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The Urgency to Hold Teachers Themselves Accountable

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Stephanie Hirsh & Joellen Killion wrote a post in Education Week a few days now and they wrote something that all teachers must be concerned. Certainly, for almost a decade, efforts to raise student-achievement levels have been mostly about driving standards through the schoolhouse door, they say. In other words, accountability has meant putting pressure on educators to raise performance. But ensuring that educators have the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to help all students achieve has not been approached with the same urgency.

Teacher qualifications will work to improve the teaching force in the nation’s low-performing high schools, particularly, but at the same time it will be more challenging than closing the teacher gap at other levels of schooling, for example, in part because out-of-field teaching is more common in high schools and under this cirncumstances makes no favor to minority students.

Hirsh and Killion, continues and add, "common policy and practice focus on individual professional learning, rather than team-based and schoolwide learning; on increasing the number of staff-development days, rather than restructuring the workday; and on isolated professional-development plans, rather than those that are embedded in school and district improvement plans. This approach ensures that only some teachers and their students benefit, not all teachers and all students."

However, our fellow Kim Cofino, an international school teacher has felt and experienced that isolation and comes up with suggestions of how to help teachers become more proficient not only by instruction but experiences of what she calls the 21st. Century Educator. After putting into action her tips and tricks she declares:"I have learned more in the last year and a half than I had in the previous six and a half years combined."

The question is, how teachers can hold themselves accountable, and not only to respond to the government or the Boards of Education. Kim has created an excellent post where among other things she's doing and she's asking to do the following: join a social network, set up a RSS reader, attend conferences for free, become a Blogger and a Twitterer, develop social connection through socialnetworking and socialbookmarking.

So, unload yourself of all the pressure to get only great performances in your students and focus on your personal training, taking advantage of what now it's being labeled as Web 2.O tools.

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