"How can we hold teachers accountable...?"

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by TamiJ, Feb 13, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 14, 2011

    No, you really are not reading that. We are talking about ways that teachers should be held accountable for staying up-to-date on research, improving, and just doing a well job over all. This is a continuation of a thread that started from a different topic. This pertains to teachers only.

    I know many of you are saying you don't have the time. Of course, if we had to retest (or do additional work-say the portfolio) to be relicensed, we would find the time. We are just brainstorming ways to keep teachers accountable. The argument is that unlike other professions, we are not made to actually know the latest research and findings in education as are other professions in their area.
     
  2. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Feb 14, 2011

    Very expensive: YES!

    What would taking the multiple-subjects (CSET) exam every few years really prove, anyway? I passed it once, and I don't think I need to keep proving my subject-matter competence every few years.

    I highly agree: I'd much rather spend my hard-earned money on a conference or workshop of my choice! :2cents:
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 14, 2011

    I haven't seen a good standardized exam through the NJCL or the National Latin Exam, at least not good for the purpose of demonstrating teacher effectiveness or student mastery. One thing that is always brought up at our national-level NLE curriculum meetings is that the NLE focuses on those strange exceptions to the rule rather than the rules of Latin grammar. Most Latin tests are set up that way: Prove how much you know by showing that you know the random stuff. Those kinds of tests aren't my favorite kinds of tests, and I don't think they'd make good standardized tests. It's possible that they (NJCL/NLE/whoever) could create a good exam. I'm just saying that I haven't seen one yet.
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 14, 2011

    There was a mention of a portfolio, which would be in addition to the content exams. I love the portfolio idea because I think teachers can really show how they are implementing new research and best practices in their class.
     
  5. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Feb 14, 2011

    I don't consider myself an "old" teacher, but I have been teaching almost 20 years. I have completed National Board Certification (twice), accumulated over 25 Professional Development hours this year, and spend time on line completing online seminars and workshops that my school won't count toward staff development. I am the teacher that sends you worksheets, smart board lessons, power points, and ideas every week at least once. I am also a mother of two active children. I put in my time and do my job well---just got my evaluation to back that up! No, I don't want to take a test again to keep my certification. No, I don't want a panel of non classroom teachers to evaluate me (and we all know that if it became law, it would be a panel of non teachers). No, I don't want to have to spend hours preparing a portfolio...I know from experience that those portfolios can be doctored. My school hired my principal and superintendent to evaluate the teachers in our district. They visit our rooms during scheduled and non scheduled times. They work at staying on top of situations. Are they perfect? No, but they are more effective and cost saving than any other option available.

    I get real tired of teachers talking about "people who don't do their jobs." I am not in their rooms, I don't know! They aren't in my rooms and they don't know what I do. I have a teacher friend that stops by my room once a week. Every time she comes children are on the floor playing with math tiles, building with legos, putting puzzles together, and reading I Spy books. Does that mean we spend our whole day that way? No, she just stops by at the same time each day. That is at the end of our math time. If she looked careful, there will be one or two kids still working on their math. The rest have finished, had it graded, corrected it, and then was given free choice time. I am lucky that she doesn't see the need to report to everyone that I am not doing my job because we are "playing" when she comes into my room. Based on her five minutes once or twice a week, she really doesn't know what happens in my room. But my parents, my administration, and I do. I know that I have children that are listed at kindergarten at my state enrollment reading on third and fourth grade level. I know that my six year olds can sort and graph up to 40 items correctly. I know that they can complete addition and subtraction facts to 19 in the time required by our 2nd graders with 85 to 100% accuracy. I also know that many (not all) of my students can write three to five sentence journal entries. They are still learning correct letter formation. They are still learning to count pennies, nickels, and dimes. They are still working on ABC order (but all can complete a list of ten words that all begin with a different letter with 100%.)

