You Are At A Different Stadium

Ben Blum-Smith submits the quintessential teacher-review of Waiting for Superman:

Where did you think great teachers come from? That they spring fully formed from the head of Zeus? Just about everybody who’s an accomplished teacher used to be an ineffective teacher, and as the maker of a documentary about first year teachers, I’m totally confused that you don’t seem to understand this. If you want to talk about great teachers, but don’t have anything to say about the conditions under which teachers become great, you are at a different stadium than where the game is happening.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I wasn’t sure I could read anything else about Waiting for Superman, but this was well worth my time. Thanks for sharing the quote and the link.

  2. I agree with most of the review except for the notion that being hard on a teacher early on is a mistake since they need time to grow into a good one.

    If you are looking closely enough, it’s pretty easy to spot a bad teacher in the first year or sooner.

    A good teacher failing spectacularly in year one is leaps and bounds better than a bad teacher mailing it in, in year 30.