article at Education News Colorado.