Kevin Blissett: Out of the Cave

Leadership, Classroom 2.0, Curriculum, China

Creating Great Teachers

At about the 8 minute point of this video, Bill Gates poses the question, “What makes a great teacher?” I’m not sure that he ever gets to outlining specifically what those qualities and practices are; however, he does indicate that there is a huge gap between the great ones and the poor ones.

He goes on to point out that our current system, which is controlled by the unions, doesn’t reward the great teachers or give them incentive to remain. He indicates that some teachers’ contracts only allow the principal to enter the classroom once a year, and then, only after giving notice. He compares this practice to a factory manager who is only able to observe workers on the factory floor once a year and rightly implies that such a business would quickly fail.
Gates is very high on the KIPP charter public schools which seem to be doing a masterful job of preparing disadvantaged kids for university. Ultimately, he posits that there needs to be better tracking systems to determine which are the good teachers, frequent observation, and bonuses in place for doing a good job. Great advice!

March 24, 2009 Posted by | rewards, teaching quality | Leave a comment