My letter to the editor about Sunday’s article on the Education Summit…

In response to that article,

I wrote this:

The Governor was spot-on in Sunday’s Register when he points out that “passionate and self-motivated” teachers are best — research backs that up, too — and that those things are “not easy to measure or reward.”

It’s okay that those things are tough to reward. Rewards are seldom needed for the passionate and self-motivated. As long as compensation is fair and working conditions are good, those folks will be fine.

If it’s tough to measure, then why not work from the other direction?

Why not do what most successful organizations/businesses/teams do, and create the environment that those kinds of people love to work in?

Want to have high-achieving students? Have those “passionate and self-motivated” teachers in every classroom.

Want to have “passionate and self-motivated” teachers in every classroom?

Make every school a place that those kinds of teachers love to work; give them resources, autonomy, trust, a work day that makes sense, control over their professional development, and great leadership. And let them teach.

What won’t work? Yet another round of serious discussion about technological trends, rewards systems, national certification, innovation, and competition; all resulting in top-down standardized mandates that suck the life out of great teachers and drive them from the profession.

What do you think?


4 thoughts on “My letter to the editor about Sunday’s article on the Education Summit…”

  1. Alan

    I believe in what you have written. I find it frustrating that those in power-local, state and federal- tend to push the old model. Ironically they think they are supporting change. What is the impetus to convince decision makers that the Drive philosophy is worth pursuing? Some sort of lobby group? This is the true change that would make a difference. I have seen it in my own teaching.

    • Thank you, Wade. I, too, am looking for answers to that. On one level, there are many in education who believe in Drive’s “Motivation 3.0”, but they tend to prescribe it for students. You and I are in accordance with that, of course, but it’s so frustrating that it’s not being prescribed for teachers and others who work in a school building.
      I’d love to see it all taken yet another step up/back; what are districts doing to create an environment that fosters passionate and motivated administrators to work and lead? Let’s just keep on talking. It seems that people are listening.

      Also, I reached out to SAI a few months ago, offering to do breakout sessions on this issue at their conferences. They never returned my calls or emails.

      We’ll just keep trying!


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