Alternative Certification?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tyler B., Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Should teaching certification be waived for candidates who are successful in their field?

    Just read an article in the New York Times where the author pointed out that frequently the most successful people in a field are often terrible teachers. He suggested that good teachers tend to be people who’ve freshly learned a subject and remember how they learned it. I would go farther and say that the best teachers also have training in how to reach, manage and motivate children.

    The article reminded me that teaching is a set of very demanding skills that many people just can’t master. The quiet high school science teacher who can hold her students spellbound and inspire them to further study is a far better person to teach than a dazzling Nobel winner who can’t manage a class full of adolescents.

    Your thoughts?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    Well, I haven't run across any Nobel winners in the elementary and secondary school systems. Experts in their fields often describes university instructors, however. I will say, as a science teacher, that if you could show me the right expert, I could definitely see a place for them in Honor's and AP classrooms. Besides, just because you start teaching without further education doesn't mean you will remain a teacher without leaning more about how to teach. I've met a few newly graduated teachers who are not stunning teachers either. What is their excuse - they have a degree in teaching?
     
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  4. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    There are definitely low skilled teachers out there. Somewhere between 40 and 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years. It's a really hard job. 17991812_10155253604888708_2612032261320149703_n.jpg
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    And that half of all teachers will exit before their fifth year started long before AR teachers became as prevalent as they are today.

    I doubt that there are any Nobel Prize winners in that list.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You are correct and I’ve read this statistic many times before. This is why California adopted its BTSA program years ago for new teachers to get the support they need so as to retain said individuals in the profession. It has since been renamed to Induction instead of BTSA. Though, I’m totally glad to be done with that, haha, and felt it was a huge waste of time.

    Personally, I’ve always been told that I’m good at explaining things ever since middle school and have tutored students ever since, paid or otherwise. I think that led into my wanting to go into teaching and ultimately becoming a high school math teacher. My teaching credential program was fantastic and I learned so much from there. BTSA, not so much. It was pretty pointless and we only met like once a month and there were so many forms I had to fill out. We discussed things I already learned in my teaching credential program and what I did in my teaching practicum, like how to write lesson plans and how to differentiate instruction. I was very bored each meeting, but I can definitely see the benefit for newer teachers. I did mine in year 3 and did the Early Completion Option (ECO), so mine was only 1 year instead of 2. Thank goodness for that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    To answer your first question, I still think it is important for teachers to be certified. Otherwise, you get people who are very successful in the private sector who think they can teach without the necessary training and that can negatively impact students’ learning if they have someone who is not well-equipped to deal with student behavior plus else in the classroom.

    For example, at my private school you are expected to actively work towards certification after being hired — if you are not already, of course — and have to get certified within your first 2-3 years or you are let go. And just to get your foot in the door you need to have passed all of your certification tests first for your subject. In my case, I took and passed the CBEST, Praxis 5161, CSET Single Subtest I: Algebra and Number Theory, CSET Single Subtest II: Geometry and Probability and Statistics, and CSET Single Subtest III: Calculus and History of Math before I even started teaching in an official capacity. It was expected by my potential employer at the time that I at least have passed those, even though I had not completed a teaching credential program before my interview. I then had to take several diagnostic tests in the first round and pass with at least 90% accuracy on all of the math subjects taught (Pre-Algebra through AP Stats and AP Calc) to get to the next round of interviews.

    There were certified math teachers who couldn’t pass those and it was shocking because some of them had 6+ teaching experience. This goes to show that you can have people who are certified and aren’t meant for teaching or don’t have the necessary knowledge.

    Back to my situation, I had to get certified ASAP and so I was assigned a mentor teacher and enrolled in a teaching credential program. Additionally, I had to observe 72 50-minute classes from a Master teacher and write detailed notes of anything and everything that went on in each lesson. I also had to student teach for 6 months. With that said, I think it is important to have formal training in all of this because I learned about classroom management and how to deal with parents and admin and many other things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Whether a teacher works in a public school or private school, they should be certified or actively trying to get certified. Just like intern teachers work towards their certifications in public schools, private schoolteachers should, also.
     
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  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I’ve seen enough assemblies, presentations, guest ‘experts’ to know that it takes much more than content knowledge to be an effective educator.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:
     
  10. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Like a lot of jobs, teaching is just as much about personality as it is anything else. If someone who knows their field is also able to form strong relationships with students and make them want to learn, then I think they could do the job with a little help writing lessons, making assessments, ect. However a lot of super smart people who know the content better than anyone can also make lousy teachers.

    When I was with my student teaching cohort, there were probably 30 of us total. About 7 or 8 of the people in the class probably knew the history content the best but they were also not a "people person" and they had a rough time at their schools. I've kept up with them on facebook and I think only 1 of them is still in a classroom 8 years later.