    So please be careful with some of the generalizations being offered here. I currently work with a young teacher that thinks anyone that has taught over 15 years should quit...yes, she said that! Unfortunately what she doesn't get is that most "new" ideas aren't new. They are recycled with new names. And many of us where on their bandwagon the first time we heard about it, but learned with experience that it isn’t the best thing since slice bread.
    Also, we have to be careful about test, portfolios, and peer reviews that allow people that aren’t in our subject area to have power. My husband is an ag teacher. He is great at his job (how do I know? I see the results, not only with my own son; but with other children. His other ag teachers have honored him statewide several times over the last ten years, and he gets 85% of his seniors into colleges with scholarships.) I could never completely understand what he does in class. And I have lived with him for 23 years and heard him talk about it.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Feb 14, 2011

    I'm a professional. I deliver instruction in meaningful ways to promote understanding. My kids are actively engaged in learning and are excited about our classroom activities and pursuits. I have the respect of my admin, colleagues, parents and students. My kids are learning. I facilitate their success. I read professional literature, participate in ongoing professional development, engage in discourse with other educators. Mentor new teachers. Serve in leadership positions on committees and in our district association...I am accountable...my administration knows that. I shouldn't have to take a test or 're-certify' to fulfill some non-educators idea of accountability. I walk the talk. I do not have time to point fingers at those teachers who are not 'doing their jobs' but administration does have the power to do so and to put 'pressure' on them to step up or step out.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 14, 2011

    MRachelle: I understand where you are coming from. Also, this thread has not generalized or made claims. We are simply brainstorming ways to keep all teachers accountable.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 14, 2011

    One of the best teachers I've ever known started out in elementary school and then went into teaching middle-school English. He's of the opinion that all teachers teachers - ought to have to take a multiple-subjects exam regularly, to help keep themselves current on the broad swath of human knowledge that a multiple-subjects test should cover and on the connections between one's own grade or subject matter and the others. I think there's something to be said for that.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 14, 2011

    Oh, and Legos and math tiles - and mental play - are among the most powerful learning tools ever.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 14, 2011

    I think that's interesting, but I don't know how that would work out realistically. This would mean the multiple-subject teacher would have to do much more testing than the single-subject teacher. And, it does make sense that the multiple-subject teacher is only required to know more of the basics of the general subjects than an in-depth, expert knowledge that single-subject content teachers are looking at. So, I'm not so sure I am a fan of that idea, although I can see the logic behind it. I just don't see how that would end up being fair to the multiple-subject teacher.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 14, 2011

    No, perhaps I wasn't clear. He meant that secondary teachers ought to have to take the multiple subject test as well as whatever their single subject test is.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    I can't remember correctly, but I think NC does have a portfolio component to the teacher recertification process. I remember a thread on that awhile back. Maybe someone from the state with the portfolio could add some insight into what is included. (From that talk of it, it seemed rather new and may have only been in some districts).

    We, at teachers, do make many decisions for our students. We do need to have content, clinical, and practical skills. Not only must we understand our content, but we must know how to best talk with a student, how to support and encourage, how to make a student do something that they believe has no relevance to them, etc etc. We change how students view learning.

    I think that this is a large responsibility of teachers. Basically, we are educating the future. However, we only have these students for one or so years, while other practitioners (doctors, lawyers, etc) keep the same clients for many years.
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    Going to throw this out there...what about if administration needed to go back into the classroom every few years? This would keep the administration close to the classroom and better able to evaluate teachers abilities.
     
  14. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    It seems some teachers tend to be "too bored", if you get what I mean.

    First of all, too many young teacher have this obsession with older teachers and how they are not "hip" and "understanding" of all these new studies and research that they learned recently from college and other publications. This is the same mentality of some business students that graduate and think they are the next VP of a company.

    Having to retake a test does nothing. A teacher may be able to memorize whatever material is needed, pass the test, and then move on to doing the same old in the classroom. All you are doing is testing their knowledge, but nothing with the way they apply their knowledge.

    A portfolio is a waste of time and it's something that in all honestly, most people DON'T care about. Again, it shows nothing of what actually goes on in the classroom, it's just one big project.

