What makes an effective teacher?
“Teach For America” founder Wendy Kopp is on Capitol Hill today to explain the qualities that her organization believes make the most effective teachers in low-income communities.
Teach For America is a nonprofit organization that recruits newly graduated college students to spend two years teaching in low-income schools around the country. It’s been doing it for 20 years.
Using test score data, the organization has determined that effective teachers are those that employ the same strategies as successful leaders in any field--not specifically a classroom.
A forthcoming book will explain the thinking, called “Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap.” There is, naturally, a companion website you can check out.
“Things that you might think would help a new teacher achieve success in a poor school—like prior experience working in a low-income neighborhood—don’t seem to matter. Other things that may sound trifling—like a teacher’s extracurricular accomplishments in college—tend to predict greatness.”
“If the goal is to drive up scores, then the people best suited to do it are those who can drive up numbers of various kinds—be it the membership of a club or their own GPA. But are they prepared to teach Victorian poetry, medieval history, or trigonometry? Have we even thought about what they will be teaching? Do we have a conception of education beyond the raising of scores?
“There is no such thing as ‘teaching’ removed from subject matter.”
Read them both and let me know what you think in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| January 13, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Teachers | Tags: Teach For America, teaching
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