We’re not going to find enough “best and brightest” teachers for all students, writes Mike Petrilli on Gadfly.
. . . lots of our children–especially poor and minority children — are going to have teachers who may be good but are not likely to be great. These are teachers who themselves received so-so public school educations, attended so-so colleges, are raising families and thus probably don’t want to work sixty hours a week, but who do care about their students and want them to succeed.
Shouldn’t we be thinking about how to make these average teachers more effective, too, and augmenting them via technology and other stratagems, rather than putting all our eggs in the “superstar teacher” basket?
I agree that the supply of superstar teachers is quite limited, though I’m not sure technology can spread their reach beyond their own classrooms. Does anyone know where this is being done?
A strong principal can turn average teachers into effective teachers. A weak principal will turn average teachers into ineffective teachers and ex-teachers.
For example, in planning for her second year of teaching, Miss Bennett checked out rumors about a new reading curriculum; a district administrator told her she’d almost missed the deadline to sign up for training. Her principal didn’t tell the teachers about the curriculum change or the training. “Total lack of communications” is the principal’s management style.