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Bruno: TFA Isn't The *Only* Lousy Teacher Prep Program

Classroom-chaosGary Rubinstein has what sound to me like some legitimate gripes with Teach for America's preparation program, which often involves student teaching placements in tiny classes with students of random ages.

The thing is, as bad as this sounds, I'm not sure how much worse it is than any randomly-selected conventional teacher prep program. I am often angry about what I think were the shortcomings of mine, and I'm actually not sure I've ever heard any teacher express satisfaction with their own program.

I think beginning-teacher stories like Roxanna Elden's resonate precisely because the vast majority of new teachers are woefully underprepared to step into their own classrooms for the first time.

This is partially because teaching is just objectively hard and it's inevitable that doing it for the first time will involve struggle. Watching new teachers flounder and looking at the sobering statistics on new teacher retention, however, it's hard not to conclude that we couldn't be doing a much, much better job in our credentialing programs, be they traditional or alternative. - PB (@MrPABruno) (image source)



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I have a friend who finished her first year of college this year. Her preparatory "training," involved them throwing her into a class, without the normal teacher there, and having her act as a substitute. She was overwhelmed and having no control of the class really impacted her confidence. There has to be a better way.

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