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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hey, TFA - Train Your Teachers!

In the second week of February, Teach for America recruits, alumni, and all sorts of other people involved with the organization will meet in our nation's capital to celebrate what they've done.

If you'd prefer that underprivileged children received quality educators rather than the poorly trained, often naive individuals TFA gains notoriety for placing in classrooms, click here to urge Wendy Kopp to increase TFA recruits' training time from five weeks to one year.

6 comments:

  1. In particular, what training do they need? What would help?

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  2. Thanks for sharing, I signed & couldn't agree more!

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  3. Um.. how about training with real students in real (often dilapidated) conditions? So that TFA's can learn to think on their feet and begin to understand that threatening to 'fail' their students doesn't mean a whole lot when getting enough to eat this week was more important than doing TFA's homework. See if they can find a mentor who has taught for at least 10 years because veteran teachers hone their craft...and TFA's may learn something too

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  4. TFA do your own research don't expect us to do it for you, we know you are all over these boards reading and learning.

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  5. You're suggesting something that isn't really training, but apprenticeship. That sounds good, but the current school setting (and funding) doesn't always make that particularly easy.

    If you believe the statistics at all, the TFA teachers don't do any worse than other first year teachers. What you seem to want is experienced teachers, but it's kind of hard to get them straight out of school :)

    On the threat of giving a failing grade, grades only motivate some students, of course. And it's not necessarily about food/homework. Many students who are perfectly well-fed and nurtured don't give a crap about grades. All teachers have something to learn.

    You seem to be angry. Perhaps you can find a way to help the TFAs in your school?

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  6. Hi abellia - thanks for commenting.

    I'll let your comments about TFA's statistics stand without response because I've written about them extensively on this blog previously.

    About me being angry - yea, I'd say that's a fair characterization. I think it's an appropriate reaction to TFA. I don't have any TFAs at my school (although there are probably some in the building), but helping them probably won't alleviate my anger toward a program that I believe is profitting (I don't just mean monetarily) at the expense of the underprivileged.

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