"We know so little about this study. Why would I ignore obvious factors in
a classroom like curriculum and class size because a Stanford Economist is
at the head of the study.
Indeed, a great teacher can be more effective, and children in that
teacher's classrooms may make great leaps in learning; however, children
ca respond to and connect with teachers for very idiosyncratic reasons,
and it can't be distilled to a formula. I don't find necessarily better
teachers in classrooms with kids who score better on tests, any more than
I find better service or products in businesses who make more $, whether
or not an economist tells me I should.
"I think this is a lot of hype worth nothing. It would be unfair if I
didn't say I am a teacher and a very good one. Know I don't claim to know
everything under the sun but I do know how to get you to learn anything
under the sun. I am an artist here to help others on their path in life.
I love people and enjoy working with others that want to learn. I
understand what it feels like to be frustrated or overwhelmed and maybe
even disinterested but I DO NOT, I repeat I DO NOT LIKE BEING PUSHED
AROUND. I don't do it to my students and I don't like it being done to
me. Unfortunately, so many of our administrators are under the radar for
underperformance or not making benchmarks, that they pressure educators as
if we were flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant. I won't be
belittled like that for any job. I didn't pay all that money for a degree
to be treated like my students' performance is microwaveable or pressure
cooked and will be ready in a certain amount of hours. No!
t realistic when it comes to the human experience. For that reason, I
cannot allow myself in a classroom where administrators are failing
educators. They lie to the public to save face and behind close doors they
are the abused, abusing. Speak up...know your administrators for who they
"It is so hard to be objective about your children's teachers. I have
learned the hard way, that I don't have to like or even be friendly with
the teacher. I do have to trust their ability to educate my child. For
some reason, both my children had a difficult time in first grade.
Personally, I did not get along with either of their teachers. Neither
teacher could communicate clearly about my children's progress. Yet, one
teacher was definitely better than the other. In one case, it took my
child a whole year to catch up from what she had missed in first grade.
The other teacher was not easy to speak with or to get information from,
but I saw my child make dramatic leaps in all areas of learning. The best
way to see how the teacher is is to pay attention to your child's
progress. Children learn at different rates, but you know your child the
best. You know if he or she is performing at their best. Get involved
early if there is a problem.
"yeas some days you should 'sit in' and visit with your child's classroom
and observe the teacher's behavior, and teaching skills. You would be just
as surprised as I was, when my 6yr old grandson's teacher threw up her
hands in despair, and abruptly walked out of the classroom when a student
she called on did not respond with the correct answer. Parent's will never
know what goes on in their child's classroom if they do not pop in from
time to time."
"Very nice job on the video clip. The teacher is focused on the 4
children. Where is the rest of the class, and what are they doing during
small group time?"
"The article didn't give me a simple list of what to look for in a great
teacher. Though it was a real eye opener of the stats that great teachers
do vs not so great teachers do. And there where some great comments from
parents, but in general the article left me wanting more. Besides, here
in PA, especially where we live, we have great schools. Actually there
are very few 'bad' schools in our general area. But as great as the
school / teachers are, there are always a few bad apples out there."
"The only way parents will find the teachers effective is if they
themselves do a good job at home in preparing their children mentally to
make good out of every teacher. Any child can learn something from any
teacher if they would make an attempt to comply with their part. Nowadays,
students try to get by with minimum effort. Don't get me wrong but I do
beleive we also need to find a way to detect effective parents parallel to
finding effective teachers."
"Carol Lloyd says, ...since when do parents have any power over motivating,
choosing, training, or hiring teachers? Isn't that the province of the
politicos, unions, and principals?
