Time and again the DOE and their media puppets, the New York Daily News and New York Post, rant about how the New York City Public Schools need quality teachers to improve student academics. Of course the New York City Public Schools need more than quality teachers. For example, lower class sizes, a more stringent student discipline code, and giving the teacher a voice in the classroom are also needed. Since this article is about quality teachers, I will limit it to the quality teaching issue. I agree that quality teachers are needed in the schools. However, what you and I believe are the characteristics of a quality teacher is quite different than what Chancellor Joel Klein and his subordinates at Tweed thinks.
The common characteristics of a quality teacher are usually based on the teacher's ability and are as follows:
- Experienced. A minimum of three to five years in the classroom to master the profession.
- Good classroom management skills.
- Knowledge of the curriculum.
- Interacting with the students and helping them with their problems.
- Able to think independently and make good choices on academic issues.
- Willing to question decisions when it is against the best interests of the students.
- Cheap, and inexperienced teachers who will leave the system before they are vested.
- Poor classroom management skills but who cares? They will be leaving the system soon.
- A steep learning curve in understanding of the curriculum . See #2 above for the rest.
- Don't get involved with the students and always send them to the Guidance Councilor.
- Never make a decision without getting an Administrator's approval.
- Never question the Administrators even when they are wrong and hurts the students.