I want to move on to a new topic — my next question, just to throw out a challenge — is what makes a public school public?
But I promised to share some Teach for America teacher blogs. Here is the URL: teachforus.org. This is quite random — basically you’ll read the random, and to my mind remarkably honest, reflections of these young new teachers. Prepare for a roller coaster ride … which is just how I remember my first couple of years teaching. In the end, I think that the energy, commitment, inexperience, failure, and uncertainty that bless and dog these newbie teachers are pretty similar to what ALL new teachers face.
But I still think it’s an open question how we prepare teachers to survive those first few critical years. I’m inclined, from my own experience and what I’ve read about Teach for America, to think that mentoring from colleagues may be more important than formal education courses, that pedagogical theory needs regular testing under realistic wartime — er, school — conditions, and that youth, energy and smarts are still more important than formal training. Some of you agree; many of you don’t. Let’s keep this dialogue going.
So think about it. What DOES make a public school public?