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Culture & Religion

How to Tell If You’re a Bad Teacher

In today's Washington Post, a successful writer and former teacher offers a simple quiz for teachers to determine whether they're cut out for the position.

Ellie Herman was a successful TV writer and producer before deciding to switch careers to become a teacher at a South Los Angeles charter school. Her story is profiled in today’s Washington Post in an article by Valerie Strauss that includes an excerpt from Herman’s blog. The subject: why teachers beat themselves up so much.

“Despite everything the books tell you, teaching is above all a deeply messy human endeavor; for all the exhilarating highs, there are terrible days when you feel like a profound failure, and those are the days when you long for a reality check.  Am I really a bad teacher?  How would I know?

Americans are often bombarded with rhetoric positing massive incompetence throughout the ranks of public school teachers. Herman says that this assumed truth isn’t truth at all, that most teachers are good at what they do. Included in the post is a short quiz Herman says can help a doubting teacher know if they’re really cut out for the job. The questions are simple. Do you like kids? If not, wrong profession. Are you passionate about what you teach? If not, wrong profession. Do you actually know your stuff? If not, please stop teaching wrong information and find a new line of work.

Simply put, Herman rates good teachers above bad ones based on measures related to competency and engagement. It’s not a complicated system. Teachers who don’t know what they’re talking about can be classified as “bad.” Teachers who can’t seem to find an ounce of passion in their jobs are just as harmful. Take a look at the full piece (linked below) and let us know what you think.

Read more at The Washington Post

Photo credit: Ollyy / Shutterstock


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