Make,” which went viral on You Tube ( www.youtube.com
/watch?v=0xuFnP5N2uA). In the video, teacher Taylor
Mali delivers an impassioned paean to the teaching
profession (responding to a fellow dinner guest’s insulting
assertion that only a loser would enter a profession
with such low compensation). This book expands on
Mali’s theme, presenting a wealth of moving stories and
reflections from his nine years of teaching experience.
What do teachers make? They make a difference.
“We tend to think of learning in the same way that we imagine a child grows
But the process of learning is more like a
series of minor and major lightning bolts
What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest
Job in the World by Taylor Mali (Putnam, 2012)
Many people have viewed the video “What Teachers
taller: as a gradual, steady process marked
by occasional spurts of accelerated progress.
that strike the brain constantly. And if you
have ever witnessed one of those moments
occurring in someone else, then you know
why teachers say it’s one of the secret joys of
the profession. Especially if they helped make
it happen.”(p. 54)
Numbers of Note
83 The percentage of teachers
surveyed internationally who agreed
that the appraisal and feedback they
received about their teaching were
79 The percentage of teachers
surveyed who agreed that the
appraisal or feedback helped
develop their work as a teacher.
20 The percentage of teachers
surveyed who said that no evaluation
had been conducted in their school
in the last 5 years.
74 The percentage of teachers
surveyed who said they would
receive no recognition in their school
for improving the quality of their
teaching or being more innovative.
Source: Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development. (2009).
Creating Effective Teaching and Learning
Environments: First Results from the Teaching and
Learning International Survey. Paris: Author.
(Lower secondary education teachers in 23
countries were surveyed about their school
environments and teacher evaluation systems.)
Teacher Quality: The Tools You Need
Fortunately, the National Comprehensive
Center for Teacher Quality (www.tqsource
.org) provides a vast online clearinghouse
of resources for assessing and
strengthening teacher quality.
The site includes a library of books
and articles on teacher quality; a database
of free tools created by U.S. states, school
districts, and nonprofit organizations.
Of particular interest is the extensive
“Guide to Evaluation Products” section
gives detailed descriptions and links to
more than 75 evaluation tools currently
districts. To help districts locate the tools
most useful to them, the guide divides
Strengthening the quality of K– 12
teaching—especially in high-poverty,
hard-to-staff schools—is a tall order.
( http://resource.tqsource.org/GEP), which
being implemented in U.S. states or school
detailing teacher evaluation policies in various U.S. states;
an “Online Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher
these resources into 10 categories, such as tools for observing
teachers and principals, value-added models, and school
Evaluation Systems”; a list of trainings offered; and hundreds climate surveys.
To improve the team, you don’t study the scoreboard; you go out and practice.
—Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, p. 26