Consider the bromide: if the student fails to learn, the teacher failed to teach. TLWSHLWM works at an elementary school often exposing me to the state of the art in public education. We recently attended the Teacher of the Year awards for Cochise County, an event that caused me once again to become embroiled in an internal controversy.
During the ceremony the Superintendent introduced me to a new concept and, then, one of the nominees was quite proud of her advocacy of cognitive coaching. So, I looked it up and, as best I can tell, it is a process for improving teacher skills. This particular teacher, in her write-up, credited cognitive coaching for her success. There was insufficient time for her to expound. If provided a question-and-answer period, I'd now have a dozen questions for her but I was not edumacated enough at the time to even know there should be questions.
One of the nominees had been teaching 7-8 grade at the same rural school for 47 years. That's dedication in my book and deserving of respect and praise.
But, I came away from the ceremony thinking that the best any teacher can do is be a book that the student accesses or not, all depending on the mood of the student. I don't accept that teachers can motivate students. The best they can do is provide an evironment where motivation can flourish.
I know there are some teachers following GW's discussions, so I thought I'd throw it out to them: can teachers truly teach students?