Archives › Teaching As Leadership Book Critique

Mar 27 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part IX

Now that I’ve finished the entire book, including all the appendices, I’d like to make some conclusions and final reflections for any new teachers reading the book and especially for new TFA CMs. I think that one of the central themes of the book is that effective teachers know how to be efficient with the…

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Mar 26 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part VIII

I’ve just finished chapter 6, the final principle ‘Work Relentlessly.’ While I like most of the content of this chapter, I’ve got a few minor ‘improvements.’ TFA is still in the middle of a slow evolution of its philosophy of teacher training and teacher effectiveness. Sometimes it seems that they’re not quite sure if they…

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Mar 25 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part VII

Just finished chapter 5, ‘Continuously Increase Effectiveness,’ which I liked. It’s a very short 20 page chapter, which is very realistic. All teachers make mistakes. New teachers make a lot of them, but even experienced teachers do. Mistakes come from taking risks, and just like students learn from mistakes, so can teachers. When things don’t…

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Mar 24 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part VI

Chapter 4, ‘Execute Effectively’, is another very good chapter. Here is where readers learn that being an excellent teacher requires a lot of hard detail work. There’s the constant assessing of students during a lesson and then a lot of grading afterwards. I think a CM reading this will finally get a sense of what…

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Mar 23 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part V

Chapter 3 of Teaching as leadership is, surprisingly, quite good. Reading it made me even more frustrated about what happened in the first two chapters. It seems like chapter 3 is based on a completely different premise than the first two chapters. Chapters one and two seem to say, “Here are some practices we’ve found…

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Mar 22 2010

Teaching as leadership critique part IV

Chapter 2 begins with some first hand accounts by highly effective teachers describing what they do to ‘invest’ their students. Some of the practices of the hero teachers are kind of risky. For example, Kwame Griffith writes on page 54: I build strong relationships with my students, and they called my home nightly to talk…

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Is this ‘investment’ safe? One thing I want to make clear is that my goal here is not simply to ‘tear apart’ this book, magnifying small errors and ignoring any of its merit. I know this book is going to influence the decisions of many new teachers, so I’m actually on the lookout for good…

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The very first principle described in ‘Teaching As Leadership’ is ‘Set Big Goals.’ All effective teachers do this, they say, which I agree with. Implied is the converse that everyone who sets big goals will be an effective teacher or that many teachers who were not effective would have been more effective had they set…

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Mar 17 2010

‘Teaching As Leadership’ book critique Part I

Why the new TFA book could widen the achievement gap. I was excited to get my hands on the new TFA book ‘Teaching as leadership.’ For the past 19 years, I’ve been involved with TFA on many levels as a CM in 1991-1993, then eventually as an institute staff member in 1996. I’ve been a…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum

High School

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