The Best Teachers Aren’t Heroes

But We Still Don’t Know What Exactly a Great Teacher Looks Like—or How to Build More of Them

We’ve all had bad teachers—and many of us have had great teachers, too. It seems as though it should be simple to figure out what the great ones have in common, and how to instill those traits in teachers-in-training. Yet figuring out what defines a great teacher—and how to make more of them—is a complicated and even contentious subject, said a panel of education thinkers at an event co-presented by the Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Los Angeles Times education editor Beth Shuster, the evening’s moderator, opened the …

How a Teachers College Dean Makes Great Teachers

It's Not Enough to Recruit Smart People. We Need Our Students to Learn the Theory, Get in the Practice, and Receive Lots and Lots of Mentoring.

I was 20 years old when I graduated from college in 1967—the first woman from my family to take courses past high school. My cousin Adolfo was my only other …

How Do We Keep New Teachers From Flunking?

Push Student Teachers Harder, Stick with Them Once They’re in the Classroom, and Integrate Them Into Their Schools' Communities

Teaching elementary or high school is not an easy job. But teaching teachers is tricky, too. Teacher preparation programs have to strike a delicate balance between theory and practice. And …

Is My Disability the Most Interesting Thing About Me?

How I Learned to Write About Cerebral Palsy without Preaching, Selling Out, or Being Forced to Become a Beacon of Inspiration

I’m awful at the art of the retort. My older brother tried his best to teach me about comebacks, but the lessons never stuck. Insults leave me stunned and silent. …

Do We Really Need Finland to Teach Us How to Teach STEM?

Looking Abroad Can’t Hurt. But the Answers to Better Math and Science Proficiency Might Be Closer to Home Than We Think.

In the 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama challenged the nation to produce 100,000 excellent new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by the year 2021. In …

My Kid Has Autism. Now What?

We’ve Come A Long Way in Educating Kids With Autism, But That Doesn't Mean It's Easy

Autism education has come a long way in the past few decades, but diagnosing children with autism, figuring out how best to teach them, and raising awareness among students, parents, …