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Letters: Good people make good teachers

December 09, 2012

Re "Teachers, tests and fairness," Editorial, Dec. 5

Those who evaluate teachers should consider whether those teachers, current and prospective, actually like children. Teachers who know how to encourage children will get good results.

I spent half of my elementary and high school years in a small town in South Dakota. After flunking the first grade and spending the next several years failing, I had a fifth-grade teacher who loved kids and encouraged me. That small school had unsophisticated teachers who loved the kids. And we learned.

I went on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees. Now, a few weeks shy of 80, I'm still teaching.

A sensitive, experienced educator can spot a compassionate and authentic teacher in a few minutes, and children can quickly tell if a teacher likes to teach. Drop the expensive tests and revise the process of hiring teachers and evaluating the present ones.

Donald Hanley

Vista, Calif.


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