The prophetic Steve Jobs said: It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.
What happens when we replace ‘smart people’ with ‘teachers’ is the recognition that we are still hiring teachers and largely telling them what to do. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the current industrial landscape – one that has prevailed since the early 20th century. As Richard Elmore said, maintaining a low-skill teaching profession was a way of paying teachers less and maintaining compliance. The thing about compliance is that it kills creativity.
Over the decades, employers and unions have vigorously defended this structure even down to how many hours teachers should spend face to face. Building a highly professional workforce is as Jobs said hiring teachers to tell us how they work best. It is about giving teachers permission to create the most optimal learning environments and opportunities for their students…
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