(Unnamed presidential candidate) talks a lot about attracting/hiring “the best and brightest” teachers. This is a meaningless cliche that’s beginning to annoy me greatly. What constitutes a “best” teacher? Tell us. And “brightest” is no guarantee of ability to teach effectively. My mother loves to tell of her college chemistry professor, a Nobel prize winner whom the students simply couldn’t understand. And my favorite Carl Sagan quote (referring to Ptolemy), “Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.” No, I think we are going to increasingly see that the “best” teachers possess abilities that can’t be measured — the ability to identify and teach to a rainbow of learning styles, and to begin with social/emotional learning as the basis of cognitive learning, not some as-time-allows add-on.
Comments from my Facebook page:
“How about teachers that can bring out the best in each student? Have a classroom where every student (of all abilities) is a community working together with synergy.”
“Oh thank you. This touches my heart as a teacher who strives to reach kids on a personal and emotional level, and to cultivate a classroom environment of tolerance and acceptance, values I hope they will take with them into all areas of their lives. If we don’t have that climate in our room, no one can reach their potential, regardless of how ‘bright’ I am or my instructional skill.”
“Working as a para-educator, I see all kinds of teachers. The ones the children love and respect are the ones who love and respect them, who have tolerance for ALL learning styles and continues to learn themselves.”