Bill Gates’ Annual Letter – Excellence in teaching

Bill Gates published his annual letter yesterday.  It’s always interesting, thought-provoking, and inspiring.  In the education section, he focuses on how to cultivate great teachers, noting that the great ones tend to figure it out on their own.  He writes, “Most people who become teachers do so because they’re passionate about kids. It’s astonishing what great teachers can do for their students. But the remarkable thing about great teachers today is that in most cases nobody taught them how to be great. They figured it out on their own.”  He later makes reference to using video footage of classrooms as a way to improve teaching practices.  He notes that when teachers watched footage of themselves teaching, they quickly noticed when their students lost interest and analyzed how they could have improved.  So, in many ways, teachers should be at the center of their own reform, and administrators, leaders, PD specialist, etc. should focus on providing supports to help teachers improve themselves.