Schooling Magazine

How to Get Rid of Bad Teachers (from the Archives)

By Stevemiranda

Education reform is in the news a lot these days, which is good. But the discussion about charter schools and how to get rid of bad teachers is, I believe, based a flawed assumption.

Here’s a line from a recent op-ed in the Washington Post written by a group of big city school leaders:

“The glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher— and our discomfort as a society with criticizing anyone who chooses this noble and difficult profession—has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future.”

Yes, we need to get rid of bad teachers. No doubt about it. But the idea that the teaching profession is noble and difficult deserves some critique. And it may explain why we even have teachers that we perceive to be inadequate.

I can speak only from my experience in middle and high schools, but I never felt “noble” while working as a classroom teacher. In fact, there were times when I felt downright selfish. The truth is that teaching and learning is so much fun that there were times when I reflected on my privileged existence and wondered how I got so lucky.

The obstacles that teachers face have very little to do with inherent challenges to teaching and learning, and is almost entirely a construct of the institutions we’ve created. The teachers at PSCS get to play soccer with kids, lead them in discussions about interesting TED talks, share a passion for Constitutional Law or Geometry or Music Theory, and share a lifetime of wisdom as they guide them through difficult choices.

At the end of the day, when we sit together and share appreciations for the wonderful things going on in our lives, I don’t get the sense that anyone in the circle feels as if they’re engaged in something “difficult.”

In fact, they’re engaged in something beautiful. PSCS tends to attract extraordinary people—both staff and volunteers—who are drawn to an environment based on passion and joy rather than grades and hierarchy.

These people are so extraordinary, in fact, that we never, ever need to spend time trying to figure out how to get rid of them.

(Join the discussion at Get updates at

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Keto-Cooking Tips for Busy Parents

    Are you interested in the ketogenic diet, but not sure how to cook? Then you'll enjoy this interview with Maria Emmerich. Having struggled with her weight in... Read more

    5 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • The Production of Ignorance

    Production Ignorance

    What the media gets wrong about trans people, how misinformation is perpetuated, and what we can do about it. The first chapter of Trans Like Me: A Journey for... Read more

    5 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Cnlester
  • Competition: SilentNight Pillows

    Competition: SilentNight Pillows

    For everyone who loves a bit of night time comfort, SILENTNIGHT are giving away a set of their - PURE COTTON PILLOW PAIR. These lovely pillows have a 100% cotto... Read more

    5 hours, 43 minutes ago by   Evette Garside
  • Listen: the Walls Group Releases New Single “my Life”

    Listen: Walls Group Releases Single Life”

    ChristianNews Stellar Award winning gospel group, The Walls Group which consist of four siblings ((Darrel Walls, Rhea Walls, Paco Walls, Ahjah Walls) has... Read more

    5 hours, 57 minutes ago by   Firstladyb
  • But I Wasn't Even Drinking!!!

    Here is a straight from the headlines story that all parents should use to talk with their teens. Erin is a 17 year old senior in high school, honor roll studen... Read more

    6 hours, 7 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
  • “This Is the Absolute Best I Have Felt in Years”

    Is the two-week low-carb challenge a game changer? This is what life-long weight struggler Jasmin has to say after stumbling upon it: Hi Team, My name is... Read more

    6 hours, 14 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Khao San Road: A Perfect Place for Solo Travelers

    Khao Road: Perfect Place Solo Travelers

    Sometimes all we need is a place where we can breathe, to exhale all the problems and to inhale all the positivities of life. You’ve heard this before “try to g... Read more

    6 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Vinzsalvador23