    Another thing, teachers DO NOT get paid like doctors, pharmacists, etc. With money there comes expectations. A teacher starting at $35k to 40k is making peanuts compared to a pharmacists that starts out at 75k.

    Some of you want to replace your own personal lives with the lives you have with work, and it becomes a nasty obsession. It is no different than a business person doing the same with their job and slaving away for HOURS. It is good to have pride in your job, and being proud of the profession you are in, but the line gets crossed when you end up spending 55+ hours a week with work and spending your paycheck on supplies for the classroom.

    I am a teacher that has been teaching for the past 3 years. I have come to realize that teachers get very little respect from administrator and people because they mostly do not respect themselves. When you go out of your way and spend your own money for the classroom, or work MANY hours past contracted hours, you are simply permitting the standard of low pay.
     
  15. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    I agree that many teachers replace their personal lives with their professional lives. That said, how do you suggest teachers hold themselves accountable without making themselves slaves to their jobs? This is a serious question I'm posing, not a critique of your viewpoint. After nixing the portfolios and tests, what other ways to assess teacher performance are left?
     
  16. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    The best method is having random observations and checkups from administrators. And it works if the administrators actually follow through. Who wants to take the chance of possibly looking bad in front of an administrator?

    Lets be honest. Most administrators are too lazy to do that, and normally give the teacher a heads up on when they are going to arrive.

    The whole point is to see the way the learning process is being done in the classroom. A portfolio is nothing but a big project that a teacher does that only highlights the good things from the class. Believe me, a bad teacher can make a great portfolio. I have met bad, but smart teachers. They know how to work the system. But if the system is random, then it's impossible to work it.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Feb 15, 2011

    Yes, I spend a lot of money on my classroom. I do a weekly "treasure chest" and buy various items from the dollar store on a regular basis to keep lots of incentives on hand. Moreover, if I'm at the local teacher supply store to pick up a new bulletin board set, I tend to also pick up a workbook or two that'll help my kids get more reading comprehension or math practice. Yes, the things I buy for my classroom aren't cheap, but I don't think twice when spending money on my kids. Ever! Period! :2cents:

    You may receive little respect from your administrators; however, I feel as though I'm well-respect by my principal AND colleagues. I work hard, teach well, and people notice it.

    I must admit that I don't get paid as much as I think I deserve, though I have everything I need: a new car, a beautiful home, and the feeling that I'm truly making a difference.:whistle:
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 15, 2011

    This.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    979

    Feb 15, 2011

    I have to agree about the portfolios- anyone can create a good portfolio. You can pick and choose to only show good things, and you can create a few good activities just to show in your portfolio. Also, I don't think it's wise to have good teachers wasting time creating projects to prove to other that they're doing their jobs- these teachers need to be focused on students and student achievement!

    I think the classroom visits thing works- although I agree it does have to be done right. My school has a system where there are several "leaders" in the building called "master teachers" who are supposed to "coach" the other teachers. Each teacher has two master teachers assigned to "coach" them. So at my school, I get random classroom visits from both master teachers as wall as our vice principal and principal all the time. At least one of those people is in my classroom every few days. I've even had all 4 of them show up on the same day- as they don't really plan with each other where they're going or anything. We have scheduled observations too- so that you can get a chance to talk about things like planning with the masters or adminstration, but the majority of observations are unnannounced. They always make sure they come at different times of the day too, and then they will leave you a note or come chat to you about what they saw. It really keeps you on your toes- and teachers that "act good" or plan quality lessons only for planned observations just can't really get around this system. They are very positive and will usually just offer one constructive critisism-so I actually really like having them come in. It's nice to have a reminder that you're appreciated and people realize the good work that you're doing :) We are also a pay for performance school, so your salary literally depends on these reviews- many of which are unnannounced.

