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Volume 10, Number 6
November/December 1994


A Few Teachers' Unions Take the Lead in Policing Their Own


Ann Ramsey, principal of Abbott Junior High, peered into Ed Klein's math room. His students were actually sitting at their desks. Two raised their hands. Hannah Landau, a master math teacher and Ed's mentor, sat in the corner quietly taking notes.

Two years ago, when Ann first became principal, she had dreaded passing Ed's room. Inevitably, four or five kids would be sitting on desks; some would be flying paper airplanes or playing paper football. Ann had worried; there was never enough time to help teachers like Ed. Even with 14 years of experience, he didn't know how to manage a class or give clear directions.(Like most teachers, Ed had received tenure after three years on the job.) Helping him would require an enormous amount of time and energy; the help would have to be given discreetly, consistently, and empathically. Ann simply couldn't run the school and coach Ed.

After seven months of frustration, Ann had talked to the teachers' union building representative. They agreed that Ed was a good candidate for "intervention," the district's peer mentoring program. The two called a meeting of the building committee, which voted to place Ed in intervention.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


For Further Information

For Further Information

"Teacher Excellence: Teachers Take Charge. An Interview with Dal Lawrence." American Educator 8, no. 1 (Spring 1984): 22-29.

The Toledo Plan: Intern, Intervention, Evaluation. Available from William Lehrer, assistant superintendent for human resources, Toledo Public Schools, Manhattan and Elm Street, Room 105, Toledo, OH 43608.

J. Ucelli. "Quality Teaching: Parents and Educators Demand New Standards." School Voices 4, no. 3 (Summer 1994): 1-3.

C. Waters and T. Wyatt. "Toledo's Internship: The Teachers' Role in Excellence." Phi Delta Kappan 66, no. 5 (January 1985): 365-367.