Sunday, September 15, 2013

To Be A Quality Teacher, One Must Have A Passion For Teaching.

I am sick and tied of reading articles by so-called "education reformers" and charter school supporters who claim that "newbie teachers" are "quality teachers".  To be a "quality teacher", one must have these characteristics.  They are experienced, a deep knowledge of the curriculum, good classroom management skills, a connection to their students, and most of all a passion for teaching.

While a "newbie teacher" may have enthusiasm and a commitment to help students, the steep learning curve in their first three years in the classroom makes it virtually impossible to achieve what most educators know what makes a "quality teacher".  In those first three years most teachers are just fully understanding the curriculum, developing good classroom management skills, and deciding if the classroom was the right profession for the teacher, almost 50% decide it isn't.

Which brings me to what stands out as the hallmark of all "quality teachers" and that is a passion for teaching.  The best teachers connect with their students and this student/teacher connection develops when the student soon realizes that the teacher has deep curriculum knowledge, keeps a peaceful classroom, and is caring and nurturing.  However, the best of these "quality teachers" have one other thing in common and that is a passion for teaching.  When the students see that the teacher really enjoys teaching them, they inspire the students and buy into the subject the teacher is teaching.  Time and again, first, as a student and now as a colleague, the best teachers in the school all were passionate about teaching their students.  They didn't think of it as simply a job but a calling.  By contrast, it is a crap shoot when a "newbie teacher" is assigned to a classroom and since half of them will leave before they get tenure, I certainly wouldn't want my child being a guinea pig in a class where the teacher is subject to a steep learning curve and unsure if their future is in the classroom.

The education reformers and their media friends can spout their lies that "newbie teachers" are "quality teachers" but educators know the truth.  Just ask a parent would they expose their children to an untested "newbie" or an experienced veteran?  The answer is obvious.


Pogue said...

Totally agree. There are those who remain in the classroom, and there are those who want to get away as quickly as possible. Years ago, teachers decided to become AP's then Principals after many years of teaching.

Today, administration is such a data-driven, micromanaging job only those who truly want to lessen their time with children go for it.

TFA offers the promise of that most expediently. It's one of the reasons it's a scab organization.

Anonymous said...

Can't agree more with your description of a quality teacher.

Anonymous said...

Where do you think those veterians started??? They were once 'newbies'. Stop being so critical of young teachers.