    That said, I can't believe so many people on this thread are advocating more tests for teachers. Personally, I thought the praxis tests were a joke. Those tests aren't about "high quality" teachers- they're about making more money for the people that create them. Any horrible teacher could study up and know the answers for a paper pencil test. Also, some people simply aren't good test takers. I was a fairly good student so I didn't have a problem with these tests- but I had a good friend who was a wonderful teacher ( I got assigned to co teach with her in our earlier field experiences in college) who was just simply a slow test taker/writer. She kept failing the exams simply because she didn't have time to get to all the essays. I feel like any teacher worth their salt knows that standardized tests are a "snapshot" of a student on a particular day and not at all a true measure of student achievement (now if we could only get politicians to realize this). How can we know that about our students yet judge teachers based on a standardized test?
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 15, 2011

    I think the purpose of the tests for teaches mentioned here is not to judge teachers but to ensure that they can prove that they are current with the new information and research in their subject area.
     
  21. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    I think that with technology there would be a way to help keep teachers more current....maybe something like this forum should be required....

    I don't know, but I would think that with all this technology, there would be a way to help teachers to one stay current on the research and new information (for less than membership costs) and a way to make sure that teachers are discussing it.
     
  22. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    I wasn't going out of my way in offending you. And if you are paying a small, and reasonable amount on supplies then it shouldn't really cause much of a dent. But if a teacher is spending close to $800 or so, then there is a problem. Because it trains the administrators that there is no need in having a supply budget, because the teachers will simply subsidize it.

    Why pay more or increase budgets when teachers are willing to spend a lot for supplies and work much more then required in their contracted hours? That is the argument that I am solely focusing on. You can say you send the extra hours in helping students, and that's good for you, but at the same time...with so many teachers doing that, it is actually backfiring them in terms of salary.

    In terms of testing, what is the point in creating a test for knowledge or research? Some teachers are better test takers than others, and like I said before, knowledge does not equal good teaching. I've known plenty of smart people that couldn't teach if their life depended on it.

    Tests are just a huge business. And where is all that money supposed to come from? Who will pay for it? States barely have enough money as is, and teachers barely make enough. It's simply a waste of money, just like how most state testings are a waste of money.

    Bad teacher does not equal a stupid teacher. There are plenty of smart bad teachers that are out there that can work the system better than any good teacher. In the end, it's the good teachers that get sacked with more work and worries.

    And I do not have any problems with my administrators. But I speak the reality of things.
     
  23. TechGuy

    TechGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    and one more thing, part of the reason we have all these tests all over the place now is because of the lobbyist that exist that are out to make them (the test making companies) as much money as possible.

    and another thing, I am not questioning the dedication and help that the teachers here do for their students. it is not about that.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 15, 2011

    Knowledge of one's subject isn't the only indicator of good teaching, but it is part of the equation.
     
  25. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 15, 2011

    I think Eli Broad would look at this thread and howl in delight, because those who our trying to gut are system to privatize it have been successful in pitting us against ourselves.

    I would not agree to retesting. The Praxis and all those tests are ways for corporations to make lots of money. I am sure you could get plenty of people to lobby for your plan. Because corporations like profit! The quality of the tests would be minimal. What do you suggest they test? New educational theories? The ones that are new to some; but were probably in the classroom about 20 years ago. Are you going to test first grade teachers on our ability to add? To read or write? Whether we can do phonics or whole word reading? Whether we know Erikson or Vigotsgy? Don't you all have enough to do. I am sorry; but get a life! We are already being harassed by people who have no clue what they are talking about, do you want to harass each other?

    I noticed the OP teaches in Mexico. I do not know what PD is like in Mexico. But in the district I work in we get lots of PD we can train all summer long for not much money if we want through the county I work in. In order to be renew the credentials in my state teachers need a long list of professional development they have done. It is true a person could fudge it; but we are trained so often it would be difficult not to cover the necessary time.

    I read often of people dissatisfied with other teachers. Where do you get the time to observe them? The only time in my eleven years of teaching that I could make a true assessment of another teacher's work was when I was a resource specialist and a student teacher so I was in other peoples' classes every day. I was in quite a few classes probably about fifty during that time. Only in one would I say the teacher was poor quality. With out going into a class regularly I would think myself pretty dang full of myself to say the other teachers are not quality.
     
