Monday, September 6, 2010

Poor Quality Teachers

If teachers wish to be respected as highly paid professionals, maybe there should be some gravity behind being a certified teacher.
As it stands today, many people who teach are those who could not find success in any other profession requiring a degree.
Teaching is seen as a backup not as a goal - not even among many who work this profession themselves.
Maybe we should hold teachers accountable at the same level we do doctors, lawyers or even contractors.
In each of these professions, consistently flawed work is often followed with disbarment or the loss of ones license.
If a doctor working in the most run down hospital in any given town, working with old equipment and uncooperative patients were to fail (kill) the majority of his patients, he would lose his license to practice medicine.
If a bright young doctor was saving lives while an older burned out doctor was failing his patients, the young doctor would be promoted while the older doctor would be retired.
Maybe this is the approach we need to take with teachers - instead of letting the National Educational Association dictate why poorly performing teachers should have job security, maybe we should insist that they produce the best teachers for the most demanding conditions.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05FOB-wwln-t.html

13 comments:

brohammas said...

Is it more likely that teaching is a backup plan because we all know from the outset that the pay does not merit the effort taken to actually do the job.

Most doctors aspired to become so, not from some ideal to save lives, but because they aspire to be rich and respected.
Teaching provides neither.

Teaching is a proffession filled with failures and idealists (you hope your kid gets the idealis). Many of those who would be great at it are smart enough to know it isnt worth it financially or emotionally.

Pay teachers like doctors and THEN you can hold them accountable like doctors.

Desertflower said...

I'm afraid I have to agree with the above. In the colleges here, the kids all say they're going into education because it's the easiest. Unfortunately. The field is super saturated.

On the other hand, that there exist idealistic educators that do make an effort, or shall I say "natural born teachers" which is something I believe in, who make every effort to find a way to reach the student, yes there arem and I would venture to say that these are the folks that touch the student and spark the flame. Thank God for them. i think teachers are underpaid and overworked. And the education of a nation should not have economical limits set on it!

D. Freeman said...

The teaching profession has become the college barely made it out graduates welfare. Teaching has become a hustle as I know people who are smoking weed everyday but get called in to be your kids substitute.

You're right they need a way to evaluate people but it'll never be for performance as that's a corporate thing. A government evaluation is filled with regulations and paper cuts that look good but don't change anything.

Got to impose some kind of testing with some standards of some sort instead of letting people in. You need to weed dummies out and then increase the pay so you can really discriminate against the dummies.

They do it with other essential government jobs. This one has to be elevated so the overall stability of the future is insured.

Citizen Ojo said...

Subs smoking weed!! Damn times have changed....

DPizz said...

I would have to pretty much agree with your post, but I would assert that the problem of poor teachers is merely a blemish of the overall problem of the sad state of educational achievement in the US. The vast majority of the problem eminates from home and the parent(s). You should particularly know that if parents kept their kids in check in the classroom and were involved in their kid's education, this would eliminate 75% of the ills that plague our educational system. If parent's were actually involved, they would be the first line in identifying whether a teacher was weak or not. Though the things you say in your post are true and should be addressed, the real issues are pretty much on the parents, homie.

D.Freeman said...

@Dpizz - You're right the problem starts at home but shouldn't the schools be a bastion of discipline and what's right? It's a chicken and the egg angle but who cares both will be eaten.

Crime starts a home too but we don't use that as a excuse for poor policing!

Personally I get tired of people blaming the parents because that shit won't change. So now that we know we can't go into each individual home and make sure it runs right isn't it more efficient to make sure the schools run right?

brohammas said...

Freeman, Policing and teaching are different. Policing criminals is based on preventing an action or punishing an action. Teaching is based on encouraging an action or achievment.

Part of the problem with modern education is that so much of it has become policing.

It is one thing to stop someone from doing something, it is entirely another to get them to DO something.

Sad truth is that parents CANNOT be replaced. "uncle" John should know this better than anyone.

D. Freeman said...

@brohammas - then we need to scrap the system and come a new. If the majority of teaching is now policing then set up little jails and juvenile halls and subject everyone to the same discipline..

Since we know that won't happen then the answer is to find people who know what they are going into and want to succeed anyway. No one wants to dig ditches but that's the job no matter how foul the weather or circumstances the job has to be done.

The only thing we can control is ourselves and that's what every adult in every job has to come to grips with no matter the circumstances. This is the lay of the land so either we succeed or people shouldn't come outside.

brohammas said...

Which brings us back to my original comment.
The job is now harder, policing plus teaching, so if we want those who can do the job, lets offer compensation enough to attract the talented and ambitious.

brohammas said...

Which brings us back to my original comment.
The job is now harder, policing plus teaching, so if we want those who can do the job, lets offer compensation enough to attract the talented and ambitious.

D. Freeman said...

@brohammas - which brings me back to my point. Don't walk into a job and then complain that you aren't getting paid enough to handle the workload. Quit! If no one signs up to be a teacher anymore then I guess the state or country will enact the changes you seek.

Besides that it's like complaining about the weather. Yeah we all see it's pretty bad but you don't go stand out in the rain and complain do you?

DPizz said...

@D. Freeman, I really don't have an answer for your point that things will never change in the home. I only know from my own experience and the observation of others that it's clear that those students whose parents cared did significantly better.

I'm not in the hood so I don't really know, but when I was in school, my impression was that the majority of teachers were proficient (maybe not great, but proficient) and the key variables were the kids, their behavior and desire to learn.

If what you say about the home is true, then perhaps schools/communities need to take a harder position to either bring consequences to the parents or exclude kids where there is a clear absence of effort and desire, parental involvolment and good behavior. Sounds harsh, but as Mr. Spock says, the good of the many ........

D.Freeman said...

@DPizz - The way to change people is not ask them but to change their circumstances. That's why lack of opportunities kill people but when those opportunities are prevalent and obvious people take advantage of them...

I come from a family of teachers so their complaints weren't the parents it was the structure. The school district taking away the option to discipline the kids. The changing of the curriculum and the putting of 40 students per class. So their arguments weren't the kids and their parents it was the structure being insufficient. Teachers make a lot of extra money besides their salary and for those who can hustle the extra money is there.

The home for most have not kids has always been bad for centuries now. The bastion to save the kids and change them was the structure and environment and the circumstances created by attending school. When the school is failing they have failed everyone.

You won't change a grown man but you can make it very hard on him to live by affecting his circumstances. The same holds true for children especially for them as they adapt to whatever is the norm. If someone ran it like a military school those kids would rise to the level of the expectations. But, if you remove the discipline away from the school making them impotent then those outside think the parents are ignorant. They always were but the school made sure their kids weren't.

We don't have to let the kids die off like Mr. Spock says as they can't control their circumstances. But, it's a damn shame when those who can change things throw up their hands like they are powerless.