Slice of Life 10: More on Teacher Voice
By Janice Ewing
Yesterday, I wrote about a conference proposal that I am working on with two former grad students. I mentioned that they are wonderful teachers, who, like many others, have a lot to share, but are not entirely comfortable facing adult audiences. That observation sparked some interesting comments from some other slicers. One expressed that she also gets nervous addressing colleagues and asked if that ever goes away. Another wondered if it has always been difficult for teachers to share their expertise, or if the current climate in education is part of the problem. Still another, who has much experience with adult learning, explained that she reacts differently to presenting, depending on the group.
The comments made me want to dig deeper into this issue of teacher voice. I think it’s more important than ever that teachers share their experiences and insights with other teachers, community members, and policy-makers. In most cases, we know our students better than anyone other than their families. We know what motivates them, what frustrates them, what they need, and what we need. We all know this in our unique way, and we can learn so much from each other. What can we do to encourage more teachers to be open opportunities to reach a wider audience? Let’s continue the conversation about teacher voice.
* This “Slice of Life” post is part of a larger blog series, hosted by the blog site, Two Writing Teachers: A Meeting Place for a World of Reflective Writers.
Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.