I was watching a medical/doctor TV show the other evening and started thinking about the years of education and training the doctors put in before becoming highly effective doctors. Doctors must complete:

  • Undergraduate Progam – 4 years.
  • Medical School – 4 years.
  • Residency Program – 3 to 7 years (depending on the doctor’s specialty).
  • Total – 11 to 15 years of education and practice.
  • Make a lot of money.

How many years of education and training must teachers complete:

  • Undergraduate Program – 4 years
  • Make barely enough to get by.

What is wrong with this picture? What do doctors do; heal and save lives!

What do teachers do; heal and save lives!

How about a residency program for teachers? I know we are talking about more money and there is already not enough money to pay teachers a fair salary. But first, let’s make highly effective teachers and then solve the money issue. Do we want highly effective teachers in every classroom and every grade, or don’t we? I suspect that if the parents (taxpayers) were over the moon about their child’s teacher, they would happily pay more in taxes for their pay. NO?

I know that I was not a highly effective teacher my very first teacher. I struggled and made mistakes. But over the years, 50 years now, I think I have become a highly effective teacher. I sure could have used a sympathetic ear and mentor during those early years.

Why don’t we have teachers, after they graduate with a teaching degree and certification from college, work with a veteran teacher for three years, a three-year residency program? Just like doctors. The benefits are:

  • the students get personal contact and help from two teachers in these residency classrooms,
  • the new teacher learns daily from the highly effective veteran teacher,
  • the veteran teacher gets help with the one-on-one help sessions with students and the instruction,
  • and the school pays less for the resident teacher for three years and then pays them a professional wage now that they are highly effective teachers.

That is a win-win for everyone, especially the children.

I would make the case that teachers are more important than doctors. I have a doctor now who I suspect calls me in for appointments just to collect the Medicare payment per appointment. Teachers make more minute-by-minute decisions than brain surgeons! Think about that!!

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