Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What to do with a poor quality teacher?

What to do with a poor quality teacher.
“a lot of people who have been hired as teachers are basically not competent.” Al Shanker

There is no doubt that the most important element to a child's learning experience is the teacher. Great teachers have an impact on the child's academic achievement. A great teacher will ensure the learning experience is a quality learning experience. Great teachers can only survive in schools which have great leaders. Great leaders enable leadership and innovation. Teachers who are leaders and are innovative are great teachers. Great leaders, great teachers equals great students. Tax payers contribute to a system which should be a quality education system employing quality educators.

A poor teacher actively damages the student's learning experience. Poor teachers are a power-base of mediocrity that is resisting changes in the teaching profession. Poor teachers fabricate excuses. They are not responsible for their outcomes. They are not responsive to their students. If the classification of poor performances are a consistent average across workplaces at least 25% of teachers are poor performers. Poor teachers not only sponsor poor performances of their students but they effect leadership and the quality of teaching within their school. Poor teachers do not look for opportunities. They are safe remaining in the same classroom, teaching the same subject to the same students within the same program and from the same textbook. Whilst there are identifying features of bad teaching they seem to be protected by ineffectual methods for removing them from the system.

Poor quality teachers can be identified!
-> They rely entirely on a text book for content and activity.
-> They do not link learning to the students knowledge base.
-> Relying on hand written notes from the whiteboard.
-> Not allowing sufficient time to copy down notes from the white board.
-> Teacher dominating all verbal content.
-> Narrow use of technologies.
-> Authoritative demonstration.
-> Students do worksheet after worksheet.
-> Create a confrontational environment.

Poor quality teachers are chocking the overall quality of teaching. They are managing an effective mediocrity against change and innovation. The poor quality teachers are actively removing quality and innovative teachers from the system. Once in a permanent position a poor quality teacher is hard to remove. Is it worth paying poor quality teachers to stay out of the classroom or are the numbers so large that this would shut down a school? Should a school cover a vacant position until a quality teacher can be identified? Decisions need to be made if education is to regain its rightful place in society.

There is not a number of poor quality teachers that match the benefits of one great teacher? Poor quality teachers are ineffective. Great teachers are effective. Multiply ineffective teachers all you like but it doesn't match one effective teacher.

Teachers, students, parents and school executives know who the poor teachers are, but poor quality teachers remain in force. If the system and the leaders of a school can't remove poor quality teachers who can? Should it be up to students to file complaints? Should parents organise and actively identify poor quality teachers? The present situation portrays a 'fear of complaint'. Quality teachers leave the school in pursuit of a 'better' school. Rebellious and or disengaged students face punitive punishment, drop-out or move schools. Parents go in alone and request class changes or move their children to another school. Shall the local high school remain overwhelmed by the mediocrity and incompetence of poor quality teachers?

Mediocrity and incompetence will trump the present needs for change and innovation whilst leaders, parents, children and employers remain passive towards poor quality teachers. Little will change whilst poor quality teachers remain in the system. Whilst they remain data and more data will be collated for minimal effect.

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