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Read a Post for Teach for America’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values: A Closer Look
 
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A veteran classroom teacher responds

Posted By: Paul Rigmaiden on May 28, 2013
 
This critique implies a colonial arrogance contained within the TFA organization. That is, the TFA organization reveals the presence of a missionary complex. As such, it purports to have the answer to problems in schooling. Sure, poverty affects the quality of education students receive; this is not news. TFA implies that with their limited training (teacher training as a flash mob?), they can somehow do what veteran teachers cannot do, that is, successfully boost student achievement because of their untested leadership abilities. Somehow, the TFA approach implies that it can "fix" the school system because teachers and teaching methods in schools impacted by poverty are not able to boost student achievement. The word leadership is important, because it suggests one's responsibility for more than oneself. Based on my experience as a classroom teacher, poor leadership has led to many of the problems in schools. For example, if teachers are inadequate, who hired them and gave them satisfactory evaluations year after year? Who requires lockstep allegiance to a textbook program, as opposed to using a teaching approach that address student learning needs? The so-called leaders, the managers, the administrators are the ones largely responsible for many of the unfortunate circumstances found in our school system. Yet, teachers receive the blame for everything considered wrong with our schools.
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 A veteran classroom teacher responds by Paul Rigmaiden on May 28, 2013
     
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