Saturday, July 5, 2014

A bad teacher?

Several colleagues who have read my comments on Teacher Supervision, Evaluation, Merit Pay, have asked me if I think there is such a thing as a "bad teacher". Yes, I do. I have worked with bad teachers, too many frankly, and yet I hesitate to label someone as "bad". My concerns are over definitions, and thus measurement, and blame. I believe that a "bad teacher" may be less common than we think, and is invariably the result of bad leadership.

Master Teacher

So the latest proposal out of England on improving teacher quality is to create a "Master Teacher". Although lacking detail, the idea is that superior teachers would be encouraged and rewarded to stay in the classroom. What could go wrong?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The problem with English

Full disclosure - I started out as a High School English teacher. I also had certification in Middle School English, MS / HS Math and MS/HS Physical Education, and I later gained ESL / Sheltered English / ESP qualifications. However, it was only when I became a principal that I realized the problem with English.


I saw this graphic today and it reminded of a number of conversations I had a few years ago with prospective parents when I was leading a school. More recently, I did some consulting for a group of parents who wanted to set up a specific type of school. All were women, many characterized themselves as hard-core feminists and some were in same-sex female relationships. The link? All were seeking a "boy-friendly" program, and all shared the view that teaching and learning today is weighted against boys.