Teacher Advocacy

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Teacher Advocacy

A teacher is a hard working individual who has a love for his or her students and has a true desire to see them learn and to help them to achieve their goals. A teacher spends much of their time trying to find better ways to teach lessons and reach difficult students. A teacher is a professional who “wears many hats” during the course of their day. They are sometimes a teacher, parent, friend, advocate, nurse, police officer, role model, etc… The list is endless!

There are many challenges that affect teachers and their ability to accomplish all that is necessary within the school day. I’m going to discuss some of these factors with you.

The first challenge that affects teachers is the importance placed on test scores showing adequate yearly progress. With the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act, an attempt is made to help level or equalize students so that the variances within differing student groups is minimized. Teachers are continually pressured to improve these test scores. We do our best, but there are many factors that hinder us. These include: students with learning disabilities, ADHD, teachers who ‘teach to the test’ (thereby skewing the scores), etc. Perhaps there could be a different way to more effectively measure student progress. Also, an important measurement of student growth is the change in one year. How far has that student come in comparison to the same time last year? That may be a more realistic measurement of a student’s achievement in one year.

Another factor that impacts teachers and students is language. When students or their parents are not fluent in English, communication with both students and parents is dramatically affected. It is not an impossible barrier to overcome, but it does present its own unique challenges for the classroom teacher.

Teachers must compete for students’ attention with such things as outside activities and students’ home life. Some students attend school after...
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