December 01, 2013

Rooting out bad teachers

Richard Lokier is working 12 hour days to motivate his pupils
The Sunday Times editorial of December 1 2013 said:
"The lazy tolerance of poor standards in teaching and teacher training has ruined the life chances of countless young people."
Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times education correspondent asked: "What can we learn from the countries whose children are doing best in the Pisa tests (Programme for International Student Assessment)?" She responded here:
"One obvious answer is to hire the best teachers. Finland, which has traditionally done well in the tests, recruits its teachers from the top 10% of graduates."
She continued:
"In the past, Richard Cairns, the headmaster of Brighton College, one of Britain’s top schools said, heads sometimes resorted to writing good references for poor teachers to get rid of them. The poor teachers simply moved around from school to school, blighting children’s chances in a “dance of the lemons”."
"One of the best weapons in the government’s armoury is an ambitious charity called Teach First. Inspired by a similar outfit in America, it recruits the brightest and best graduates to teach in tough inner-city schools for at least two years."
Sian Griffiths also cited Joan Deslandes, headteacher at Kingsford Community School, in Beckton, east London. She said:
"Teachers are not good at being self-reflective,” she said. “They believe they are being victimised, harassed, discriminated against. But we are professionals and I don’t think we should shy away from addressing problems in the classroom."
As WB Yeats said: "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." Also read about Michelle Rhee who shook up teaching standards in Washington, US here.

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