In response to the “Just rewards for teachers” article by Marcus A. Winters, assistant professor at Colorado University, I find his research terribly flawed. He began with a negative statement that there are good and bad teachers and if your child is unlucky, he or she may receive the bad teacher, which will affect their grade level. From my personal experience I have found that the title “professor” does not always correlate with good teaching and I found quite a few.
In my 44 years in education, I have found that the great majority of teachers are dedicated and do an excellent job, and I believe that this applies to all professions. Winters also stated that receiving a master’s degree is unrelated to a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom — again, a misstatement and flawed.
First, we have to try to define what are the factors that make a “good teacher.” There are personal innate characteristics that are impossible to define, but there are some obvious ones such as good training, knowledge, dedication, leadership, fairness and the ability to be able to transfer these to their students. In a constantly changing world, as in all professions, it is necessary to update one’s knowledge and skills with new technology and pedagogy.
Winters also alludes to that teachers seek higher degrees for salary increases. Many states require teachers obtain higher degrees for the reasons that I just outlined.
It also should be noted that before a teacher receives an increase in salary for receiving a master’s degree, he or she must make a financial investment, spend a great deal of time and energy, and it may take several years before they recoup their investment. In my opinion, Winters’ research is baseless and not worthy to be considered as valid.
Henry L. Pearlberg, Ph.D.