Extremely well said. I originally majored in Biology and Statistics. Biology came easy to me because that's the field I wanted to be in, and I loved the subject. Math and calculus was interesting, but difficult for me. I always took each math class TWICE (once by audit), because it took 2 times to "get it". Let people learn by whatever method works for them. They learn faster, better, and are more highly motivated. A great teacher knows this. Unfortunately after 18 years of schooling I can count all the great teachers I have had on the fingers of one hand.
In Finland (#1 in Science, #2 in math in the world re:education) , only 1 in 10 applicants into a teaching program (including becoming an elementary school teacher) are accepted. ALL Finnish teachers are requied to have a Masters degree. They are well paid, respected, and very few change professions. A new teacher is overseen by a Mentor teacher, evaluated by a peer 6 times a year, and by the principal at least 4 times a year. There seems to be very little politics in the schools, and a lot of striving to work together, improve, and meet each individual student's needs. (This was all on a CNN special today,(11/6/2011) put together by Fareed Zakharia). A Finnish educator who had visited a US classroom was appalled at the number of children in poverty in that class.
We have such great monetary wealth in the US but such distorted priorities I fear we cannot help but fail.