Mission Possible {Giveaway}

Having worked for our local public school district, I had a first hand look at all of the behind the scenes action. The primary focus in that school district and many others in our area and across the country is test scores. How well the students do on a particular test? How can we teach them to take the test better?

It made me sad.

I had heard on numerous occasions from teachers that this intense focus on test scores held them back from teaching, from doing what they loved so well.

When the book, “Mission Possible” graced my desk, I knew it wouldn’t be able to put it down.

mission possible book

The authors, Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia, write about stagnation {being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level} and how it is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale. I couldn’t agree with them more! Based on my interactions with teachers, I would have to say that morale is pretty low. Sure, our teachers have to improve on their education through out the year. But are they doing it for the love of it? Or are they doing it because they have to.

In the book, “Mission Possible“, the authors present the story of a charter school in the middle of Harlem. This school has emerged as one of the top schools in New York City and State in just three years. Pretty impressive, right? The charter school, Success Academies, operate on one simple notion. They believe that teachers and principals hold the keys to educational excellence. Seems like a pretty simple, non-brainer. They believe that if the adults improve their performance, set the bar high enough, and believe that all children can rise to their expectations, students succeed at an alarming rate.

I don’t know about you but I want my children’s teachers to be the best of the best and believe that my child can be a successful student.

How do we do this?

The authors lay out a pretty simple to-do list:

  • Understand that rigor is the innovation that will save America public education.
  • Remember it’s all about the grown-ups, not the children.
  • Look to leaders first.
  • Partner with parents.
  • Move teacher training from campuses to schools.
  • Stop looking at reform through the wrong lenses.
  • Stop obsessing over teacher accountability, and focus instead on efficacy.
That last one is a biggie for me. I have heard time and time again about teacher accountability {usually based off of standardized test results} and performance based pay. Efficacy is the capacity to produce an effect. In education, efficacy relates to the personal conviction of teachers {and administrators} that their actions are the primary influences on academic success of students. By shifting our attention to our teachers and supporting their success, we will have a nation of success students!

Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions? 

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Learn more  about “Mission Possible” on the website. You can connect with Eva Moskowitz on Facebook or on twitter.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

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  1. I work with teachers (and am one myself) and couldn’t agree more that there is a stark discrepancy between the way teachers are treated and how other professionals are treated. I think there’s a lack of understanding of just how educated teachers are. There’s also a real lack of understanding of what teaching is and that it’s not just coloring in kindergarten and volcano experiments in third grade. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I hope the attitude toward teaching and teachers changes quickly and for the better.

  2. Being a teacher myself, I agree with Brandi. I don’t think that parents and other folks in in the general public have the slightest clue what we go through to become a teacher, not to mention what we go through AS a teacher. So many people have the misconception that teachers only work 6 hours a day 9 months out of the year! I have yet to meet a teacher with such cake hours. We don’t get to leave our work at work. (Hence the reason thirty -one bags are selling like hot cakes to educators). And summer? What summer? We spend it reviewing successes and opportunies for improvement for the upcoming year. We spend it in trainings and prfoessional development classes. And we carry the responisbility of tomorrow’s leaders on our shoulders!

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