To the Editor:
Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there are some new hires in our teaching corps who are not going to make it, for whatever reason. When a new teacher fails at a first job, it is an unbelievable loss to the system and to the individual’s self-worth.
Some may finally succeed the second time around. Some, though brilliant at the university, may not ever succeed in schools. The thing to remember is that we all come to the earth with our own special package of gifts and abilities. That is no mistake. Figuring out the best place to practice those gifts is where the “rub” that Ronald Thorpe addresses in his Commentary lies (“Taking Arms Against Doubt,”Commentary, Aug. 31, 2005). Coming to the classroom may in reality be a mistake for some, but that isn’t anybody’s fault.
A version of this article appeared in the September 28, 2005 edition of Education Week as The Incalculable Loss Of First-Year Teachers