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Amid the unceasing chatter about teacher shortages—throughout the country as well as in New Jersey—it’s well worth your time to watch NJER TV’s new three-minute video featuring Dr. Robert Goodman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL), a non-profit that is currently a top producer of physics and chemistry teachers in America.
Goodman, an MIT graduate, had always wanted to be a teacher so, after 20 years running several successful audio electronics companies, he got his teaching degree in physics and started his next career, quickly discovering that “physics is easy but teaching is hard.” He worked in a Bergen County school that served many students in underserved communities and realized our most needy students were disproportionately bearing the brunt of the dearth of NJ science teachers. “If all students can learn physics,” he mused, “why can’t all teachers learn physics?”
Thus NJCTL was born, with a mission, as he says here, to “disrupt the status quo” of the “industrial education complex” by creating effective, alternative paths to teacher certification to best address the critical shortage of physics and chemistry teachers. After all, our classrooms were institutionalized in the early 20th century. Isn’t it time to reconsider how we certify educators so we can best serve students?
More on this tomorrow. Goodman is onto something big.