The greatest teachers are the ones that turn a B student into an A student, or a failing student into a B student.
Yesterday, I shared a quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, from his recent interview on Fresh Air, about why he thinks teachers should not take credit for straight-A students. I thought it was important to contextualize his thoughts, and by proxy, my own thoughts, on the subject, by sharing another quote from that interview.
As can be seen from today’s quote, it is not that Dr. Tyson nor myself are inherently “anti-teacher” or think that teachers don’t have value. By contrast, I think both of us subscribe to the value-added view of teaching excellence, which is that any measurement of teaching must compare the change in learning that the teacher was able to help facilitate. This has been one of the major problems with how standardized testing was implemented in the past as it only looked at current “ability”, not changes in ability. Teachers only have influence over the change of ability. And I am not alone in thinking that if any measurement of teaching is to exist, it must view how much a teacher helped to change a student’s life. Many other teachers share this view as well.
P.S. – You may have noticed I said, “this has been one of the major problems with how standardized testing was implemented”. There are other major problems with past (and current) standardized testing. Which I will post about in the future, as I get sufficient evidence to support me statement.