There was a young lady that I met during our meet the teacher night recently; a student of the highest caliber that not only exemplifies what a student should be, she also possessed a delightful personality and disposition. As I began to speak with her parents, I could see the same excitement and exuberance she displayed in class across the gleaming faces of both of her parents; the apple did not fall far from the tree in this family. After the nervous smiles went away, we started to discuss her plans for the future, which apparently involved dropping my science course and changing her graduation plan her senior year.
It was because of her teachers.
With a love of science, an understanding of mathematics, and a curiosity for learning, this excitable young person who was on the brink of beginning their higher education was going to forgo three years of high school engineering experience all because of three teachers. Not just any teachers; three years of bad science teachers. Biology, chemistry, and physics.
Floating around in the educational ether is the “myth” of students getting bad teachers three years in a row hindering their economic progress. Whether you believe in the data or not, there is no doubt that bad teaching affects students, affects the culture of a school, is counterproductive to the development of our youth, and is effects cannot be fully quantitatively measured.
We have to change this landscape.