Teacher Training: What’s the Best Way?

(Friday, March 27th, 2009)

“Johanna Klinsky remembers her teacher training ruefully.

“She loved the theory she learned, but her only classroom experience was 10 weeks of student teaching, which did nothing to prepare her for the chaos she would encounter as a teacher in an inner-city Chicago school.

“‘It was pure hell,’ she remembers. ‘I was wildly unprepared.’ In the end, though, she became part of the 55 percent or so of teachers who stick with the profession beyond five years. ‘But I guarantee you those kids didn’t learn a thing,’ Ms. Klinsky says.

“These days, she works as a coach in a Chicago teacher-preparation program far different from the one she went through: Aspiring teachers are paired with mentor teachers for a full year in urban classrooms before becoming teachers themselves. It’s one model gaining attention right now as educators and policymakers debate how best to train teachers – particularly for the high-needs urban classrooms that need good teachers the most and are often saddled with those who are least-prepared.”

To continue reading, go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0327/p01s01-ussc.html.