What Makes a Good Teacher?

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I spend a lot of time gripping about the absolute absurdities that get published in Korean papers about education.  When I was on the phone with my parents last night, they mentioned that they had read an absolutely fascinating article in the magazine section of the New York Times about teaching called “Building a Better Teacher.” For all of you teachers out there reading this blog, go read it!

I spend a lot of time gripping about the absolute absurdities that get published in Korean papers about education.  When I was on the phone with my parents last night, they mentioned that they had read an absolutely fascinating article in the magazine section of the New York Times about teaching called “Building a Better Teacher.” For all of you teachers out there reading this blog, go read it!

Basically, a consultant for American schools found that across the spectrum of factors that led to higher test scores, good teachers had the largest impact on scores. The most challenging thing: education degrees aren’t teaching teachers how to effectively teach.  Many of the methods they mentioned were things I had already learned, either through internet research, using my own experience as a student in my favorite classes or blundered into sometime during my first semester teaching.  One of the biggest issues is the effective lack of vocabulary for teachers to discuss what works and what doesn’t. Classes in education degrees aren’t discussing it either leaving a dirth of discussion that needs to be happening. I will admit that having a certain charisma can be useful in the classroom but it is absolutely not necessary. You just have to figure out how to do it…something that isn’t clear cut. Even my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate focused overly on grammar and teaching theories. Theories are great for intellectual pursuits but they do jack shit for preparing a teacher on how to effectively get their students to really learn.

It was really great to read a well though-out, extensively researched article that examined the data around how to improve schools.

…I’m totally lusting after this guy’s book.



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