Thursday, March 11, 2010

Building a Better Teacher

The cover story of the New York Times magazine this past week, Building a Better Teacher, dealt with the increasingly popular topic of improving America's teaching corps. Author Elizabeth Green makes the point that with 3.7 million teaching jobs in the US, you can't simply hope to attract a better caliber of teacher in the future. Your best bet for improving student outcomes is raising the skill-level of the vast majority of teachers who are neither great nor awful.

Teaching and managing a classroom are, it turns out, skills like any other. Some people are naturally better at them than others, but most people can become better than they currently are with focused, deliberate practice. It's a fascinating piece, and worth checking out.


Anonymous said...

This is a really great article and the techniques discussed in it are deceptively simple. As someone who is not a teacher I find it hard to believe that these ideas are not a part of the general curriculum. And you are correct, as someone who loves patterns and analysis this is really fascinating stuff, dare I say exciting.

Anonymous said...

This was a great piece of reporting. This was a satisfying article to read and kept me engaged. The writer, Elizabeth Green, is also editor of

The reporting on the site isn't biased and covers all perspectives. I get tired of only reading about controversial subjects, like gifted education, from a biased perspective.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see you contribute on, by the way.