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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Rewarding teachers: The key difference from the military is motivation

At the end of his guest column, Dick Dickinson asks: If military instructors maintain such a high morale while also educating their personnel effectively, why can’t civilian educators do the same? [“Reward teachers like military officers,” Opinion, July 17].

The answer is simple: Military personnel want to be there. They are all motivated, because they signed up for it. Intrinsic student motivation is the single greatest factor that determines student success. Not the teacher.

Since this cannot be said of all public school students, the comparison is invalid. This continuing quest of some to try to reinvent the teaching profession just distracts us from the work we already know we need to do.

Arbitrary numbers like firing the “bottom” 5 percent each year, however vaguely this is defined, would do nothing to help this.

Dan Magill, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Dan Magill, Dick Dickinson, education

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