Like many others, I’ve been reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers lately, and it is a wonderfully invigorating experience. I am quite familiar with the ideas and practices of Michaela Community School, and warmly supportive, as my regular readers will know. But there are still many points in the book that provoke further thought and reflection.
Lia Martin’s essay contains a fascinating account of what it took to convince her fully of the necessity for a no excuses culture, and an unapologetic emphasis on high academic achievement. Like many others in the teaching profession, she was burdened with the idea that insisting on high standards of behaviour and academic excellence for everyone would mean that some were unfairly treated. Shouldn’t their personal circumstances and challenges be taken into account?
The turning point was when Lia visited other schools, and saw in practice what the ‘some excuses’ culture…
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