Qualities of an Effective Teacher

From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation web site.

Gates Foundation gives $335M for teacher quality

Three school districts and a coalition of charter schools have agreed to be test kitchens for some radical ideas for improving teacher quality – from paying new teachers to spend another year practicing before getting their own class to letting student test scores affect teacher pay. ((Blankinship, Donna Gordon. “Gates Foundation gives $335M for teacher quality.” Seattle Times 19 Nov 2009: n. pag. Web. 20 Nov 2009. <http://bit.ly/1n7Nig>.))

The foundation will deal out $290 million to school systems in Tampa, Memphis, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh and another $45 million for education research aimed at uncovering the qualities of an effective teacher.

I’m not going to spend any time on a judgemental comentary here. It’s too early in the game — though I’m wondering why the story didn’t refer to “test laboratories” rather than “test kitchens.” You probably already know how I feel about treating schools and classrooms like laboratories (and teachers and students like specimens).

I just want to open up a conversation on what you, as forward thinking, experienced, dedicated, and risk-taking educators think are the teacher qualities we need today. If you say it is teachers who improve student performance on standardized tests, then your keyboard will deliver a mild electrical shock through your fingers. 😉

Consider that we are preparing

  • A new generation (species) of learner
  • Within a dramatically new (networked, digital, abundant) information environment
  • For a future we can not clearly describe

So what do you think?

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.