The Most Important Book of 2013

  A few years ago i was hearing a lot about how midcareer adults, as new teachers, could save kids and American Education As A Whole from the mess that All Those Bad Teachers had gotten us into.
  i know one of those.  She would love to do something else, but
figures she'd be replaced by someone who'd torture the kids worse without caring about them.
  Besides, she can't afford to.

Bad Teachers : A Myth?

 The stories i hear from her and others do not sound like bad teachers.  Browbeaten, burnt out teachers maybe.
  Teachers who are too good as employees to be good enough for their kids.  (Seriously?  Depriving kids of recess all semester and drilling during lunch & bathroom breaks to improve ISTEP scores?  It is what they were told to do. . . .)
  When i was an aide, we spent two weeks practicing for The Test.
  Before my own first assessment tests, Mrs. Mack said "We're going to be spending this moning taking an important test.  Take out two pencils.  Here are your answer sheets.  Here's how you fill in the bubbles.  Don't open the books until i say.  Ready?  Let's begin."
  What i don't hear is scarier.  When Boom was starting school, there was an attitude of openness.  It seemed there was nothing teachers & administration would not tell me if i even hinted i was interested.  Sit and watch the class all day?  We would LOVE to have you!
  Then things changed.  Staff seemed to become cagy.  Yes, you are welcome in the classroom, but well, we can't talk. This is not about a specific school, but several schools here, in different districts.

This Book

  i'm not in a position to address my previous question definitively.  My gut says if bad teachers are are not a myth, they are created by those who fear them.
  But maybe a second career teacher can address this better than i. 
  John Owens had a successful career in writing and publishng when he felt a calling to teach.  i'm not clear whether he was ever associated with Teach for America, but he was part of the NYC Teaching Fellows, fully accredited in his field.
  If you read the book, you will find it goes quickly.  Neither MyGuy nor i anticipated reading the entire thing, but both of us did in just a couple days.  It goes through Mr. Owens' entire August to February experience as a teacher, as well as more briefly how he got there, and includes statistics, extended quotes from other teachers, and introductory chapter quotes from education leaders.  In the final chapters, you will find notes on what became of the people he worked with, and his recommendations on which organizations are most likely to make a positive difference in the education climate.  You'll find his tips on what works and does not work, and a closely-spaced bibliography.

Is a "bad teacher" someone who engages the kids in learning?

  Essentially, he was fired before the end of his first year because he taught kids where they were instead of where they should have been.  Rather than recounting his story for you, you can read it for yourself in the article that led to the book.
  Or you might want to read the Huffington Post article from a few days ago, which quotes liberally from the book.
Be sure to stop by his own website, too, The Bad

No comments:

Post a Comment

i look forward to your comments! Thank you for sharing them.