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Where Have These So-Called “Master Teachers” Been All this Time?

I am very frustrated by the lack of investment from many of our “best teachers” in helping mentor their less experienced and less confident colleagues.

In a post in May, I raised the question – Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession? I argued that these experienced teachers could be a vital resource for improving teacher quality.

It seems President Obama agrees:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $1 billion program to recruit high-performing math and science teachers to mentor and evaluate their peers and help students excel.

The so-called Master Teacher Corps program calls for recruiting 2,500 such educators at the outset and increasing that to 10,000 over four years, paying them $20,000 stipends on top of their base salaries. Each teacher would be required to serve at least four years.

To help launch the program, the Obama administration has pledged to release $100 million already available to school districts that have made plans to develop and retain effective teachers of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the plan would raise the prestige of the profession and increase teacher retention.

I just wish experienced teachers could offer more voluntarily without having to be bribed to help with costly incentives.

Click on the link to read my post, Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession?

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4 Responses to “Where Have These So-Called “Master Teachers” Been All this Time?”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Most teachers with a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge to offer newer teachers are not valued. Many of them would share their knowledge and experience freely, and many do, simply because that is who they are. By creating a special position of “mentor” and by filling those positions with young upwardly mobile teachers is a good policy if you want to get mercenaries.

    I couldn’t put a money value on the help I received from more experienced teachers as I was beginning my career and it cost neither me nor the employer a cent.

    Good will is the most undervalued educational resource, which employers squander as if it meant nothing. The more good will is wasted, the more other expensive resources are needed to take it’s place.

  2. Barbra & Jack Donachy Says:

    Thanks for the post. I have a question: Since when does being payed for providing an additional service of value constitute a “bribe?” You use insulting language like this of professionals, and then wonder why they aren’t forthcoming in providing said services. Add yourself to the “part of the problem” list of why this country isn’t doing better in education.

    • Michael G. Says:

      Thank you for your comment. You are right – I should have used the word ‘incentive’ instead. I do not mean to insult my colleagues. Rather, I am calling on experienced teachers to do what they can to mentor young, inexperienced teachers who need the support. I don’t want to lose these teachers or have them resent this wonderful profession due to a lack of support and direction.

      As for my contributions to education. I will leave that for others to judge.

      BTW, I really like your blog!

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