Who controls the teachers?

First, I read this post by Dave Warlick:

I visited the conference registration desk to try to get a completed event program. The woman, whom I know from a dozen previous conferences, told me that a teacher just walked away, having learned that he did not have seats in the pre-conferences workshops he had signed up for (one of which was one of mine). His central office had not submitted the registration forms.

This teacher is not feeling very good about the leadership of his school district. But I want to be completely fair. At the same time that this teacher is enormously busy with escalating expectations, dwindling resources, and more and more of the joy of teaching being sucked out of the job almost every day, his central office leadership is even busier.

Then I read this one:

In his most recent post Dave Warlick discusses the need for our schools to have teachers that are understanding of the fact that students need to learn to learn not learn to be taught. I felt it fit to share my story so far with him, his readers and mine. I feel it is an interesting insight into why teachers are leaving the classroom disheartened or are simply allowing their passion for innovative classroom teaching to diminish. So here is my story and some thoughts on my move out of the classroom only after 4 years of teaching.

Then I came across this:

Education sees itself in the teaching business, not the learning business. Think about it. …The quicker we can unlearn that we are in the teaching business and realize that we are in the learning business, the better we will be at adapting to the changes that are happening around us. To stay focused on teaching is like the railroads striving to be the best in the rail business. Technology will bring with it better ways to learn, just as it brought better ways to transport. Are we ready?

All these posts assume that teachers are the ones in the driving seat when it comes to education. It’s “how can we get teachers to drink from the blogging Kool-Aid?” (I hated kool-aid, sickly coloured water, never understand what people saw in it) and so on. But Brett’s and Dave’s posts both strongly suggest a different scenario: teachers are not in charge of what happens in schools. Perhaps this needs to be addressed first, otherwise what difference will it make if all the teachers in the country drink the Kool-aid?

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