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"good teachers"/tenure (long)

updated tue 10 mar 98


Joyce Lee on mon 9 mar 98

In response to Corrine's post on the qualities of a "good" teacher,
there have been in-depth studies undertaken over as many as 20 years
duration in the hopes of determining just what characteristics "good"
teachers have in common. The conclusions over and over again have
basically been that a good teacher is a good teacher is a good teacher.
Passion and dedication accompanied by the necessary learnable teaching
skills help and tend to motivate students. Amazing! However, if we
judge the quality of teachers by the learning that goes on in the
classroom AND by the amount of learning that sticks, sometimes some very
surprising teachers can be numbered among the "best." Sometimes the
rather rigid, go-by-the-book teacher, who is the professed favorite of
few, produces students who have learned the most. Test scores alone
aren't enough to make such a judgment; it's next session's teachers who
see the strength of their new students and vie for those promoted from
said "rigid" teacher's class who create the legend. Sometimes it's
potential employers of her exiting students who recognize that her
students l-e-a-r-n and seek to hire them. Glory be! Sometimes the
pain-in-the-neck-to-any-administrator, openly rebellious, breaker of all
rules, is the Super Star in the classroom. Students may or may not like
him either, but if they learn the lessons taught, he qualifies IMNSHO.
The compassionate nurturer may create warmth in our hearts, but if he
isn't also stirring our brain cells and causing us to think and create,
is he a good teacher simply because he's a nice, decent person? Should
she be awarded tenure based solely on a cooperative attitude? Should the
rebel be banished from academia just because he's a rebel? Such tough
questions! Glad I'm retired...and discovered the world of pottery that
isn't necessarily round nor square, but altered...and became a potters'
groupie...and have the privilege of agonizing over really knotty
problems, such as why my most gorgeous Clayart glazes ALWAYS RUN!!! I'm
going to start applying my slowly improving pulled handles directly to
the kiln shelves so they can be closer to the beautiful glazes meant to
be their destiny.

In the Mojave where El Nino has covered our sand with green stuff!