Everyone is the best teacher

Whenever I hire teachers, they all claim to be the best teachers, and so forth, but really, everyone is nothing more than average.  I have yet to meet any teacher who is completely honest with themselves and honestly admit that they are not the “best” teacher, but they are there is stuff they are good at and there is stuff they have to get better at.

If you truly love your profession, a better strategy would be to show me your passion for teaching and to give indication to things you helped master in- and outside of the classroom.

Last week I said that the act of teaching is not difficult, mostly because everyone CAN teach.  I don’t doubt your ability to teach, what I doubt is your effectiveness IN teaching.  This is always overlooked by every single teacher.  How do teachers measure their effectiveness, and here you will slowly realize why I am against how they do it.  Scores.  Teachers effectiveness are measured by the students scores, but there is a problem.  These tests are created by the teacher.  The lesson are prepped by same teacher.  The lessons are given by same teacher.  The test is given by same teacher.  The test is corrected by same teacher.  Anyone with half a brain immediately understands the problem.  Anyone with a smidgen of understanding of HR practices and ethics revolving around test taking knows that this is simply ineffective.

Tests cannot be objective under those circumstances.  OOOO you say, but that is why we have SAT tests and the like.  Generalized tests that are the same for all students and not dependent on the teacher.  Really?  Those tests are made by teachers.  At least, as far as I understand the Education Industry, tests are manufactured by those mostly occupied with the profession of teaching.  Nothing wrong with that.  Everything wrong with that.

Teachers teach to the test, if same said people create the test, they will make it in such a way that it maximizes their utility.  There is no objectivity.  Language tests should not be created by language teachers.  Statisticians, or any other mix of people who understand what is required to properly test the ability to use a language are the people who should develop tests.  Not teachers who want students to learn this or that way, and so makes the test reflect the efficiency of their “techniques” .  Why is grammar and vocab so important in Korea.  Because the people making the tests ONLY KNOW GRAMMAR AND VOCAB.  Which forces the whole country to abide by their POV.  It is ridiculous.

General Tests are scams.  Huge scams with children, an parents, as victims.

I am not sure if I can ever make a dent in this worldwide organized education scam.  Business have already developed excellent ASSESSMENT tools to better judge the real capabilities of individuals.  They don’t require Memorization as a base to do well, they require positive learning habits and behaviors, they require open mindedness, positive characters, and what else business requires in an employee.

I don’t think the Education Industry does what it is supposed to do, mostly because they are using the wrong tools, the wrong mechanics to properly assess a student, and assist that student to maximize their potential, whatever that potential may be.  Teaching is still very much teacher oriented, and thus limited to the limits of the teacher, most will claim otherwise, but they are selling as much BS as any MBA’er trying to sell you their product.

We will only know who is truly a great teacher, once teachers stop evaluating themselves, and start being evaluated by the results they achieved with their students through proper assessment tools.  Until then, the ESL mess we are in will remain unchanged.



Re: Everyone is the best teacher

There is a real problem with judging how effective a teacher is and I don't think there is any good method to judge all teachers.  Well, there is no easy method.  If you want to judge a teacher, first test his/her students when they arrive, inform the teacher precisely what you want from him(skipper the '/her for the rest of my comment) and then test the student again after some time has passed.  Also, do this to more than one teacher so you can see if one is doing better than the other.  Then, make sure you understand, and use, statistics to properly decide if improvement has been made

You will soon find that making and administering a good test takes a whole lot of work.  As you appear to want communication skills instead of grammar and vocab, I suggest asking students oral questions or long answer written questions.  Then you will need to read every essay or listen to every single answer.

I don't know any teacher that wants to teach TOEIC.  My students are required to take a TOEIC test and that affects their grade but we have never seen the test nor know when our students take it.  Administrators seem to like because it is the opposite of what I described above: it is easy to administer and easy to grade.  If you make a better test of English communication that is relatively easy to administer and grade, you will make a lot of teachers very happy.

I haven't read your posts before, Wangjangnim, and I don't know you or your place of business.  Your writing shows you have better English than most of the Hagwon owners I have known.  I am not attacking you personally, but your claim that:

"General Tests are scams.  Huge scams with children, an parents, as victims"

 is probably true but, only in the same way, "Hagwon owners are scammers.  Huge scammers with children and parents as victims." is.  Teachers teach to the test because parents and hagwon owners (and some university Deans) require them to.


I just feel you are attacking a group - teachers - that is not a free agent on the issue.  If you can make a better test, I really want to see it.

Re: Everyone is the best teacher

you've drawn me in. this is my life in malaysia. teachers who teach to the page, use published 'assessments' for formative testing, drill  n drill n drill, n chalk n talk chalk n talk chalk n talk. but i do assess teachers.

its my job, i monitor their classes, i teach their students, i observe them, 'correct' them when necessary, i coax them to prep, develop materials, plan lessons.  

they don't believe they're the best teacher, some relish the help, others refuse to change.

its a fun job, its a difficult job, and 1 by 1 it does make a difference. firstly on the teachers, followed by the students.