Research has found that teachers are the most important contributors to students’ academic success. Since there is evidence that teachers play a critical role in the accomplishments of their students, government programs should be reworked to facilitate teacher growth. The International Reading Association’s newly developed Universal Principles: The Essential Role of the Teacher in Classrooms, School, and Society is meant to enable that process. These principles were developed by a group of teachers working at all levels of education.
The Universal Principles are meant to serve as a comprehensive framework for teacher education and support. A complete version of Universal Principles: The Essential Role of the Teacher in Classrooms, School, and Society can be found at the IRA website. Additionally, IRA is seeking reader suggestions regarding the Universal Principles until November 1. All comments and recommendations can be e-mailed to the IRA.
Capable and dedicated teachers ensure that their students experience academic success at the classroom level, but they also ensure that their students will become literate, well-adjusted members of society. The Universal Principles are broken into three separate sections that effectively outline the role of teachers and the support they need. The three sections are: teachers are dedicated professionals, teachers need adequate support and access to sufficient resources, and teachers are intensely committed to student success.
IRA endorses these proposed principles as essential for every teacher worldwide. In order to create schools where students can thrive, government programs need to consider teachers and their role in students’ lives. Highly qualified and effective teachers are critical to classroom success and the academic development of students.
Elizabeth Bleacher is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.