Apr 11, 2011

Lessons From A Bronx Middle School

This weekend's New York Times magazine cover story offers a close-up view of a Bronx middle school trying to transform itself into a place of excellence. In the piece, Principal Ramon Gonzales discusses the training he gives to new teachers -- visiting their classroom several times a week and providing coaching and instruction that inexperienced educators need but don't always get in their first year or two. That kind of mentoring pays off.
The article shows how hardworking teacher Emily Dodd motivates a struggling student to come to school and improve academically. Dodd is clearly the kind of teacher principals hate to lose. It's a point worth making as seniorety-based layoff decisions are being made nationwide in these tough economic times. It makes no sense to show teachers to the door based on how long they've been in the building. It would mean some of our best teachers will leave our schools, and maybe the field, and it would mean all the work Gonzales does helping new teachers would be wasted.
Click here to read the full New York Times magazine article.

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