After reading about the Match “graduate school of education,” this reader shares the wisdom born of experience:

As a high school classroom teacher with over fifteen years experience, this type of graduate preparation is ludicrous!  There is nothing more important, especially in the HS classroom, than a teacher who is an expert in his/her respective field. The “tricks of the trade” are second nature for those truly called to this noble profession. A teacher needs passion and patience, but more than anything else she needs to know what she’s talking about. That is what gives the teacher authority. Students can smell fear and detect a teacher without content confidence. This is where behavioral problems emerge. The students feel insulted, and rightfully so; they deserve our best.

I would add that I have known brilliant graduates of the best Ivy League classrooms who didn’t know how to translate what they know into terms their students could understand. The kids chewed them up and spit them out. It is one thing to shine in a seminar with other smart people but something else to communicate your knowledge in ways that students understand.