Five Fool-Proof Ways to Destroy Teacher Development

Maybe you hate your school. Maybe you’re working undercover for a competitor. Maybe this is your next gig after hacking the American election. Whatever the reason, you’re in good company; there are a lot of people dedicated to destroying teacher development. Little has been written about the field of destroying teacher development (or “DTD” for short), so to make your work easier, I have compiled this list of the highly effective DTD techniques. Go forth and destroy!


1. Force teachers to go to training

This is at the top of the DTD list because it’s so common, no one will suspect your ulterior motives. You get bonus points for confiscating phones and requiring that everyone attends as part of unpaid overtime. This is guaranteed to sap enthusiasm, increase hostility and foster a hatred of school management. Perfect!


2. Annual supervisory observations

While supervisory observations can only demotivate one teacher at a time, they have the terrific advantage of creating a sense of dread and foreboding weeks before the date of the observation. To heighten the terror, tie the outcomes of the observation to the teacher’s pay, or, even better, to their contract renewal. This will cause an additional feeling of injustice which lingers long after the observation ends.


3. Development = workshops

Workshops are dangerous, because they sometimes help teachers develop in the short-term, but luckily, they have little or no long term benefits. Avoid allowing your teachers to peer observe, conduct action research, discuss journal articles or anything else that might encourage teachers to reflect on their teaching.


4. Top-down

Avoid giving teachers any say in creating their development program. Instead dictate training topics, times and trainers. This should ensure that your teacher development program is irrelevant to most teachers and has the additional benefit of infantilizing teachers by assuming they are too stupid to know what their needs are.


5. Ignore current research

Join the list of DTD schools and training courses that teach out of date ideas and concepts. Train teachers on using pseudoscience like learning styles and multiple intelligences – you’ll be in good company! Your teachers will soon have their students learning math through dance and language through smell. This will not only deskill your teachers, but also diminish student learning. Two birds, one stone, no research.


Using any of these DTD techniques should help to stunt your teachers’ professional growth, slow student progress and increase demotivation. Use all five together and your might destroy your school completely. Please help spread these DTD ideas and share your DTD strategies in the comments section.