Great (but unrealistic) expectations

A Teach for America teacher’s very ambitious plans for a British literature class draw a response from TFA veteran Gary Rubenstein: Get real advises Rubenstein, whose blog offers advice to new teachers.

In trying to set high expectations, new teachers “commit one of the worst mistakes a teacher can, teaching over their heads,” he writes.

The advice should be “Have realistically high expectations.”

. . . Low expectations, it’s true, are a self-fulfilling prophecy, but high expectations generally are not.

Via Core Knowledge Blog.

On another blog: A week before the start of school, the new TFA teacher is assigned to teach a Science of Communications course to 12th graders in a Philadelphia high school’s communications academy. Last year a teacher created a “brief long-term plan” for the course, but didn’t return to teach it. The TFA teacher has this:

The Science of Communication . . . will cover the scientific foundation underlying the performance and transmission of visual and audio communications. The course will briefly cover the history of communication technology. It will then cover the science of sound, sight, and information – beginning from a presentation of the basic science underlying each type of communication, the course will then allow students to explore their interests in applications and technology in each area of communication. The course will mirror college-level communications courses in that it seeks to demonstrate the impact that changing modes of communication have had on society; it will, however, also develop students’ understanding of the impact that science has on society and everyday life.

The teacher wants to model it on classes she took at MIT. Good luck with that.

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