Interesting editorial by Stephen Brill in the Wall Street Journal (link here). He discusses the lack of systemic support for training, motivating, and compensating good teachers and how it leads to burnout for the top performers and encourages below average teachers to remain. With visions of providing greater leadership and industry transformation, Brill believes that the teacher’s union should be brought into the conversations of revamping tenure.
One area not covered is the role of colleges and universities in this process. Traditionally, higher education would identify, motivate, and prepare students who showed an interest and aptitude for the career. However, as many campuses viewed teacher education programs as cash cows, easily filled with students, and even more easily ignored when it came time for resources. This philosophy must change or we will continue to produce teachers ill-prepared for the commitment that they will face in their early years in the classroom. Setting expectations that the industry is more than summer vacations and 9-3 hours, that to be transformational, teachers will need to commit to the prep time and the constant learning needed.
Surround these newly focused graduates with a system of support from the union and administrators sounds like a step in the right direction to me.