Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Growth Model

Long criticized for the short duration of its training, Teach For America has invested heavily in the professional development of its teacher corps.

By Stephen Sawchuk
September 11, 2009

Lisa Stone is hard to interview as she walks down the halls of Ballou Senior High School. And that’s for the simple reason that she’s enormously popular.

“Ms. Guido! Ms. Guido!” call students, referring to Ms. Stone by her maiden name. She smiles apologetically at the reporter and photographer trailing her as she stops to listen to updates on the students’ classes, new teachers, summer adventures.

A former history teacher at this high school, located in a poor, mostly black neighborhood across the Anacostia River from the Capitol, Ms. Stone finally breaks free. She heads toward the classroom where English teacher Adam Janosko, a second-year Teach For America corps member, has begun reviewing with his sophomores an article on the benefits of attending college.

After ducking inside the classroom, Ms. Stone sits down, snaps open a laptop, and starts taking notes on an electronic chart. In the left-hand column, she records time stamps. In a middle column, she describes Mr. Janosko’s words and actions. And in the right-hand column, she makes notes that will form the basis of feedback she’ll provide to him over the next day or two.

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