In light of my posts on teacher evaluations and Obama's new plan to improve teacher effectiveness, I just HAD to add this OpEd piece from the New York Times to the mix. It's about Ms. Kenny, the inspirational woman who has created three insanely popular and successful charter schools - the Harlem Village Academies.
And get this - she's not all about re-creating a static model or obsessing about program offerings. To me, that says, "I don't do dog-and-pony shows." How many times have I heard people spout on and on about all their after school offerings, their music programs, their playground facilities and blah blah blah and NEVER ONCE mention the teaching or the teachers. Not that after school programs, music and playgrounds are important - they are wonderful things that provide wonderful experiences for children. However, if you have crap teachers and crap teaching, you can have miles of beautiful slides but WHO THE HELL CARES?! Unless you are considering a future in sliding for your child. Then, congrats!
Ms. Kenny is focused on recruiting, developing and encouraging great teaching. She says "If you had an amazing teacher who was talented and passionate and given the freedom and support to teach well, that was just 100 times more important than anything else."
And I die.
Get this. She's committed to finding great people, establishing a culture that helps them learn, grow and improve, and AND (as if that's not enough) providing them with a community that supports and respects teachers.
Wait...where am I? What happened? I think I might have blacked out there for a minute.
It's like she read my mind. Again, I want to go to there...