I also listened to this talk last night by Bill Gates. I had to post because I've felt for a long time that teaching is one of the toughest professions there is. It has always struck me how little support and coaching teachers get compared to the challenges they face.
I went to a comprehensive school so we had kids from both the bottom and top of life and it always struck me how certain teachers got great results and others didn't. I noticed the lack of support for those newbie teachers or those finding it difficult. That's not to say they were treated terribly. Just that I don't think people really appreciated how many skills you have to have to be a good teacher and how much support you need.
That said, with a supportive and nurturing environment any teacher can be fantastic and that's important because I'm very thankful to the exceptional teachers I had because I owe them much of what I have achieved.
I may have already posted about this but I wish the education system would be designed so that teachers could easily support each other. The older and more experienced support the younger and less experienced, have places to air issues and get advice and feedback. Just work on basic communication and collaboration approaches so everyone gets to benefit and teaching becomes a really fun friendly profession to be in. That's what Bill Gates hints at in my view and why I found his talk so inspirational. It covered something I've been wanting for a long time.
This talk covers two topics. The first is about curing malaria which is crucial to helping many of the poorer nations. Any thing that can be done would be fantastic. The second talk which is what I want to focus on is about how we can support and nurture teachers to provide the best education system for them. We hear about some schools that already have great systems in place an achieve fantastic results.