| Dec 13, 2010
Not much bigger than some of the fourth-graders she teaches, new teacher Bliss Maki is also still working on her "strong voice," a tool essential to keeping a class of wiggly 9-year-olds focused on the reading assignment at hand. But on a recent Tuesday afternoon, she had help—the voice of a veteran teacher giving pointers through a transmitter in her ear.
Melissa Monaco, a "coach" with many years of experience as a teacher, sat in the back of the room whispering advice into a walkie-talkie. For instance, Monaco noticed that two boys in the back row were beginning to talk and relayed that information to Maki. Instantly, Maki was beside them, suggesting that they get back to work or consider detention.
"There's not much that a 10-year-old can pull I haven't seen before, but she's new and there are 30 of them," Monaco said. "A fresh set of eyes helps."
The Academy for Urban School Leadership—which manages 19 schools in Chicago, including 12 that were designated for "turnaround" because of poor academic performance—uses this technology to help speed up the time it takes new teachers to learn the basics of classroom management. Read the full article by Sarah Garland from the Chicago Tribune online.