Friday, January 11, 2013

Making Of Good Teachers

I  taught at a low performing school.  There were semesters no one passed the regents.  Everyone knew it wasn't the teachers, it was the students.  Still, everyone also knew that the teachers in this school were top notch and did more for their students than the contract stipulated.  An administrator I know called a father who decided his daughter didn't need to come to school anymore and threatened him with jail if the girl didn't come back.  She returned, graduated and went on to college with a full scholarship.

Julia Richman, the school I am writing about, was one of the first one closed.  The teachers picked the schools they went to and all went on to schools with higher functioning students.  They no longer taught the lowest performing students in the city but used the skills acquired in this school to help everyone.  Most are retired now, but all were respected and considered master teachers.

Kudos to the teachers in the difficult schools.  It takes a special kind of person to work there.  Politics and economics is making it impossible to see the value of an education beyond a test score, but the kids in these schools are gaining immeasurable wealth from the ones teaching them

(Picture is a money coffin from the Funeral Museum in Houston.  I thought it went well with the way politics is pushing education today.)

1 comment:

Chaz said...

How true.

Now we have Mayor Bloomberg telling us that teacher experience does not count.

Michelle Rhee telling us that two year TFA teachers can turn around a school.

Joel Klein demonizing teachers because we cannot solve the ills of poverty.

Education Reformners telling the world that small and Charter schools are the answer when even the Gates foundation has now realized that they were wrong and has backed away from that approach.