    I had a math teacher in high school who retired from being an accountant. Super nice guy and the kids loved him. He was a great teacher too. I also saw someone get hired at my old school who was an ex-engineer for the DOT and he didn't last the whole year. He was an odd dude who just didn't have the personality to make it in a room full of 25-30 teenagers. I think people who gravitate towards teaching need to understand and be honest with themselves about how outgoing/flexible they can be and realize what is needed to work with certain age groups.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Yep! I want all teachers to be experts in their field AND to be excellent disseminaters of information, and their personalities are equally as important as the first two criteria.

    I am a very outgoing and energetic person, even though I’m a total math and science nerd (who typically tends to be somewhat reclusive), but I can relate to students and make them feel welcome in my classroom. (Plus, it helps that I’m very young looking, so they are more willing to open up around me, haha!)

    I don’t understand why people who are introverted go into teaching.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Hey Tyler! This is slightly off topic, but I wanted to know your opinion on something.

    I recently posted an experimental study (all within the last 10 years) that resulted in a statistically significant higher level of student achievement.

    Here they are — and bare in mind it’s a public charter school — but I think this is an example of a charter school done right. The parameters of the study were very rigorous and teachers and the school were held to strict standards and held accountable:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/education/05charter.html

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.bu...ter-school-pays-teachers-125000-a-year-2012-4

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/382340/
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    So as an elementary teacher, I’m a bit of a generalist. Yes, I’d consider myself an expert in much of my curriculum, but it changes often. NGSS changed WHAT and HOW we teach science. So while I may know a lot about the content (and pedagogy) there are changes and shifts (shifts happen!) that can shake that expertise feeling a bit and need time for reflection and development.

    As far as the introvert thing- introverts can be very outgoing, enthusiastic and passionate, great teachers. I don’t think you quite understand the characteristics of intro and extroverts..and that misinterpretation disrespects those wonderful teachers who are introverts. If you plan on going into admin, may I suggest you embrace all kinds of types and styles of educators..
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I was going by the their definitions, as I understand them. A shy, reticent person doesn’t seem like someone ideal for teaching as they have to frequently publicaly speak and interact socially in a variety of circumstances.

    ret·i·cent
    ˈredəsənt/
    adjective
    1. not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily.
      "she was extremely reticent about her personal affairs"
      synonyms: reserved, withdrawn, introverted, inhibited, diffident, shy; More

    ex·tro·vert
    ˈekstrəˌvərt/
    noun
    plural noun: extroverts
    1. an outgoing, overtly expressive person.
      synonyms: outgoing person, sociable person, socializer, life of the party
      "like many extroverts, he was unhappy inside"
      • PSYCHOLOGY
        a person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations.

    in·tro·vert
    ˈintrəˌvərt/
    noun
    plural noun: introverts
    1. a shy, reticent person.
      • PSYCHOLOGY
        a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Those are not accurate definitions. I suggest further research.
    These definitions are regarded as overly simplistic because almost no one can be accurately described as wholly introvert or extravert. Most people fall somewhere between Jung’s two types (and his work is not what we’d consider recent) Ambiverts have both introversive and extraversive tendencies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Those actually are accurate and can be found on Google. They are textbook definitions. Let’s not invent our own definitions now.

    Here are the definitions of introversion and introvert from Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of introversion
    1: the act of introverting : the state of being introverted
    2: the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life

    Definition of introvert
    1: one whose personality is characterized by introversion; especially : a reserved or shy person who enjoys spending time alone
    • His research further shows that about 70% of top executives are introverts.
    • —Linda Grant

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/introvert
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Merriam Webster wouldn’t be my go to for psychological research. Good luck with that admin thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Thank you for your support, even though I suspect you’re being sarcastic, lol!

    I apply definitions as they are defined in the dictionary. And I would be working at my current school as I’m being looked at already for filling the VP position and my colleagues are already used to my personality.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And woe to those you deem introverts whose interest in education you question. Thankful to be working in a district where all are valued.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I value all of my colleagues, but I don’t understand why you are upset when I apply definitions as they are defined. As a self-described introvert, that doesn’t seem like an endearing quality to have, by definition. However, I would base my classroom observations and reviews not on a teacher’s personality status, per se, but on their performance in the classroom and their interactions with students. I would set aside personal feelings as that would not be professional.
     
  21. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    That experiment failed or is failing. Their students are underperforming in reading and math when compared to their 40 school peer group. Here's an interesting analysis of the program. And there's no such thing as a "public charter school" since all charters drain money from the public schools and spend it without public accountability.

    I do think that raising teacher pay and having the public pay for the certification classes would result in raising teacher quality. This school offered great pay, but piled on a huge workload and fired a bunch of teachers at the end of the year. You can't get the best teachers this way.
     

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