Posted on: May 04, 2002 at 12:26 PM
I agree with you. If we want students' achievement to increase, then we must provide the resources and support that teachers need.
I remember we used to tell children to "write a paragrah" about such and such. This was in the 1980's. At one point, I looked in every text available. At a number of points in these texts, students were asked to write a paragraph. Never was there a mention about HOW to write the paragraph. I had to search further for supporting myself in knowing how to teach students how to write a paragraph.
Along the same lines, if we expect teachers to teach science and make the literacy and mathematics connections, then we need to provide the support to show them HOW. Just as saying to students, "Go write a paragraph," didn't work, telling teachers to "Go raise scores, and the achievement of all students," will not work. It does not matter if it is science, reading or mathematics. Teachers need substantial support. They are being asked to do monumental things.
One of our evaluators asked questions of a number of teachers. One of the questions was "What is your favorite subject to teach?" The response was, "Well, it used to be X, but now it is science because I am getting the support I need." And, that support was the support of the Local Systemic Change Grant in science. Some of us feel this kind of evolving support should not be the exception but rather the norm.