Geez, am I great? Sometimes, I think. Feeling particularly pressured at the moment by ‘the schedules, the syllabi, the standards, the evaluation system, the pressures of 700-page textbooks’ and know that it is absolutely not ‘mastery of your content that determines a student’s long-term fate’. I need to keep remembering that. Even with the preponderance of examinations, and benchmark testing and ridiculous shit we’re bringing back from the 80s.
There are endless articles, blogs, essays on the difference between good and bad teachers. All the frameworks for teacher evaluation highlight the shades of difference. But to my eye there are far too few adequate analyses of the difference between good and great teachers.
I actually find that latter distinction more interesting, in a similar vein to the Jim Collins inquiry on businesses: how does one go from good to great? And like Collins, I think the difference is qualitative – The actions, behavior, and attitudes of great teachers differ considerably from those of good teachers; it’s not just a matter of degree. (That’s why I find almost all the well-known evaluation systems humdrum – they focus on mere goodness instead of being designed backward from greatness. That’s for another blog).
Let me propose a set of distinctions – admittedly a bit glib – that may have…
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