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Instructional Coaching with the End in Mind 4

downplay all the factors that help create good teachers—for example, adequate preparation, instructional know-how, solid curriculum, ongoing professional development, positive support from colleagues and supervisors, and a collective effort by the school, families, and community to make school a successful experi-ence for every child. 1

In a closing comment bound to have stung like a ruler hitting the back of the hands of Newsweek authors Thomas and Wingert, Scherer concludes that “Supporting teachers is neither dramatic nor easy. It certainly requires more time, more concerted effort, and more understanding of the nuances of the diffcult work of teaching than does criticizing teachers as a group.”

The Complex Role of Teaching

Teachers not only face such criticism as they juggle lesson preparation, tackle educational re-search, deliver the curriculum, and provide a good performance and techniques of instruction, they also work within the matrix of society’s ever-in-creasing challenges of children with learning dis-abilities; with physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. Teachers juggle various levels of student achievement—those advancing rapidly, those who struggle. Honoring both ends of the spectrum, teachers need be careful not to overtax the under-achievers and dissipate the drive of the more advanced and vice versa.

Teachers deal with gangs, drugs, students at risk, and children who have no safe haven in which to

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