Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Excellent Teacher's Handbook 

I've been reading, bit by bit, Jerome C. Yanoff's The Excellent Teacher's Handbook. While it's more prescriptive at times than I think is justified, it's by and large a very thought-provoking, and I think, helpful book. As I read this, I'll pick occasional questions that I found interesting. The first that I'll reflect on is question 3, "A Teacher's Primary Goal."

The choices given were:

  1. to make a living
  2. to retire with a good pension
  3. to touch the lives of many children
  4. to feel good about the work being done
my choice was "to touch the lives of many children", but Yanoff suggests instead, "to retire with a good pension". He gives a good justification for this: The teacher must always be aware that he is in the career for the long haul. Teachers who don't make it to retirement, "use up their energy fighting losing battles, become unhappy with their work, and burn out."

Of course, in a job interview situation, it would be wise to phrase this more diplomatically.

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