Recently, I read the following quote in Education Week, “Teach for America is a scourge. We need teacher programs that attract people to teaching as a career, not as a bullet point on a resume.” The quote was presented as is, with neither preamble nor further explanation. So honestly, I don’t know the context of the statement. But overall, I have to say the gentleman could not be more wrong. Teacher programs do not attract people. The job attracts people. And right now, the job sucks. Low pay, high stress, and no appreciation from the public and our elected leaders for the work we do (remember actions speak louder than words). So any organization that advocates and encourages public service is an asset. One that actively recruits bright and motivated graduates to fill the ranks of our profession, based on the nobility of serving your fellow man, is an ally. Because, quite simply, the idea of serving the greater good is one of the few selling points that our profession has going for it right now. Granted, a lot of these Teach for America teachers only teach for a couple of years and then move on. But the same can be said of teachers who come from the colleges of education. If there is complaint that one could have about Teach for America, it is that it could do a better do of preparing its candidates for life in the classroom. But TFA does a much better job of understanding that the classroom requires specialized training and support than any politician. Our current crop of politicians and policy makers believe that teachers are a commodity and that teacher preparation is unnecessary. Want proof? ACP programs, certification waivers and vouchers underscore their belief that teaching is simple and anyone can do it. So, if Education Week were to quote me, I would say, “I need energetic, optimistic teachers who will work every day to try to make a difference. If after three years, I can’t convince them to stay in our field, shame on me.”Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4tFollow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation

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