on teaching

The current issue of The Atlantic has an article, "What makes a great teacher?" based on studies of data correlating teacher practices with hundreds of thousands of student annual test scores from the Teach for America program.

"Right away, certain patterns emerged. First, great teachers tended to set big goals for their students. They were also perpetually looking for ways to improve their effectiveness..... Superstar teachers had four other tendencies in common: they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully--for the next day or the year ahead--by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."

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