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01 March 2005: Second Time Around (6 of 6)

For better or worse, Iím the kind of person that can ignore nearly any uncomfortable reality until the moment when I verbalize it. Once Iíve said it, I have to acknowledge it. You canít put the toothpaste back in the tube.

So, I sit here and I think about the larger implications for my humbling and fairly obvious realization. What does this mean for public education? Am I advocating departmentalization at the elementary level? Am I suggesting that districts and others should invest more in elementary teacher training and retention? Am I criticizing teachers who use their experience to become more set in their ways, rather than more effective?

Well, yes. I guess in the end, I am in favor of departmentalization (which at elementary schools is usually called team teaching), teacher retention and meaningful professional development.

But, more than that, I will not surprisingly take this opportunity to make a point about teacher retention in inner-city schools. It's notorious in my state that the lowest performing schools often have teachers with little experience who are less likely to have professional training or certification. Of course, NCLB is supposedly designed to remedy that, but that's another story.

In the end, it is the lack of experienced teachers that is just one more thing contributing to the dismal achievement of many public schools.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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