Teacher Quality, Status Entwined Among Top-Performing Nations
Prestige and respect, not only salary, are seen as crucial elements in the quest for a truly professional teacher workforce
One of the most troubling things that the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, hears about her profession can be summed up in a single observation: the idea that she and other top-performing colleagues are "just" teachers.
The word "just" serves as a reminder of a subtle mindset among some in the United States that a career in K-12 teaching, while considered noble, is nevertheless somehow seen as beneath the capacity of talented young men and women.
"People go into teaching because they are committed to young people, because they are incredible communicators or experts in their field," says Wessling, a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. "But many people in our country see teaching as though...
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