Education Realist explains induction (guidance for new teachers) to the high school math teacher she’s mentoring.
It’s a vain attempt to close the achievement gap, ER tells her young colleague. Reformers were unwilling to admit that some students can’t meet much higher cognitive demands. So they tried to increase teachers’ cognitive abilities.
Anyway, at some point in there progressives and conservatives found something they could agree on. It was ridiculous to assume that teachers could just….teach. They sit in ed school, which is widely agreed to be a waste of time…”
“…and do a few weeks of student teaching, and suddenly, shazam. They’re teachers! Once all the professionals sat and thought about that, they decided it was stupid. After all, these professionals had insanely great test scores and got into terrific schools, but teachers, who have our nation’s kids’ future in their hands!–go to crap schools, have low SAT scores, and then we just put them in a class. This has to change. Some of them are terrible. Some quit. Let’s invest in their success! Give new teachers more support. Improve student blah.”
Teaching is a performance art, argues ER. Would-be teachers who can’t handle it “run screaming” from the classroom. “Everyone who continues teaching is at least an adequate teacher. And beyond adequate, no one can agree on the attributes of a great teacher. Manifestly, great teachers aren’t necessary. Adequate to good teachers are sufficient.”