Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Teaching: It’s More Than The Sum of Its Parts

September 24, 2013 1 min read

To the Editor:

‘Growth Mindset’ Gaining Traction as Ed. Strategy” (Sept. 11, 2013) is a very good article. However, it is disturbing that it needs to be written. It is sad that it is research that may be providing the impetus for some teachers (and parents) to use the common-sense strategies the author describes to build students’ belief in their ability to learn.

I became a teacher because I believed in the capacity of all human beings to learn and in my own capacity to create learning environments for students that could enhance that capacity. This is a commonly held belief among educators.

It seems that today a cottage industry has developed to point out the obvious. Something isn’t quite right. Do teachers ever have time to develop their own philosophy of teaching and learning and to reflect on their practice? Of course, they may do this in an occasional structured setting or during a required professional-development day, but I wonder if teachers themselves often lack confidence in their instincts if not reaffirmed by research and the latest trends.

We have dissected the art of teaching and learning into so many parts that the whole has been lost and with it the heart for teaching that so many people naturally have.

Gillian B. Thorne

Executive Director, Office of Early College Programs

Director, UConn Early College Experience Program

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Conn.

A version of this article appeared in the September 25, 2013 edition of Education Week as Teaching: It’s More Than The Sum of Its Parts

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession 4 Ways Districts Are Giving Teachers More Flexibility in Their Jobs
After a year-plus of pandemic schooling, some experts are seeing momentum for district leaders to reimagine what teaching can look like.
11 min read
Teacher working at home in front of camera.
Getty
Teaching Profession Why Teachers Leave—or Don't: A Look at the Numbers
New EdWeek survey results reveal why teachers consider leaving the profession, and how the pandemic has changed their decisionmaking.
6 min read
v40 32 Teacher Retention INTRO DATA
Stephanie Shafer for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession We Asked Teachers How They Want to Be Appreciated. Here's What They Said
All they need is respect, independence, a break, and a heartfelt word of thanks after a difficult year.
3 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+
Teaching Profession New Teaching Jobs May Emerge With Continued Demand for Virtual Learning
As school districts plan for online learning to continue beyond the pandemic, they'll need teachers to staff those virtual classrooms.
4 min read