Today, the climate for many teachers is grim. Many teachers, especially seasoned professionals, are struggling with crippling budget cuts, intense scrutiny and evaluation and class room populations that, due to teacher layoffs, have expanded.

This week, in our “5 education articles to start your week” series we look more closely at the struggles these teachers are facing and what we can do to solve one of education’s more difficult problems: grooming quality teachers.

Teachers: How much more can we take?

by John Norton, The Answer Sheet

While engaging in a Teacher Leaders Network daily online chat, John Norton discovered that many seasoned veterans of teaching are now rethinking their plan to continue teaching until well into their 60s.

The teachers chronicled in this article come from all different types of professional and educational backgrounds, including rural and suburban schools. Frustrated by budget cuts, pay for performance programs, and expanding class sizes, these life-long teachers are now looking to early retirement as a way out of the teaching profession which is slowly sucking them of the previous joy in teaching.

How do you find an effective teacher? Ask a kid

by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press

A preliminary report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making its way around the education community this week. According to the study, we can determine who the most effective teachers are simply by asking the kids who learn from them. The average student knows effective teaching when they experience it.

According to the report, the foundation is using the research to craft a newer, more reliable teacher evaluation system designed to help teachers improve professionally.

Why can’t ed colleges match Teach for America?

by Maureen Downey,

Two new studies released this week reveal the true value of Teach for America teachers.

One study in North Carolina reveals that Teach for American teachers are among the most effective teachers in the North Carolina school system, while the Tennessee State Board of Education also had similar effectiveness reports. According to their research, Teach for America-Tennessee was the only program implemented in the state which had a positive difference in reading/language arts, science and social studies.

Bill Gates – out of touch with teachers

by Linda Thomas, My Northwest

While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates money to reduce poverty and enhance healthcare around the world, in the United States the foundation focuses soely on improving education.

This week Bill Gates is getting a lot of flack from teachers who say that despite his generous nature, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder is “out of touch” with classroom teachers.

How Do Successful School Systems Treat Teachers?

by Sabrina Stevens Shupe, guest blogger Huffington Post

In the best school systems, being a teacher is a highly honored profession. Governments  often take special care to recruit top students into the teaching profession. They also offer ongoing mentoring and leadership development which supplement an already high-quality teaching education.

In this article, Sabrina Stevens Shupe identifies other commonalities that set apart successful school systems such as peer evaluations and teachers who stay until they retire.

featured photo by Stephen Poff

Free e-Book: 5 Tips to Improve Your Reporting for Standardized Test Reporting
Download this eBook from Socrato to learn how to optimize and improve your reports to help students improve their scores on standardize tests such as the SAT, ACT, LSAT or others.

Download the eBook >>