The Frog Blog

Thoughts from the Leapfrog Learning Center in Shrewsbury

Student “drop outs” have devastating consequences but “teacher drop outs” are equally problematic.  Time magazine reports America’s public schools now have 3.2 million teachers and 2.8 million will retire over the next seven years.  Finding replacements is complicated by the fact that 30% of all new public school teachers quit during their first three years on the job (50% in the first five years).  Low pay is part of the explanation but more important is the disillusionment from a system that simply does not work.  Failure guarantees low job satisfaction and little positive reinforcement.  Motivational programming is the solution because the mechanical process of teaching is totally different when children are enthusiastic and committed to learn.  Teacher drop out ratios will change dramatically if teachers are given the tools to succeed.  Recently, there has been growing support for holding teachers accountable for student performance.  People like Michelle Rhee in Washington have gotten considerable publicity for improving school performance by firing mediocre teachers.  Not surprisingly, this strategy has met with outrage from the teachers union.  Improving teacher quality is critical but the way to do this is by giving them a curriculum that works.  Pouring money into teachers’ salaries without overhauling what and how they teach will only prolong our failure syndrome.  Support from the teacher’s union is an essential part of educational reform.  This support can be ensured by making them an integral part of designing course material that is fun and stimulating for both teachers and students.

Visit the Leapfrog Learning Center to find a school that makes learning as fun for teachers as for students.

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