Top Ten Teacher Beliefs
The education reform movement clearly thinks that if it can just get teachers to do all the right things, the Achievement Gap will be crushed. But all the right things to do have to be sold to the teachers. The sales pitch is a core set of underlying beliefs. (Underlying the underlying beliefs is a soothing tonic of wishful thinking and emotional blackmail.)
By and large the beliefs are demonstrably false, which makes it all the more important that adherence to them be demonstrated amply through appropriate behaviors. Orwell would simply adore this system.
From personal experience and research I have painstakingly constructed what I am tentatively calling the
Top Ten Elemental and Necessary Beliefs and Convictions of the Modern Teacher (TTENBCMT):
10) All of my students will learn if I am a good teacher.
9) It is morally correct and operationally efficient to teach groups of students whose ability and motivation levels are different rather than groups that are similar.
8) I can control my students’ ability and motivation levels.
7) All of my students can do everything.
6) Test scores are not important, but bad things will happen to me if they do not go up.
5) The circumstances my students face at home are critical, but they are of no importance.
4) I can make my class more rigorous and challenging for each of my students while also making it more accessible to them.
3) “More accessible” may under no circumstances be taken to mean “easier”.
2) Use of my professional judgment is best kept to a minimum.
1) I am the disease and the cure.
Please feel free to quibble with any of the above or add your own. This could be great fun!
And, of course, don’t forget to do all of your holiday shopping in Teachbad’s Strictly Home-Use Teacher Superstore!!!
(Some of the pictures in the store don’t look that awesome and I am working on a full store makeover. I am not a computer genius or a graphic designer. But I am cheap. And I pass the savings on to you! These are quality products made with love….I love you. Plus, as of today, there have been no reports of identity theft from shopping in the Teachbad Store. I use PayPal. They’re, like, super safe. And they take some of the money. They don’t want your stupid identity. They want you to buy a “Pretty Good Teacher” mug so they get their cut. Everybody wins.)