Is superstar teacher sharing a good idea?

By Matthew Lynch

Teachers make a tremendous impact on the amount of learning experienced in classrooms and in cultivating an atmosphere that celebrates learning and engaging students. Like any profession, there are simply some teachers that have the natural talent, ability and drive that make them more successful than their peers. These “superstar” teachers go above and beyond the norm when it comes to helping students achieve success. These teachers can’t be everywhere, all at once, which relegates them to a small student population that benefits from the talent. Some school districts are trying to change this though, by spreading the talent of superstar teachers beyond their own classroom walls.

Nashville Public Radio reports that schools in the area are experimenting with moving highly-effective teachers between classrooms and having them serve as mentors to other teachers while impacting students. The idea is for these hand-picked educators to show through action how their teaching methods work and for that model to inspire the other teachers in the classrooms. NPR reports that school districts in New York, North Carolina and Tennessee are also experimenting with this style of mentorship.

I can see positives and negatives to this type of setup. On one hand, sharing the wealth when it comes to superstar teachers means more educators and students benefit from that talent. One the other hand, part of the reason these teachers are so effective is because they have the time needed to mold a particular group of students. By bouncing these teachers from classroom to classroom, I wonder if some of that positive impact could be lost.

What are your thoughts on superstar teachers moving between classes?

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