That is all right except that politicos and unions don't choose, train, or
hire teachers. And even motivating is a stretch since their roles,
especially unions, is pretty well circumscribed by law. What is missing is
the role of local central administration in all this. Those nice people at
the School Board and Superintendent's office are supposed to handle these
"This was a very informative perspective on exceptional teachers. When I
met my sons teachers for the 1st time one in particular caught my
attention as well as my heart. As I stood waiting to greet her she
addressed a student with her mother present and let it be known that she
isn't allowed to dress in the clothing she was wearing and would be sent
home. She let it be known that she had high expectations for her students
and the only way a student fails in her class is if they don't show up for
class. She has found creative ways to get the students engaged and stated
that she does not send home homework because the students simply don't do
it. So she used every minute of her time in class to see to it that her
students are learning and quality time is spent teaching. Standardized
testing is so unfair to the teachers and students. The teacher could be
do her best but if the student refuses to learn and do his part then the
teacher should not be held accountable. That !
works both ways."
"It is interesting how the author describes Lemov's teachers in a charter
school. Public school educators don't like the competition that charter
schools offer to parents. Most charters are more successful than the
traditional public schools because of better screening of teachers and the
lack of interference from unions."
"I agree with you Carol about what to look for in Great Teachers. As an
unemployed middle school teacher, who has been with the students for over
10 years, the word 'science' of teaching is frustrating. My opinion is
that teaching is a 'calling' not a career so to speak. I have such a sense
of yearning to teach and connect students with knowledge that I drove
across the country from LA to NYC in order to find a classroom of students
who can benefit from my skill as an educator. I was one of the first 8,000
teachers layed off from Los Angeles Unified School District, being lowest
on the totem pole so to speak.
What I am finding is that there is an unspoken expectation in the new
description of a 'highly qualified teacher' and that is that they must be
under 35 years of age. It is sad really that there is discrimination
according to age.
Each teacher is a unique individual and conveys the curriculum in varied
ways. A major aspect of schooling is the social perspective. Students are
learning how to discern the teacher's expectations. Society is not made up
of 'cookie cutter characters' who all act and behave the same. Students
learn valuable social skills in school. I tell my students 'study to the
teacher.' That is the methadology of every college student who succeeds.
I realize that my views are a bit skewed at the moment, what with not
being hired by a principal that could be my son's age, but my passion to
teach has never wained.
"In every school in every school district, parents need access to
valued-added evaluations based on pre-and post-testing results like the
analysis of LA teachers the LA Times did recently. School districts would
be required at the parents' request to provide free tutoring to students
of teachers who scored below a certain minimum rating; perhaps some of the
cost of extra-curricular tutoring could come from the teachers' pockets.
That would provide a great incentive, otherwise known as money, to improve
teacher performance. Teachers rated as excellent could earn extra money
as mentors for less effective teachers.
It would also help for an organization to produce a 'best standards'
information packet for parents, which would be distributed at the start of
each school year. 'Best standards' would describe the best teaching
practices, such as returning graded tests to students so students can
learn from the tests, rather than reusing tests year after year. This
would give parents some objective indicators in assessing teacher
"Nice article - does a good job of summarizing and pointing to some
"I was lured in by the email title saying 'Read our parents' primer on the
latest findings on what makes a great teacher Ã¢â‚¬â€� and why you should care.'
Do you really think it is a primer? I feel no more enlightened than when I
first started reading the article. Not uncommon for your site though. But
this time I was annoyed enough to comment."
"I find the topic is very apt and useful. Thanks GREAT SCHOOL . I am sure
by sharing and caring we all can contribute for a better planet."
"the long article in itself is proof of the complexity of the subject. as
soon as you layout the list for effective teaching you are assuming every
student in your class needs similar motivations and would learn at the
same pace and that we all know is not true. i look at teachers these days
and all i think is, 'gosh they look stressed'. think how much fun kids are
having learning in his/her class. in my opinion steps should first be
taken to motivate our teachers, remind them what fun it is to mold young
minds instead of handing them list/studies that delineate 'effective'
"What a great article! I am a preschool teacher and director of a private
parochial school and I would like to think that I have some of the
qualities listed as a great teacher. I do know that I LOVE teaching and
look at each new year as an opportunity to observe the miracles of early
child development. For me it is such a privilege that parents entrust
their little ones in my care. I truly feel blessed to be able to do what I
"monitors in the classrooms are the answer to discipline & teaching skills.
large screen tvs with top notch instructors are the future."