Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Secondary School Topic: Teacher Quality

10-second review: Studies the path people take to become English teachers and suggests more needs to be learned about the schools in which they teach as influencing the development of the English teachers when they get there.

Title: “Standpoint: Perspectives on Highly Qualified English Teachers.” AR Gere and D Berebitsky. Research in the Teaching of English (February 2009), 247-262. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: Here are some characteristics (some contested) of highly qualified English teachers. Earned BA degree in subject they teach; large gains in student achievement; wide variety of effective teaching strategies; product of traditional certification program; passed state proficiency test in their content areas; came into teaching via alternative certification; create safe, respectful and culturally sensitive learning environments.

Authors suggest that more research be completed on the role of the school or the teaching context in helping to produce effective teachers.

Comment: What do I think is an effective English teacher?

1. Wants every child to learn and tries to help them do so.

2. Keeps up with professional literature.

3. Reflects in writing on their teaching practices and experiences.

4. Does not believe that every underachieving student is “lazy.”

5. Uses the directed reading assignment with difficult reading materials: a. Builds background information on the topic; b Pre-teaches unfamiliar vocabulary; c. Helps students set purpose for reading in the form of questions; d. Has students apply or extend what they have learned from reading.

6. Encourages students to relate personal experience to interpreting literature.

7. Builds vocabulary through pre-teaching unfamiliar words before reading assignments; uses a vocabulary textbook like Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis; encourages students to keep a record of unfamiliar words on index cards with definitions as short as possible.

8. Teaches writing and grammar concurrently. Emphasizes revision through word processing.

9. Gives students confidence in formal speaking, speaking in groups, in debates and in preparation for and responding to interview questions.

10. Gives students the opportunity for independent study.

That’s my definition of an effective English teacher
. RayS.

1 comment:

  1. Hi

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    Best regards