Teacher Agency is a Good Thing: Supporting Teacher Voices | Alden Blodget | 8 Min Read

October 27, 2022

“[T]he percentages of teachers who agreed with positive statements about their profession were higher among teachers who believed their opinions were considered in school decisions and lower among those who did not believe they had a voice.” 

~ Center on Education Policy survey.

Five years of work—five years that, on one night, faced a final vote in a winter faculty meeting. The journey toward this night had begun during a discussion of the curriculum committee when a couple of members suggested that we needed to do a better job of educating our students. Their proposal was radical: redesign the curriculum, change the way we teach—create a new school. The majority of the committee was opposed, and so began a long process of discussion, argument, rage, laughter, and compromise.

“We can’t just change everything.”

“OK, let’s focus on the ninth-grade curriculum. Let’s start there.”

A small group of volunteers began weekly meetings to explore an array of ideas: how to create a new balance between studying facts and developing skills; how to increase opportunities for students to pursue personal interests and questions that genuinely mattered to them;…

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Alden Blodget

Veteran teacher and administrator Alden S. "Denny" Blodget is the author of "Learning, Schooling and the Brain: New Research vs. Old Assumptions." He also helped create the Annenberg Foundation's Neuroscience & the Classroom. He is the editor for TeensParentsTeachers.org, a free online resource focusing on issues affecting young people and the adults who work with them.