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What keeps teachers going?

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Jan Liston

on 8 September 2013

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Transcript of What keeps teachers going?

Teaching as Evolution
Lessons learned along the way
Teaching is
hard work
Becoming a good teacher takes
Social justice is part of teaching
There is no level playing field
Education is politics
Teachers make a difference
Teaching as Autobiography
Remembering what brought them
to teaching
Teacher autobiographies

The book chart
Teaching as Love
Teaching as Hope and Possibility
The promise of public education
Confidence in colleagues and
the next generation of teachers
"You heal, you help, you love..."
Teaching as Anger and Depression
When teachers are angry
Bureaucratic restructuring
The nature of the system
Indignity at the lack of respect
Moving beyond the anger
Effective teachers of urban students
Respecting and affirming students' identities
Care and respect: Beyond hugs and other PDAs
Judith Baker's tough problem
Education reform and caring
On teaching metaphors and caring
"A fundamental belief" in students
Teaching as Intellectual Work

Teaching as Democratic Practice
The struggle for equal education
Racism in schools and society
Teaching as educational justice
Teaching for democracy
Finding equilibrium
What keeps teachers going in spite of everything?
Teaching as Shaping Futures
change lives

Lessons from the
work of teachers
Rethinking PD
Restructuring schools
Developing new national
priorities for teaching
The need for adult conversation
The call to
Writing to improve curriculum
What Keeps
Teachers Going?

by Sonia Nieto
Dear Mrs. DeVries,
You most likely don't
remember me...

political turmoil
-JHS 278 (Brooklyn) to PS25 (The Bronx)
developed own curriculum, but
children not learning
of what she
could do as a teacher
-from Brooklyn College
to Ph.D to teaching
-affirming climate
-beyond canned curriculum
help students explore
their own world
-avoid teachers' room
-renewed-students learning
When you identify as a student,
you lose your identity as whateverr you are.
"In the work I've done with
teachers, their greatest
inspiration comes from other
teachers, not from "outside
experts," certainly not from
staff meetings, not even
from books."
Teaching is not a private effort
Talking can validate importance
of teaching
Many teachers write to do their
most important thinking about
their craft
Writing: place to rethink practice,
improve curriculum
Find colleagues to talk, argue, invent,
discover, weave craft
Sometimes teachers don't
realize the tremendous
impact they can have.
"As teachers, as
we must not only impart
academic skills, but also the
skills of
choosing words
carefully and wisely.
"Shortly after starting my work in teacher education, I had begun to doubt that teachers could do very much to improve the situation of the young people they teach...that the job of teachers was almost impossible, maybe futile.
But now, after working with practicing and future teachers all these years, my ideas about teachers have almost come full circle."
Nieto's autobiography
"I was convinced that I could
change students' lives through
hard work
, and by
taking them to the Museum of
Natural History. I thought I could
change students' lives around by
sheer willpower
A realization that my optimism
was giving way to a more sobering
awareness of the
limits of the
that individual teachers
could have.
This changed how I was to work
with future teachers in the years
to come.
"What am I doing here?
Are we so dedicated, or are
we so sick, to keep at it in a
system that says one thing,
but almost never backs it,
the kids, or us up?"
"Having time is a major
problem. l'll often take a
shower when what I really
need is a nice, long bubble
bath because I don't have time."
"An encounter with one's self"...
“Teachers do not leave their values at the door when they enter their classrooms. On the contrary, as much as they might want to hide or avoid them, their
and beliefs slip in the door with them.
In fact, teachers bring their entire
with them.”
To teach for democracy
can mean many things:
-teaching a fuller, more
complicated history;
-making sure that silenced
voices are included in
the telling;
-questioning stereotypes
and labels; and
- teaching children to
question what they are
Presented by Janet Liston
"Nevertheless, my faith in the power of
teachers is not what it was when I first
began teaching. It is now tempered by a
deeper understanding of the limits of
personal commitment and hard work on
the part of individual teachers."
"While I know that there are certainly
limits to what teachers can do, given
the sociopolitical context in which they
work and the rampant inequalities in
educational access, I believe more strongly
than ever in the power of teachers."
Sonia Nieto
While working on Ph.D...
Nieto's belief in the ideals of equal education
was further challenged in a class:
Schooling in
Capitalist America
- economic majors, cynical,
when Nieto realized that educational achievement corresponds with
economic privilege
"...but the few of us who were in the School
of Education knew we could not face a classroom
of young people if we didn't conceive of
education as a hopeful enterprise."
Approach Teaching as Intellectual Work
Full transcript