I was recently interviewed by TeachersCount, an organization that provides online resources for teachers and is based in New York City. I discuss how I’ve developed a progressive practice, based on the training I received at Bank Street College, in high needs NYC public schools. Since there is no comment function on their website, I thought I’d invite discussion here.
It was an exciting piece to work on because I feel so passionately about this topic. I also felt somewhat vulnerable publishing it because it is so close to my heart; as a teacher, progressive education is what I live and breathe. At times I’ve had to fight for it because I believe the student-centered classroom is the one that will have the greatest positive impact on kids. “Failing” schools and and the teachers and students in them are so often confined by very rigid, teacher-driven programs. The vast majority of the time I’ve seen this really kill students’ motivation to participate in their own learning, as well as the teachers’ inspiration to teach in such schools.
I know I’m not the only teacher committed to progressive education with experience teaching in a traditional system. What pieces of the system are holding teachers back from teaching progressively in public schools, and especially high needs schools? How can progressive teachers position themselves better so that everyone benefits from our practices–students, teachers, administration, and policy makers?