Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Had Any Bad Teachers Lately??

Good news today. I haven't had time to finish reading all the articles about Mr. Duncan but I do know this- he believes that school should be run like a business, and I agree.  He also believes that the key level of change at the school is the principal, and being one myself I KNOW that is true. At most schools you will hear parents say, "Well this year is great because my child got a good teacher, but last year was awful because he had a bad teacher..." If a school is structured properly, and run properly, "good" and "bad" teachers should never be an issue. There isn't any room for a "bad" teacher at my school. When a school is small, EVERY teacher must be top notch and as principal it is my job to make sure that every one of them is. But more importantly the structure of our school makes the CHILD the focus of the classroom, not the teacher. When children are given individualized work and are responsible for doing the work with the teacher's guidance, rather than the teacher at the board lecturing, you can imagine a completely different definition of  a "good" teacher emerging. Whenever a teacher presents a new topic to a classroom you have a similar situation. A third of the kids already know it, a third aren't ready to learn the new topic because they didn't get the last one, and maybe a third are actually willing and able to learn something new. Of course this model produces what two-thirds of the class would call a "bad" teacher. They are either bored or lost most of the time! Hopefully Arne Duncan has seen some of this first hand and hopefully he will be open to the suggestion that getting rid of "bad" teachers won't solve all of our educational problems.

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