I think there are two keys to attracting and retaining great teachers. First, we need to focus on the initial training of teachers and this is the responsibility of the schools of education. Second, we need to place continuing evaluation in the hands of the profession, just as we do for doctors, and lawyers, and accountants, and every other professional, and this lies in the in-house evaluation system, through the principal and the superintendent, and through statewide systems, such as we find in licensing boards and bar associations. This does not come through evaluating the results as much as making sure teachers are up-to-date on the methods. Such systems provide parents with an avenue to raise concerns about seriously flawed teachers, e.g. the option to register a complaint with the licensing board should a particular school system fail to take action on a particularly bad teacher. At the same time, this provides protection and security for an average teacher to continue to work in his or her chosen profession, try to improve skills, but not under undue threat. The final step to having great teachers is to alter homework policy which means reducing the teacher's authority over what happens in the home. If the teacher has more authority in the class but less authority over the home, teaching will improve.What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment.
Dr. Kenneth Goldberg is a clinical psychologist with 35 years of professional experience in dealing with many different psychological issues. He is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers and currently works in his own private practice.
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