The power of a good teacher is one of the greatest forces in education. They can take a subject that could be considered boring, mundane or difficult and make it interesting, exciting and accomplishable.
I had one such teacher in high school. My chemistry teacher, Mr. Warburton, pushed me hard, but also rewarded me with knowledge and skills that I still use today outside of the lab. So how can we cultivate more teachers like this and establish this as the rule and not the exception? Teachers who love what they do have a thirst for knowledge and growth and instill the same qualities in their students. Is the answer as simple as stagnation or lack of support?
If teachers are pushed to continue their professional growth by attending workshops, review sessions and other continuing coursework, would that help fuel their passion for teaching? What if the districts provide more support to them and keep them out of the bureaucracy and just let them do their jobs? Teachers should feel that they are important since they are the keys to educating our kids. Keeping teachers passionate, hungry for knowledge and learning new skills should be the primary goal of the school’s administration. Letting teachers stagnate and get frustrated doesn’t just harm them, but will affect their ability to be a good teacher.
The unfortunate reality is our public school system is falling behind other countries, when we used to be the gold standard. Our childrens’ education should be one of the most important things that we as parents can do for them. Public school shouldn’t just be an eight hour babysitter.
Recently I had the pleasure of reading Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia. Fed up with the public school system in New York City, Eva founded Success Academy Charter Schools. Together with Arin, developer of THINK Literacy, they outline how the Success Academy Schools have become such a success in a short period of time. The book steps through the philosophies on creating a dynamic school atmosphere, nurturing and developing outstanding teachers and methods they use for reading and writing success. The book not only includes descriptions of actual classroom situations, but contains a DVD of clips.
Unfortunately in Washington state we can’t have charter schools, but for those that can I hope they review this book and see what they can do. I can only hope that our public schools are able to take bits of this knowledge and build a better teacher support system and as a result a stronger school system.
I have been lucky enough to be provided a copy of Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia to give away to one of my readers. The giveaway runs through Friday August 10th at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. If you would like to enter please do so through the Rafflecopter form below.
I was compensated for this post, however the opinions expressed here are all mine.