Sunday, July 02, 2006

Holly Springs Part One

“Why don’t you place 25 teachers in one school?” Wade Chambers ‘96, MTC Reunion

At the MTC Reunion last July, during one of our open forums for MTC alumni to discuss topics and ask questions, Wade posed the one above. It immediately struck me as both brilliant and impossible. Brilliant because it solves one of the two biggest problems MTC teachers face: the quality of our individual teachers is diluted by the many mediocre teachers the kids have had before and will have after. While there are certainly some outstanding teachers in the Delta (and I worked with several of them) the majority are mediocre, at best (The other biggest problem we have is that our teachers often work for incompetent administrators.)

The idea is probably impossible though (in the way that Wade phrased it) because rarely, if ever, will a school have 25 openings at once. Simmons High School, where I taught, had only about 15 full-time teachers.

But the question nagged me in the weeks after the Reunion, and continues to nag me still. We may have found a solution, or at least the beginnings of one. While placing 25 teachers at the same school will probably never come to pass, this summer we got to see what would happen if, for a month, MTC ran their own school. The results were incredible…

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