Education And Teachers


Since the conception of SulliChild I have had no less than a handful of good conversations about educating our child.

SulliMom and I have discussed. I’ve discussed with my mom and aunts. And, I’ve chatted with co-workers and friends.

Needless to say, decisions on your child’s education are fairly crucial. Molly and I are pretty set on sending our kids to Catholic schools. We both attended Catholic schools through grammar school as I continued through high school at Bishop McNamara in Kankakee, while Molly attended the perennially high-ranking William Fremd High in Palatine. Of course, variables like location, expenses and theory will come into play when the deadline on those decisions approaches. Do teachers ever enter the equation?

I mean, especially with Catholic schools, do parents go in and “test drive” a teacher’s classroom? Can I do that? Let’s say we pay $7,500 for a year of tuition. I wouldn’t pay $7,500 for a vehicle without a test drive.

Without question, our thoughts on education are rooted in our own experiences. Take a step back, and ask yourself if you really had a great teacher? Can you point to one teacher—kindergarten through college—who really impacted your level of intelligence and learning? You probably can.

Now, how many teachers can you rattle off that were really nice people, but you know you didn’t learn a damn thing? My guess is you can remember more of those. I had plenty of solid teachers and, even the bad ones, I appreciated for having my best interests at heart for the most part. Did it hurt or help me? Still evaluating.

But should teachers be scrutinized a little more? And shouldn’t teachers who do excel and make the effort to improve themselves be paid competitively for that? I look forward to hearing feedback from teaching friends and family. I find it all to be a great debate: private vs. public education, small school vs. big school, big classes vs. small classes, city vs. suburban, big-time sports or Class A sports.

If you have 20 minutes, print out and read this article by Elizabeth Green who is a fellow in journalism at Columbia University. She also edits GothamSchools.org which is a really interesting look at NYC schools. Featured are deans from UIC, DePaul graduates and many other Chicago connections. At the heart is how to build a better teacher, which in the midst of all the poor test score, No Child Left Behind and charter school headlines is typically left off the front pages.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Education And Teachers

  1. Nikki

    Very interesting article!!!! Makes me realize that some of what “I’m being taught” when I go to Professional Development, has it right on. I’ve been to a couple PD’s that have found similar findings to the article. I’ve also been to a fair share of ones that there is no way they’ve even thought about that!!!

    As far as the testing out a school, I know we have a semi open door policy. If a parent is trying to decide if they are going to send their child to our school, they can come in and have a meeting with the Principal and do a short observation of the grade level. I just had this a few weeks ago. They watched me during a pretty chaotic time of day, end of the day activities, including packing up and lining up. Afterwards, the Mom had a number of questions for me. So when it comes time for Sullibaby to get into school, I totally think you should check out the schools you are considering.

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