Bill Gates talks about great teachers in a Parade interview.
We’ve never had a meaningful evaluation system that identifies the dimensions of great teachers so we can transfer the skills to others. The Gates Foundation has learned that two questions can predict how much kids learn: “Does your teacher use class time well?” and, “When you’re confused, does your teacher help you get straightened out?”
Last year, the Gates family traveled for three months, home-schooling the three children.
I taught math and science. We went to the Large Hadron Collider, the giant particle accelerator in Switzerland. We went to a toilet-paper factory, a garbage dump, an aircraft carrier, and a coal plant. I also found great educational material on the Web, including short videos at Khanacademy.org.
What did you learn from working with your kids? Parade asks.
“Teaching’s hard!” Gates responds. “You need different skills: positive reinforcement, keeping students from getting bored, commanding their attention in a certain way.”