→ "There's a Cheaper, More Effective Way to Train Teachers"

Virtually all beginner teachers, in our experience, meanwhile, agree that what they need more than abstract social and pedagogical lectures are tangible techniques and granular-level coaching. They need Band-Aids, not meditations on hematology.

What made my Masters program so good was that we really did have classes focusing on how to teach high school Latin. Those courses, while still not perfect, are the ones I still refer back to daily, not the generic Education and Educational Psychology courses.

There are some really good ideas here about a less-centralized, apprenticeship model of teacher training. One example:

Fortunately for Will, he teaches at a charter school that does something innovative and different. At Will’s school, the top master teachers are given an additional free period to observe and train new teachers—not in pedagogical theory, but in tools such as how to support individual students (“Elijah’s parents are responsive”); content-specific tricks (“here’s a way to explain how to derive the distance formula from the Pythagorean theorem”); or school-specific techniques (“this is how our school manages half-days”).

My school currently does some of this, but there is probably room for more. There are a a lot of master teachers in the building, and we have to use those resources well.