As the Teacher Goes, So Goes the Student

In March 2011, Dr. Kathleen Cashin was elected to the NYS Board of Regents from the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Cashin is a clinical professor of education at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education-Lincoln Center. One key issue that Dr. Cashin will address during her time as a Regent is the importance of finding ways for teachers to succeed. She has researched why so many countries, like Finland, Singapore and Japan, exceed the US and what she has discovered is quite enlightening.

She found that in countries with outstanding educational system success, their educational system is built around support. They don’t want teachers to fail and there is a great deal of support available. These countries also show extreme respect for teachers, full funding of their educational systems, and no government slashing of funding when the economies falter. These countries have a high level of societal respect for the teaching profession along with a consistent level of professionalism and long-term commitment toward teacher success. These countries have a high degree of teacher support, coupled with the idea that teaching is the primary profession by which everything else evolves. If educators don’t succeed, no other profession will succeed.

Dr. Cashin’s research is quite timely during the economic crisis faced by NYS along with the entire nation over the past several years. Teachers have humility, restraint and pervasive instructional focus and became teachers for a reason. When the government does not support teachers, school systems and community, the child is the one that suffers. She concludes with the following: “As the Teacher Goes, So Goes the Student”. Government officials, school administrators and taxpayers should heed her warnings before our educational system is damaged beyond repair.

Picture credit - Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
Kathleen M. Cashin visiting pupils in the Rockaways, Queens.
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