What is a good teacher? How do you recognize that rare individual? One of the problems Bill and Melinda Gates have had in making grants for education reform through their billion-dollar foundation is that no one seems to know what makes a good teacher. Indeed, Gates stated: “The single most decisive factor in student achievement is excellent teaching.” But no one could tell him what made a good teacher. But since I spent 12 years — 1932 to 1944 — in public schools, I think I have a good idea of what a good teacher is, and I wish to pass on to Bill and Melinda and the coming generation of teachers some of the wisdom I have acquired.
It’s ironic that it is Barack Obama now ramming a contraception policy down Catholics’ and other Americans’ throats. Little more than a month ago, former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos spent 10 minutes in a Republican debate grilling presidential contenders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on, of all things, contraception.
I recently submitted what I took to be a spirited defense of Ron Paul to a well regarded right-leaning publication — that is to say, a publication that is widely esteemed by notable establishment neoconservative Republican pundits. It was rejected.
In what follows I relay my latest experience with its editors. I welcome any feedback from readers — including feedback that is critical: if I am wrong, please call me out on it. I ask only that you supply reasons for your assessment.