Miss Bennett in the Bay

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 06 2010

Changing the Way Teachers are Taught

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.

One Response

  1. I was in the top tier of my high school and college classes. I was an excellent employee where ever I worked, but I made a much better salary as a school teacher than I ever did working in industry in an ag-related community. I was also an excellent teacher whose students did very well on standardized tests as well as classwork.

    Now that I have left teaching I am finding that no one has any use for my very transferable skills. I had so thought it would be easy to get a marketing or communications job with a nonprofit organization in a big city like San Francisco, but no such luck.

    So, even though teaching is very hard work and pay may not be all that great, if you are young, I would recommend you stick with what you have.

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