Thursday, January 29, 2009

quarterbacks and teachers

... effective mentoring of a new teacher can make an enormous difference in that person's ability to become a "star" teacher. But the problem, he argues, is that the process of mentorship is much too haphazard. As he says, "It's like training NFL quarterbacks by randomly sending them out to teams - some CFL teams, some Division III teams, some Division I College teams, some community teams, and a few to NFL teams."


If Matt Cassell can thrive in the NFL, after essentially zero college quarterback experience, what exactly is New England doing right? And what can the rest of the league learn from them?

I would go further and ask "What can school districts learn from this?" Teacher development will even tougher in times of lean budgets when mentoring stipends are not allocated. Teacher development is tough already with much of the community not appreciating or fully understanding "professional development days". These "professional development days" are looked for by many parents as "get-away days" for long weekends.

You should be involved in the discussion on the cost benefit analysis of each school budget dollar. With budget cuts looming, what stays in the budget will be critical to maintaining a healthy learning environment.

Read more of this article about "teachers and quarterbacks" by Malcolm Gladwell here.

Be active in the school budget process.

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