Welcome to Boston Teachers Off-Script
Contact Us: Boston Teachers Off-Script
Title: Boston Teachers Off-Script
A group of active and retired teachers, Boston Teachers Off-Script works to improve classroom practice and develop our own literacy. We pursue these goals by practicing the skills we teach: reading closely, thinking clearly and logically, and writing effectively. We are preparing ourselves and our students to participate fully in society and have an active voice in the public discourse on education. Through our collective efforts we seek excellence and equity/equality in education, striving for a more just world for all our students.
The Group’s Genesis – Who We Are
The Teachers’ Reading and Writing Group started in 1997 and, except for a one-year hiatus, has continued to meet on a monthly basis. A group of active and retired teachers, we assume the responsibility for shaping and continuing our own professional growth and development. We share the premise that membership and active participation in a community of learners, which takes an inquiring stance on teaching, facilitate our effectiveness in the classroom and enable us to maintain and advance our own literacy. We also believe that groups such as ours provide the necessary support and encouragement to remain effective in the classroom, and to acquire some degree of longevity in the public school system in which we teach.
Furthermore, we remain passionate believers in the power of the written word, and we share a common understanding that our teacher voices need to be heard outside the classroom and the schoolhouse. We have noticed that those external, strident voices that capture the public’s attention are powerful motivators of change in our school system and in education nationwide. Those voices are usually not those of teachers, the practitioners in the classroom where 99% of this change is absorbed.
Goals & Objectives
- Develop and sustain a community of readers and writers and continue to develop the tools of scholarship.
- Provide a space for reflection, exploration and writing, especially on issues of education.
- Provide the opportunity to take responsibility for our professional development.
- Provide support, encouragement and inspiration for one another in our journey as readers, writers, thinkers and in our daily struggles as classroom teachers.
- Encourage reflection on our practice in order to improve classroom practice.
What we gained from the Group
- “Knowledge of new materials (books) in education.”
- “I liked the opportunity to be collegial and to talk about issues with teachers without a lot of negativity.”
- “The readings have made me reflect on my teaching. It has forced me to take the time to read and reflect.”
- “Reading the various books helped me reflect on what I’m doing. It has helped me rethink my role as a teacher.”
- “Makes me think more about some issues.”
Read More Testimonials
What Makes Us Different
We have made a lifetime commitment to continue to reflect on our teaching practice, to re-evaluate our practice in light of our reflections, and to change our practice accordingly, with the intent of improving and becoming more effective teachers.
We take responsibility for the academic success or failure of our students and believe we can always become better teachers!
We are a group of teachers who remain “perpetually perplexed” and who through writing and sharing and questioning, are forced to think deeply about our teaching philosophy, our teaching practice, and our students. Kristie excitedly blurted out our ultimate goal at one of our recent meetings, as we were reflecting on what made us different from other professional development programs, “Each time I was asked a question, my teaching got better! I feel as if you all are in the classroom with me!”
What Keeps Us Together
We share a deep respect for our students.
We share and enact our common beliefs about our students, including that they all have the ability to learn, possessing an intrinsic desire to learn and excel.
We share a commitment to what it means to be a teacher and view it as our “life’s work” and a “glorious calling.”
We share the same beliefs and feelings about teaching and view it as a potent medium for achieving social justice for those on the lower side of the achievement job – our students.