This article in the Washington Post is an interesting one. I’ve long argued that training teachers shouldn’t be about sitting and listening to a lecture but instead about getting off your duff and actually learning by doing. It’s encouraging to see that now the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education is behind this idea.
But, this is a double-edged sword, isn’t it? Who’s going to want to work their butt off through college to enter a profession that is under-paid and under-valued? If we train teachers better, we’re also going to have to pay them more and treat them better. Otherwise, your efforts will all be in vain, because the best and the brightest will leave to get paid 6 figures in investment banking while the mediocre and worst stay in the classroom and widen the achievement gap because they have no other options.
It’s a two-way street, folks. You want me to be the top in my field? You’ve gotta pay me like the top in my field.
The other interesting thing that this article mentions is that fewer than 1 in 4 of U.S. teachers are from the top third of college grads. In the world’s best school systems, 100% of teachers are from the top third of college grads.
Does this strike anyone as odd? We know that the absolute most important factor in a child’s education is the quality of teacher in the classroom. Other countries have figured this out and are blowing us out of the water. You wouldn’t want to take your family to see a doctor that graduated at the bottom of his class, would you? Then why would you be ok with taking your child to be educated by somebody from the bottom of the barrel? It just doesn’t make sense.