20 February 2011

So, the reason that teachers are held in such low regard...

...I've come to realize is that, unlike every other activity known to America,

teaching does not have a reality program.

So here's the pitch (a la American Idol)...

Our panel, composed of Gabe Kaplan (from "Welcome Back, Kotter"), Edward James Olmos (from Stand and Deliver), and Hilary Swank (from Freedom Writers), give auditioning teachers 90 seconds to teach them something -- no handouts, technology, or other props/aids allowed.

The 25 quarterfinalists head to a one-room schoolhouse built on land owned by Regis Philbin just outside of South Bend, Indiana.  Once there the contestants will be eliminated through a series of tasks, bootcamp-style, from the mundane (moving large, out-of-date audio-visual equipment up and down several flights of stairs) to the rote (memorizing the periodic table, the Greek alphabet, and the "Gettysburg Address") to the invigorating (discussing poetry with Billy Collins and engineering with MIT's Amy Smith ) to the even more mundane (teaching me and the other producers the difference between "continuous" and "continual," what's wrong with "hopefully," and the difference between viral and bacterial infections, et cetera).

The final seven contestants will then be given a different teaching assignments in schools around the nation, same school and same group of students each week (but a different subject matter for each contestant). 

One will be eliminated each week, until the final two are determined.

The final contest will be a two-night extravaganza...the first two-hour episode will consist of each contestant teaching the television viewing audience some subject matter in a 45-minute class.  The second night (the following week) will have the television audience taking an interactive test in each of those subjects taught the previous night.

The winner will be determined by a combined score of judges' evaluation (50%) and test scores (50%).

The prize will be a choice of $150,000 cash or three years toward tenure at a school to be determined.


Call me!  We'll do lunch...


  1. Were you unaware of this show? http://www.aetv.com/teach-tony-danza/

    Gone, but probably not missed.

  2. Someone else told me about that show after they read this post. You'd think I, of all people, would've heard about something relating to Tony Danza (especially after his Sinatra song and dance period)!