Focus on right fit for teachers, kids

Teacher evaluation is a nebulous topic! With 50 years in the profession (BA/MA, teacher for Shoreline schools, Lake Stevens schools, Western — currently subbing), I maintain truly great teachers are “born,” not created. Good teachers can be created and improved. Poor teachers can’t be fixed. It is as much an art as a career. With variables of teaching and learning styles, no one teacher is the best fit for all.

Certainly, the most important teacher is the parent, who should support and prepare the child to arrive at school with enough structure, values and training to be ready to learn. If this is in place, more responsibility can be placed on the educational system. That parent reinforcement has to continue to partner with the teaching experience.

A “sorting-hat” system, placing students in classrooms best fitting individual needs, is critical. Teacher placement should also have a “sorting-hat” to give each school a balance of teaching styles to fit learning styles. The Australian/New Zealand systems, rated best-in-the-world, focus on developmental placement.

Principals vary in opinions as to who is good or not. Students and parents probably can make a more accurate rating, hence parent competition for children to be in certain classrooms. But, the subjectivity of these groups would be difficult to measure. School, community, ability and economics all would need factoring. Attitude is probably the catalyst that is the most important of all.

Is it possible to package an objective evaluation to measure this multidimensional issue?

Nettie Stanton

Granite Falls