By Nick McDaniels – Hey, TFA. I’ve got an idea.
As you know, good teachers are important and class size matters. As you also know, your bloated budget allows you to have hundreds of employees who don’t actually teach students, but, rather, support teachers who teach students. And as you also know, despite this amazing level of support, your teachers perform at about as well as traditionally trained teachers who don’t have this support.
How about this? How about you take all these supporting cast members, and put them back into the classroom. Instead of having your best teachers working out of your offices, supporting your teachers, put them into schools, where they can teach students, and offer support to your other teachers, and newer teachers from other backgrounds.
Would this diminish the level of support that new teachers could get from these supporting crew members? Absolutely!
Would this also allow your best teachers to be directly in front of children? Absolutely!
Would this allow all students in schools to enjoy smaller class sizes? Absolutely!
So why don’t you do it? Why don’t you do what you do best? Fundraise! Generate the funds to put your best teachers back into the classroom. Donate the money to school districts to hire back your support teachers. And then use the remaining funds to pay your support teachers for additional “Teach for America” branded support, complete with all the lingo and a copy of Doug Lemov’s book, Teach Like a Champion.
The impact could be huge if you shifted your organizational strategy to have as much direct contact with students as possible. It’s certainly worth a shot, if you really want to have a positive impact on children.