Seattle Girls' School

News and happenings in education from the Head of School, Rafael del Castillo

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's the matter with teachers today?


Link to Pacific NW Magazine Article


Depends who you ask! I believe we have the best faculty in the city right here at SGS. They embody the 10 qualities of great teachers; and yet we are sometimes tempted to focus on one imperfection rather than view the "big picture" of what they have to offer to each of our students.

Ten Qualities of the Great Teacher?
Attention Gates Foundation: 10 Qualities of a Great Teacher
James D. Starkey, Ed Week, 2/3/2010

Sense of humor
High intuition
Knowledgeable about the subject
Listens well
Articulate
Obsessive-compulsive
Subversive (at times)
Fearless
Performer’s instinct
Taskmaster

There is also a generational shift happening within our teaching corps - public and private. Pat Bassett of NAIS provides a comparison of motivators for Baby Booomer versus Gen Y/Millenials:

Boomers:
1. High quality colleagues
2. Intellectually stimulating environment
3. Autonomy regarding work tasks
4. Flexible work arrangements
5. Giving back to the world through work
Recognition from one's employer

Gen Y/Millenials
1. High quality colleagues
2. Flexible work arrangements
3. Prospects for advancement
4. Recognition from one's employer
5. A steady rate of advancement/promotion
6. Access to new experiences/challenges

I am struck by item #1 that is clearly cross-generational. Not only is a school's success strongly correlated with the quality of its faculty, I would argue that the richness of their collaborative efforts and the opportunities to learn from each other may be the key to achieving excellence across a faculty - regardless of size.

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