Just received in the email an interesting commentary:

If you’ve been trying to talk politics with teachers lately, you know that many seemingly neutral statements have become political land mines.

In spite of a few divisive issues, however, teachers still share a lot of common ground that can lead to productive discussions.

Below you will find five statements almost all teachers agree with. They are also addressed in this 11-minute, TED-style talk about “The Myth of the Super Teacher.”


1. Teachers are human. Teacher time and energy are limited resources. We should act accordingly and make sure these resources are spent in the right places.

2. Teaching conditions matter. Teachers want to work under the conditions that allow us to give kids the best possible education.

3. New prescriptions introduce the risk of new side effects. There is lots of talk about problems with the “status quo” in education. For teachers, however, constant and sometimes chaotic change *is* part of the status quo. Teachers are wary of people claiming guaranteed fixes for hard-to-solve problems.

4. Teacher movies are less inspiring when the non-Hollywood, unscripted version is playing live in your classroom. This has always been true. Now, a new wave of education-related movies aims to purposely sway public opinion about complex education issues. This can explain why an innocent comment about a movie you enjoyed inspires a 40-minute rant from your teacher friends.

5. Being a teacher is hard. Being a new teacher is harder. Beginners have to lay the tracks as they drive the train, and they spend much of the year feeling like they’re about to crash. Unlike movie teachers, the real-world great teachers of the future know they’re not great yet. Unfortunately, many won’t stick around long enough to become great. Half of all teachers leave the profession by the end of their fifth year. Half of all inner-city teachers leave by the end of year three. Students at low-income schools are twice as likely to have a beginning teacher at the front of the classroom, which means our support of new teachers must be as practical and honest as possible.

Feel free to pass this along. For more information on teacher support and retention, visit www.seemeafterclass.net or contact me at the email address below.

Roxanna Elden, NBCT


“See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers”