Advice for a student studying education

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Melaina Neto, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Melaina Neto

    Melaina Neto Guest

    Feb 22, 2020

    Hello everyone! I am a sophomore in college who is planning on becoming a high school teacher in the future. I am researching teachers for a project and some of the problems they might have. The two problems I will be focusing on are:

    1. Having the freedom to be creative in the classroom. Students learn in different ways so I would imagine it can be hard to apply the same set of curriculum to every student effectively.

    2. Teachers being paid less than they deserve.

    Which problem in your opinion is more important? Do you have any ideas as to how we could solve them? Any information or experience you have would be extremely helpful! You can really talk about anything you would like, these are just ideas.

    Thank you so much!

  3. OrestesELA

    OrestesELA Guest

    Feb 22, 2020

    1) Kiss the ring.

    2) Any plans you have, keep them to yourself until you have your own classroom. Many teachers are HIGHLY conservative. By conservative, I mean that push to maintain the status quo. So, any changes or anything different, you need to keep to yourself. You need to say how WONDERFUL your mentor teachers run things.
    Melaina Neto likes this.
  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

    Jul 31, 2019
    Likes Received:

    Feb 23, 2020

    Both being paid what we deserve and having the freedom to be creative in how we teach are equally important to me. As a joke, I was thinking about leaving a tip jar out during PT conferences last year, but I knew some parents would joke back w/ tips that were not cash. :)
    Solutions I can think of: A nation wide strike of teachers!
  5. OrestesELA

    OrestesELA Guest

    Feb 23, 2020

    Charters will fill the void. There is actually a Supreme Court case still being discussed that will strengthen Private and Charter schools and effectively weaken school districts...
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2020
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Oct 25, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Feb 23, 2020

    I don’t find it difficult to find different activities for my curriculum. However, meeting the needs of diverse learners is another issue. I have kids from non-readers to college level in the same class. Ability, not learning style is the biggest issue.

    in my area, the teaching salary is enough to make a good living. I supported myself easily, and I even supported a deadbeat EX for about 10 years. We are now a two-teacher household and do well.
    a2z likes this.
  7. OrestesELA

    OrestesELA Guest

    Feb 23, 2020

  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Aug 23, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Feb 23, 2020

    One of the "new trends" in elementary education is having every student in every class on a grade level at the exact same place in the curriculum every single day within a school. This is being touted as a "great practice" in education. But here is what it really does. At schools that use this inflexible way of teaching, it forces teachers to move on whether or not their students are ready. If students get it quickly, they still have to work on it for the set amount of days. If it takes longer, too bad, they must move on to keep up with the other classes on the grade level.

    They are also touting "program fidelity" to an incredible extreme. In many low income schools, this is being done by forcing veteran teachers with a lifetime of successful teaching experience to read from the required teachers manuals, word for word, with no variation and no supplementation. Every teacher on that grade level is required to do the exact same thing every day. This doesn't allow for differences in student make-up. It doesn't allow for different teaching styles. It doesn't lend itself to enrichment or remediation. Can you imagine, a group of teachers who all have at least 20 years of successful teaching experience (high evaluations, high test scores, etc) being required to read from a script for each subject, day-in an day-out? This is what is being touted as a new "best practice."

    The thought process behind this is that if a disruptive student is removed from one classroom, he or she can be plopped-down in another teacher's classroom, and will be at the exact same place. But it also means, when a disruptive student causes a "room clear" that takes away 20 minutes of instructional time during a 50 minute subject, that the teacher must still be in the same place the next day as all the other teachers. In other words, she must simply skip and move on. Her students just miss important instruction.

    Classes with large numbers of ELL students, or IEP students, or non-identified behavior students, are hugely affected by this so-called "best practice." Classes with many identified gifted or advanced students cannot move at an accelerated pace, either.

    There is also no more teacher creativity when these practices are used, because every class must do the same thing. "Teachable moments" have to be avoided, because taking time to do this will force the class to get behind in the standard curriculum.

    So take teachers who are barely being paid a living wage, force them to ignore years of successful experience and training, make them read word-for-word from scripted programs for every subject, stress them even more when a disruptive student acts up because the teacher knows it will cause a major loss of instruction to the other students, give the teacher no grounds to offer interesting and unique learning experiences, which makes their day boring (as well as the students') and then wonder why they leave the field of education years before their retirement date.
  9. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Dec 24, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Feb 23, 2020

    A few years back a survey came out in which teachers ranked “job satisfaction” attributes 1-10. Group conducting survey was from private business and expected “salary” to be #1 or #2. It came in at #9. Number one on the list was “Included in the decision making process”. In other words, it seems what matters most to teachers is the notion no one knows their class better than they do. Yet, teachers are rarely, if ever, consulted in a meaningful way about what they think would be best for their students. That decision, what is best, is made by someone outside the classroom. This does not mean someone outside the classroom is clueless. One teacher stated it like this, “If whatever you are doing is going to effect my teaching I want to be considered an ‘expert’ and part of the procedure.”
    RainStorm likes this.
  10. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Feb 24, 2020

    I would say creativity, although personally, I have that, but then I teach AP and Dual Enrollment, and I'm the only one in my building, so no one is teaching what I teach. Pay is an issue, and needs to be improved, but that is also heavily dependent on where you work. Too many people tell teachers what to do and how to do it. When you are first starting out, absolutely, the help is warranted, and often, needed. But, if you've been teaching the same content for 20 years, get the H*** out of their way.
    whizkid and Tired Teacher like this.

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