  26. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2011

    When I first saw the thread title and read the OP, I wondered to myself "WHY do teachers need to be "held accountable" for knowing the latest research?" If what they are already doing works, WHY even discuss the possibility of adding yet another hoop for them to jump through to continue doing the same job they've been doing.

    I also question just how effective many of the newer techniques are. New research tells us that constant drilling doesn't "engage" the students and is, therefore, outdated and ineffective. My response is that my father could name the capital of every state 50 years after graduating high school while most high schoolers today would be hard-pressed to even name all 50 states.

    When I was in 4th grade, I struggled with my math. I didn't think it was a big deal, but my mom did, so she made me sit down and memorize my multiplication tables every day after school. I hated doing that UNTIL my teacher had us play a "game" one day where two students went to the board and were given two numbers to multiply to see who could do it the fastest. I blew ALL of my classmates out of the water because my mom HAD drilled me on multiplication over and over. To this day, my students are amazed that I can often multiply numbers faster in my head than they can on a calculator. My dad was also a math whiz who could do mental math very quickly and constantly "challenged" me with different problems.

    I didn't learn how to do math in my head through Power Teaching, Love and Logic or Math 5 - I learned by just DOING IT, over and over and over, until it was second nature.

    Now, I agree that isn't the best approach for all students and many students would just tune that out. However, I think there is a LOT to be said for classroom experience and just KNOWING how to reach and teach your kids.

    I like WBT and am doing my best to incorporate it into my classroom approach (although I still struggle with it at times). To my knowledge, I am the ONLY teacher in my school using WBT, but the other math teacher on our middle school team can still teach circles around me with her eyes closed. Why? Because she has been doing it for 20+ years. She knows what does work and, more importantly, what doesn't work. She is also one of the most respected math teachers in our district. She also taught most of the parents of our current students and even some of the grandparents.

    I think it would be an absolute fallacy to tell her (or any other teacher that has been doing a wonderful job for more than a decade) "You need to prove you are keeping up with current research and incorporating those findings and techniques into your daily classroom activities".

    No, I'm sorry, in some cases, the old adage does apply - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    As a previous poster mentioned, most of this "new research" is really the same old stuff, just wrapped in a new package. Veteran teachers figured out it didn't work before, so there is no reason to make them "accountable" for doing it now.
     
  27. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 15, 2011

    That. :agreed:
     
  28. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Feb 15, 2011

    This is definitely true!!!
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 15, 2011

    EMonkey, did you take CSET or MSAT, or did you get the MSAT waiver?
     
  30. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Feb 16, 2011

    I think we are writing from the same book. I totally agree. :hugs:
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 16, 2011

    We know that students need to practice not just to learn new skills and knowledge but to retain them - it's a truism that students must be drilled in September on content they learned during the previous school year. Are teachers immune from this?
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 16, 2011

    I had a series of conferences this year with one of my sons' teachers. The reason, you see, is because my son has this bad habit of correcting his teacher in class. Now, granted, my son was being rude, but that doesn't take away the fact that a teacher, who has a bachelor's degree and a clear credential has been flat out wrong not just once, but multiple times. Of all the issues between my son and his teacher, there has been only one situation where I'll give the teacher a pass. The rest are inexcusable. Beyond this teacher, there have been other times, with other teachers, where my children have come home with information that is just simply wrong. Here are some of the lowlights....

