The value of a good teacher

An essential investment

Nicholas Kristof’s column in this morning’s New York Times is worth a read. I was lucky to have a number of excellent teachers growing up (and a few who were eminently forgettable…).

My favorite was Sister Patricia Clare (Sacred Heart School, Evansville, Indiana). She was strict and demanding, but she loved reading and astronomy–and so did this nearsighted, slightly chubby, astronaut-wannabe fourth-grader. We were a perfect match.

Today’s kids deserve as much. If we’re going to pull out of the economic hole we’re in, investing in talented teachers is an absolute must.


Filed under Education

7 responses to “The value of a good teacher

  1. As a teacher, I just finished reading Nicholas Kristof’s article with very mixed feelings. Frankly, it made me a little cranky. Mrs. Grady was obviously a very caring and perceptive person teaching in the pre-NCLB era. I wonder if all her students would have gotten 4’s on their CRT’s? Would her school have made AYP if they hadn’t? Would Mrs. Grady have been let go despite her intuitive gifts because her scores were off? You got me going, Mark…..!


  2. I can’t even keep my acronyms straight – it is Adequate Yearly Progress not ‘academic’. Read the link and the letter and then you will know what AYDP is.


  3. I didn’t read the article, neither am I a ‘teacher’.
    However, I see the effects of the children who are hungry, hopeless and emotionally damaged from things going on in the home that most of us will never comprehend.
    All your perfect A+ students and all your own worries about whether you meet standards and keep a job don’t compare to whats happening in underpriveledged homes, not to mention upper class homes where terrible things are hidden from the outside world.

    The real questions should be……
    What did you become a teacher for anyway?
    How can I use my gifts and talents to make a difference?

    I had very few teachers who cared about the ‘problem’ child.
    Most of my family is well educated and successful.
    We were blessed, many are not.

    Lets change a few things about what we’re going to do in our city and stop worrying about things that are superficial.

    Then, we see the next generation…….

    Either Good or Evil…….

    And by the way, I didn’t have any favorite teachers but my parents were and are still my favorite examples and have helped shape and form me.
    Thanks for the article.


    Mamma Rae


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