What To Do With All Those Bad Employees – Firing teachers or shuffling them?

Alexander Russo wrote today concerning what to do with poor teachers

from This Week in Education

No one’s entirely comfortable with the people we’ve been using. They cost so much. Sometimes they’ve been arrogant and refused to change their ways. (They’ve even been accused of doing some really bad things.)

But you can’t just get rid of them all. There are too many to replace. Not to speak of the whole learning curve that would be involved with bringing in new people, no matter how well trained they were.

So what you’re probably going to do is to end up using the same people again, perhaps just under a new title.

This is just as true for classroom teachers as it is for Blackwater security personnel (NYT).

Full-scale replacement is out of the question. What can be done to make things better at scale?

Some brief thoughts about Alexander’s post on this rainy day:

Performance based pay is part of the answer. Money can be a great motivator for some malcontents. I know, we would all like to have this noble idea that everyone goes into teaching only because they love it. That may be true for most, but messing with someone’s income will move just about anyone.

Mandatory training for those who are in need. We give (or should give) struggling children extra help. Why not teachers?

High performing teachers should be assigned as mentors to low performing co-workers. Mentors could teach part of the day and mentor another part. Mentoring another teacher should also factor into pay assessments.

Of course all of those require reforms in how we assess students and teachers. More on that here (check the comments and Chuck’s blog)

Also, all statistics on assessments etc should be easily available to teachers, principals, and superintendents. It’s time we digitize. Think of the time and money that would save.

Last, we need to reconsider who we hire. A skimming down of certifications to require a candidate hold a college degree, meet essential skills and content knowledge depending on subject and grade level, and of course passing a background check will open up the teaching field to those frustrated with the current process.