Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14 - Teaching can be a profession

The article Teaching our children can be a profession  by Joel Klein mentions several issues and possible reforms to remedy the issues. The following is a list of those mentioned and my response to them.
  • Better academic training for prospective teachers
Almost half of the states cannot claim a math program that prepares the student like some of the programs in the higher performing nations.
-I agree with this. Some of the classes I have taken so far, I am seen some of my classmates struggle to understand some of the basics. The idea always horrifies me; how are you going to be expected to teach something that you have no even basic knowledge in. 
  • New approach to recruiting teachers
This would change things so that not everyone with a college degree should be allowed to teach, only the top third of graduates.

-I agree with this as well. Similarly to how what I mentioned above; although teachers should not be expected to every minute fact about their subject(s), they should show competency in understanding, adapting, and learning. 
  • Change how teachers are rewarded
This would make it to where keeping a job would be related to competency and not seniority.

-This has a lot of truth in it. Just because you have been teaching for 15 years does not make you a competent teacher, nor does it mean you ever were. The simple meaning is that you began teaching and gained tenure and are just hard to get rid of at that point.
  • "Teachers establish their own board to police the profession"
Teachers would set the standard for removing incompetent teachers. "Merit-based career ladder" would create promotion based on specialty exams.

-I agree with promotions would be better rewarded to those who prove their competencies,  but I do not agree that teachers should set the standard for removal. I believe most people are extremely lazy and if given the chance will set the bar lower to make life easier for themselves.
  • Demonstrate mastery before having college graduates be aides  
-To me it seems like this refers to a student teaching program, in that case, I most definitely agree. You should not be able to teach someone how to be an effective teacher if you yourself are not one. 
  • "Teachers would abandon their support for mandatory assignment of kids to neighborhood schools"
This would give more choice among public schools.

-From what I gather, this refers to students attending school in their district. This does not seem like a problem in Mobile county to me. I know many people who said they were easily transferred out of their school districts for many various reasons. Also, the high school from which I graduated seemed like a very large percentage of its students were on transfer.

There are many issues with our current education system. I agree with almost all of the mentioned changes. This is not to say I think they will all work out to be 100% effective; however, they seem like a good place to initiate change.

joel klein author of teaching our chilfren can be a profession
Joel Klein: author of "Teaching our children can be a profession"
Link to photo source: Amplify

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