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The Value of a Great Teacher… Part 1

Categories: Education 1 Comment

Nicholas Kristof, in a recent article on “great” teachers in the New York Times, cites a study that, through research, gives an estimated “value” for a great teacher through his or her students’ acheivements. According to the study, having a “great” fourth grade teacher will accord a student an average of $25,000 more in lifetime earnings over an average teacher. That student is also 1.25% more likely to go to college, and 1.25% less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. All of this from a fourth grade teacher? Even though 1.25% doesn’t seem like much, when you realize that you are tracing that back to a single elementary school teacher, then it’s actually a very interesting number to me. Imagine what a whole host of good teachers could do for a child! But the real issue is how do we get – and keep – great teachers in the classroom so they can affect students positively? This is an incredibly important question, especially when just shy of 50% of new teachers quit before their fifth year of teaching… (What does that tell you about the profession?)

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