Teacher Impact Statements: Teacher Expertise

Updated: May 1, 2020

Overview

Since its inception, The Educator’s Room has tackled hot topics directly from the headlines of happening inside and outside the United States. This statement is published in response to historical amounts of teachers who are leaving the profession from Pre-K to Higher Education. This is statement is the first of many to serve of a reminder of The Educator’s Room commitment to writing about real topics that effect teachers and students. We will highlight recommendations and resources to help the teaching profession to make highlight that teachers are the experts in education.

Statement:

“Teachers are the experts in education and should be at the helm of all decision making in PreK-12 education.” – Franchesca Warren

STATEMENT

Teacher expertise mainly consists of two equally important cornerstones: content knowledge and opportunity for professional growth. In the teaching field, there is the mindset that outsiders (i.e. non-educators) have better solutions than the educators who are teaching children on a daily basis. This dangerous trend has led way to a systematic dismantling of public education as shown by “setting up charter schools that generate profits, imposing elaborate mandatory testing that provides significant revenue to testing companies, and state legislatures are starving public education of adequate funding, driving down the quality of schooling and creating a false perception that public schools provide subpar education. The Educator’s Room (TER) is committed to showing teacher expertise through articles, advocacy, special-curated events, and social media for honest dialogue around public education. This mission is especially important when reporting on education in our community; therefore, we commit our readers to integrity, accuracy, and independence in education reporting.

To that extent, we work to elevate teacher expertise to change the narrative of how educators are viewed in public education. We advocate for teachers to write about what really happens in their classroom with a solution-focused mindset so that teachers can feel supported in a world where teacher respect is at an all-time low. With the onset of legislation around high-stakes testing, there has been increased rhetoric that seeks to undermine teachers, schools, and others in the education field. This purposeful rhetoric, legislation, and other policies have created a firestorm where teachers are under-appreciated and underused for their expertise.

Recommendations:

In order to ensure that all teachers have the space to be experts in their building and within the profession, The Educator’s Room recommends that educators:

  • actively identify and exercise their expertise not only in their classrooms but within schools, districts, and national platforms that remind the public that teachers are professional.
  • Exercise their expertise and collegiality with fellow teachers of diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences to elevate the teaching profession within spaces of teaching and learning.
  • promote opportunities that explicitly push for fellow educators to showcase their expertise whether it be local, regional, or national conferences, writing opinion pieces on hot topics in education, and explicitly pushing that their voice is heard in local, regional, or national politics.
  • support local, state, and national politicians who are willing to create policies that protect the teaching profession, students, and the community.

Furthermore, The Educator’s Room recommends that:

  • administrators secure funds and resources to help teachers attend or present professional development for fellow educators both inside and outside the building.
  • all educational stakeholders—policymakers, parents, and the general public—understand that they can best support educators and students by actively participating in public conversations that elevate the profession.

RESEARCH SUPPORTING THIS STATEMENT

Berry, B.,Farris-Berg,K.(2016). How Teacher-Powered Schools Work and Why They Matter, American Educator, Summer 2016 Download PDF (160.94 KB

Mascio, B. (2016). The weaving together f theory and practice. American Federation of Teachers. American Educator, Summer 2016 Download PDF (160.94 KB)

Palmer, D., Stough, L., Burdenski, T.(2015). Identifying Teacher Expertise: An Examination of Researchers’ Decision Making. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 40(1), 13–25.

Westerman, D. A. (1991). Expert and Novice Teacher Decision Making. Journal of Teacher Education, 42(4), 292 305. https://doi.org/10.1177/002248719104200407

STATEMENT AUTHORS

This document was revised by a committee of teachers who work throughout the globe with The Educator’s Room. This impact statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from The Educator’s Room.

 

Teacher Expertise

 

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