Friday, July 8, 2011

An Ordinary Teacher....

....Talks to Teach for America
Thanks to (now former) NYC teacher James Boutin for this:
Interesting take on TFA from a former NYC school teacher.
The piece not only drills deep, but the comments/debate goes even deeper.

Here is one of the latter side-bar comments that nail what teachers do and the skills they acquire:
I agree with this entire article save one point: teachers have very marketable skills if they decide to leave teaching. I know: I did it and I was hired because of those skills. I have the ability to manage 20 – 30 unwilling people; I can motivate them and explain tasks to them in a timely manner. I can preplan and be flexible when things (a fire drill, a last-minute assembly) go wrong. I can shift my communication style instantly to match the situation, from slang with the students, to authoritarian, to placating a frantic parent. I can present my ideas clearly and succinctly, able to get to the crux of the message. I am a great record-keeper and my attention to detail is spot on (I started teaching in the days before electronic grade books and had to tally all scores by hand!). I understand how people think and respond. I can get along with all types of people, even those (parents and students alike) who openly dislike me. I can maintain my professional calm in the face of irrational anger. My time management skills are superb, because with only 50 minutes to complete my day’s lesson, I am aware of the value of every second. Finally, I am compassionate and caring and want to see those around me succeed, so I will be a fantastic team player in an environment. In return, all I ask is for a little recognition–one thing that many teachers have to go without, as their students often only realize the value of a great teacher many years later.
Lots of goodies here today: Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.


Anonymous said...

Did this writer once pitch for the Yankees back in the early 1960's??

OTE admin said...

If you're over 50, you are NOT marketable if you were a teacher. I for one have not been able to get back on my feet three years after being wrongfully terminated.