Over the summer we were able to meet with a handful of teachers. We talked with them about their classroom practices, the benefits of a Competency-based System, what they wish they could do in their jobs, and the struggles they face in their daily tasks in a Competency-based System. Asking people to open up to total strangers and share issues about their jobs can a difficult thing, but we were thrilled with how open and comfortable they were with us. They were all very willing to lay everything out on the table and discuss their struggles as teachers. It was heartbreaking hearing teachers explain how they wish they could do more for their students. They obviously knew what needed to be done, but there were not enough hours in a day to do it. They knew what was possible, but they didn’t know how to get it done. After all of our interviews were completed we were able to distill their issues and frustrations down to a few common threads. (more on those issues will be shared soon)
We feel that being able to carry out this teacher research is an invaluable component of our work. It is our belief that good design can solve problems, but great design can help lead people to take action and change the way they approach real world issues. Talking with these teachers is an important first step in beginning to understand what specific issues they are facing.