Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Observing master teachers

Yesterday I observed a master teacher in my field. I'm still not sure what a master teacher is, but that is a very cool title. It would look great on a business card. Anyway ...

I think the biggest difference I observed between the two of us was her content knowledge. We are both teaching Macbeth, and theme. She simply displayed a true, effortless mastery of this stuff ... I got the feeling she could float up to college and teach, or drop down to middle school ... without missing a beat.

I feel the same way when talking to my mentor, and especially when talking to the head of our mentorship program. These ladies know English content at an advanced level, and the kids pick up on the depth of their knowledge.

I can study theme and Shakespeare all I want: There appears no substitute for teaching a subject ten times to ten different classes. Lessons naturally become more sophisticated, layered, and nuanced.

This in itself is an argument for automatic pay increases every year, if I may return to one of my favorite themes (see what I did there?) ... teachers advocating for themselves.

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