Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two kinds of teachers

How do we plan to deal with the problems of teacher quality and teacher culture?

Politics, not ability, usually determines which teachers speak for the profession. The fact is, there are many classrooms in which the teacher isn't going to do a good job no matter how small his or her class is.

I suggest putting a highly gifted master teacher in charge of THREE or FOUR classrooms. This teacher would be paid LOTS OF MONEY, in order to keep him or her from leaving the field of education, or to lure him or her away from a lucrative position in another profession. Each of this master teacher's classes would also have a full time teacher who reinforces lessons, and takes care of the class when the master teacher is out.

These regular teachers would be people who are still in the process of becoming master teachers, or who, perhaps, are good with children and reliable, but do not possess the gifts necessary for achieving true mastery. These teachers would be paid significantly less than the expert teacher.

Some of the master teachers could be part-time teachers. These part-timers could hold other, more lucrative, jobs at the same time that they raise the quality of teaching in our classrooms.

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