Student success is highly dependent upon teacher effectiveness. Teachers must nurture student curiosity, elevate expectations for all students, and in many cases, give students hope where there wasn't hope before. But, before that can happen, teachers must believe in themselves.
With both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate having approved the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the successor to No Child Left Behind, Congress has clearly demonstrated that the success of school improvements depends largely on state leadership.
The adoption of college and career ready standards now invite the questions: How do teachers, students, and families know students are meeting these higher standards? What expectations have been communicated to teachers about what students should be able to do with what they have learned?
The national focus on teaching quality is gradually giving rise to the emergence of authentic opportunities for teacher leadership.
Reformers act as if they believe that teaching is something you do in your twenties when you are idealistic and want to "give something back" -- and then you move on to a "real career" in some other sector.
Teachers are demonized as "failures" in the classroom. Fortunately for all of us, more and more are banding together as agents for justice by believing in the inherent capacity of all students, and seeking strategies and instructional pathways to improve student performance through professional development and collaborative learning.
If the United States is to continue as a world leader, we must lead the world in education. And to provide the highest quality education, we must attract the highest quality teachers.