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A Good Teacher in Every Classroom:
Preparing the Highly Qualified Teachers Our Children Deserve
The National Academy of Education
Committee on Teacher Education
edited by Linda Darling-Hammond and Joan Baratz-Snowden
Teacher preparation is always a multi-dimensional process as numerous aspects and
factors need to be addressed in order to prepare teachers for their teaching positions
effectively. This paper discusses teacher effectiveness in terms of several critical
factors—namely, the issue of enactment and practice, teaching as a complex job, and the
promising practices upon which teaching should be based. These factors can be used to
identify effective teaching, but teaching should be contextualized as context is a
fundamental concept in teaching and learning.
This paper discusses teachers' effectiveness after they complete their formal learning
process. However, as an EFL teacher, I have a different perspective of this connection.
Effective teachers should be prepared from the first day they pursue their college
education. In addition, not all candidates for admission to teaching and education
programs should be accepted just because they meet the minimal admission requirements.
These candidates should have to meet special requirements that ensure a multiplicity of
teaching, thinking, social, and cultural faculties to be available in candidates who want to
become teachers. This initial step should mark the start of more comprehensive
professional development, as it is not plausible to wait until student teachers graduate to
develop them professionally. Although this professional development rarely happens
In addition, for educators working in the field of language learning, they should focus
on developing both competence and performance. I agree with the author of the paper,
who emphasized the issue of enactment and that knowledge should be parallel with
practice. However, the author failed to mention much about how this equation would be
achieved in reality. I fully admit that a separation exists between knowledge and practice
in our local environment, especially with novice teachers, due to the fact that the college
curriculum still focuses more on providing student teachers with extensive theoretical
information and readings but minimal opportunities for practical hands-on experiences.
The process should be systematic and not subject to superficial circumstances.
Effective teaching skills and personal qualities are the most critical characteristics of a
successful teacher. Yet the qualities of effective teachers can be a dynamic concept that
changes over time. How a student perceives a good teacher could be very different from
the qualities teachers believe are important for succeeding in educating students, which
could result in noticeable gaps as strengths are mismatched with expectations between a
teacher and her/his learners. A learner might expect the teacher to show sound teaching
skills and possess constructive personal qualities (e.g., patience) whereas the teacher
might believe in reflecting on his/her own teaching and keeping up-to-date as being more
necessary qualities to cultivate. Such a mismatch can cause tension in the classroom as
the teacher works to fulfill his/her own expectations, which students might not appreciate.
The author of this paper proposed that pedagogies for teacher education such as
performance assessments, student teaching, portfolios, case methods, and practitioner
inquiry are good strategies for teacher education. However, the most important factor
here is that teachers' needs should be identified in advance, whether the teacher is a
novice or experienced expert educator. As an educator, I believe that novice teachers
need special education focused on teaching behaviors and maximizing their subject
matter knowledge. Meanwhile, expert teachers should be able to use modern technology
and recently developed teaching methods. For stance, I know some expert teachers who
do not know how to use blogs, text messaging, or CALL in teaching because they adhere
to what they have always used in their classes. They do not seek to update their
pedagogies in order to match modern inventions. Therefore, teacher preparation programs
should be tailored to educators specialized needs.
Successful programs in similar countries can offer meaningful guidance for
developing teacher-training programs. For example, one of the Arabic countries follows a
teacher development system called teacher cadre in which teachers move from one stage
to another in their professional ladder according to the their professional progress and
academic certification. Although such an approach might not work effectively in all
cases, strict regulations should be in place to avoid any violations.
Teachers should also be involved in the curriculum development process as they can
have a considerable effect on the quality of the teacher education. A curriculum planner
is one of the essential roles that the teacher plays in the educational process in addition to
his/her roles as a reflective practitioner, a researcher, and an observer. Teachers have
significant experiences with school activities and are highly cognizant of the pedagogical
needs of their students. However, teacher involvement in the curriculum development
process is not well articulated our context.
Teachers should be trained and involved in the process of curriculum development.
The reforms should start from the roots, especially with teachers who are in the field and
know what and where changes are needed. This will prevent teachers’ reluctance to
participate in the process of curriculum development. There must be appropriate structure
for the teachers so that their productivity can be enhanced and they can be effective
players in the quality of education.