In the June 29 Mpls. Star-Tribune, two extensive editorials debated the notion that many new teachers in our local schools would be sponsored by Teach for America: public schools, charter schoolsâ€¦
The usual routes for teachers trained by Colleges of Education would not be judged by Teach for America, and these new teachers â€“ who primarily have earned very high grades in getting their college or university degrees â€“ would offer much better teaching to our K-12 children. Or they would not â€“ said the other editorial.
Whatâ€™s going on here? Are our schools failing with the ordinary or usual teachers: how badly or well are they doing â€“ for whom? Who are these new teachers: are they â€œqualified?â€ To do what? Will they be better teachers? Or is this so much hype?
Here Iâ€™m speaking from the perspective of a Professor at the University of Minnesota, where I have been selected as â€œTeacher of the Yearâ€ in 2001, in the College of Liberal Arts. I also teach a course in Teaching as Dialogue: a book I also wrote. Just this Spring, Iâ€™ve been involved in the recently formed â€œGreat Teachersâ€ program.
And during the â€œmoney bubbleâ€ times weâ€™re currently passing-out-of, there has been a virtual redefinition of students. Like Medicine (capitalized), students and patients have all been â€œconvertedâ€ to â€œConsumers.â€ There are really no persons in this description which has sold so well during the money-bubble. And so there arenâ€™t really any persons doing the teaching: increasingly removed from teachingâ€¦it used to be lectures from â€œyellowedâ€ ancient lecture notes. Read the rest of this entry »