Schools for talented teachers

Teachers are satisfied with their jobs –more so today than at any point in the past twenty years — notes Gadfly’s Liam Julian, reporting on the MetLife survey of teachers. But “teachers predisposed to leave are also apt to have the greatest potential.”

The Economist recently focused a special section on “The battle for brainpower,” the crux of which is that talent (young, driven, skilled, educated, and innovative workers) is far and away the primary competitive tool driving corporate and national success.

. . . Talented individuals are drawn to places where their skills and abilities won’t be wasted. They typically want to work in dynamic environments without excessive bureaucracy; they want to be held accountable for their actions and given the freedom to meet expectations in their own ways; they want mentors and leaders whom they respect (leaders who set goals and demand that their workers meet them); they want to be decently compensated; and they want to feel that they have the opportunity to excel in their chosen field. More than a few of them also hope to improve their society if not the world.

Schools rarely create the environment in which talented teachers can thrive, Julian writes. Smart people don’t bang their heads against a brick wall year after year.

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  1. Indigo Warrior says:

    I think smart people also want to be with other smart people, and in an environment that celebrates smartness. Schools rarely provide that, being more about mass indoctrination than education and learning. Both students and teachers can be punished for being too smart.