It seems that I have neglected to link the Atlantic article and I apologize. I thought for sure that I had completed that step.
By then, the organization’s founder, Wendy Kopp, had begun to notice something puzzling when she visited classrooms: many Teach for America teachers were doing good work. But a small number were getting phenomenal results—and it was not clear why.
–The Atlantic, Lukasova writes
First, great teachers tended to set big goals for their students.
they avidly recruited students and their families into the process
they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning
they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome
they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls
I am not expressing an attitude of dissent here, these are elements that all teachers ought to share: high achievement goals for all of their students, the integration of community and culture into the classroom, meeting state/national standards in every lesson planned and then planning those lessons thoroughly/ahead of time, and of course we want all teachers to be dedicated to their work–to fight against the restrictions of society.
I worry that by focusing on the program Teach for America, we are shaming our teacher education programs in accredited universities. Perhaps some of that shame is deserved; we need change because what has been happening has not all been adequate. The United States needs an education institution revolution.
However, not everything that has been happening has been bad. What about the successful teachers coming out of the four-or-five-year programs at our nation’s universities. I’ve been studying in an education program for years, not months. Surely my program isn’t useless in view of a short training program?
United We Stand
I don’t want to focus on comparing Teach for America’s training time period to that of university programs. Time is better spent on seeing how we can unite what is working across ALL programs. We need to be united on this education revolution! Yes, thank you Teach for America for researching, observing, and recording what is working in the classroom.