    -A square is not a rectangle (It's a special kind of rectangle)
    -You cannot subtract a larger number from a smaller number (you can, but you need to have negative numbers at your disposal)
    -You cannot compute the area of an irregular, curved surface (You need to know how to use integral calculus)
    -The density of an object has nothing to do with its size (it's a ratio of its size and weight, which most certainly involves its size)
    -Pi is the only number that's used regularly that isn't an exact number (what about e and pho? and, by they way, they're called transcendentals)
    -The solution to the water problem in the Everglades is to increase water flow (This, by the way, is the one that gets a pass, but only sort of. The teacher should have known that the problem is much more complex than that, but beyond that, I wouldn't expect a teacher in North Dakota to know the specifics of the problems in the Everglades. My son, however, does know the specifics because he not only lived a few miles from the Everglades for most of his life, but one of my close friends, who he's spent a lot of time with, is a scientist who's job description is basically "lead geek in charge of the over 300,000 acres of Everglades controlled by his employer". He also serves as an expert witness in nearly every trial brought against the state and federal governments involving Everglades issues. My friend and my son have spent many hours talking about those issues. My son has an unfair advantage there, which is why the teacher gets a pass on that one).

    There are more examples, but those are the ones that are coming to mind. Teaching credentials are too easy to get and to keep. While there are thousands of great teachers out there, there are far to many teachers like the ones my sons have had the misfortune of getting. If we want to earn the respect of those outside of education, it's time we started earning it. We can start by imposing more rigorous processes to obtain and keep our credentials.

    Oh, and by the way, I do have a life. I would like to see the profession that I love be elevated in the eyes of the general public, but that must start from within.
     
  33. Fun Value

    Fun Value New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 16, 2011

    I scanned the many replies. Didn't have time to see all replies. There was some discussion around the idea of best practices (though I didn't see the term), and about taking tests in the content area.
    I have known excellent teachers in poor schools in stupid states that were unable to cover the standards. They admitted they forgot the material. I guess those teachers need to brush up even if they never get to teach some stuff.
    In the thread question, who is we? Principals?
    The only good principals I have heard of were first good teachers themselves at some time. I think I have only heard of a couple. So when a principal tells us about best practices, I think it comes from articles or research that makes sense to the principal based on how that principal used to teach or not teach.
    So everytime I hear the principal try to hold teachers accountable based on best practices, I think they are ineffective. I think many principals are ineffective because they are not good at education. I think the reason some teachers become principals is because they think they are good at education and want to tell everyone how to teach. I think many others can't teach so they become principals.
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Feb 16, 2011

    you don't have to practice things you already know well. I don't have to practice tying my shoes, or brushing my teeth, or buttoning my blouse or how to spell lose versus loose...nor do I need to practice teaching how to multiply, or the life cycle of a frog, or how to write a personal narrative. I certainly don't know it all, but I'm no novice. The new ideas and current research are carefully meshed with what I already know and do well...I learn new things every day , I tweak my teaching, I reflect on my lessons...I don't need a yearly test or assessment...I self assess consistently and adjust and improve based on that reflection...that's masterful, not 'practice' or 'drill'.
     
  35. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 16, 2011

    But the issue is not all teachers do that. So, how do we make teachers accountable? Is it fair that you work that hard as a teacher, and the teacher down the hall only puts half the effort in as you do (hypothetical, of course). There must be a way to ensure that teachers are held accountable.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 16, 2011

    I completely agree. And, if this were to happen, perhaps there would be higher salaries because the requirements have increased (that would be nice, anyway).
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Feb 16, 2011

    Administrators KNOW who isn't performing up to standards...for God's sake, everyone knows who they are. Tenure does NOT mean a teacher has a job for life. Administrators can, and should, cut the dead weight. I don't need my feet held to the fire because of the few slackers...
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 16, 2011

    But everyone should be held accountable to the same expectations as far as teaching and workload. Of course there are teachers who might know how to work the system. So, this is especially even more reason to make them accountable.

    Good teachers would not "get sacked with more work and worries" because all teachers are expected to carry the same load. One teacher does not necessarily have to pick up where another teacher doesn't do his or her part. We should all strive to work hard in our profession.

    I see nothing wrong with being held accountable through content assessing, portfolios, and observations. Why can't all these forms be used together? More is better in this case. It provides a clearer picture...
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 16, 2011

    I feel very comfortable harshly criticizing a few teachers I have worked with. For example, when he's outside of the classroom texting about the big game more often than he's in the room, when he calls special education students "little retards", and when he simply does NOT teach and brags about it, I feel perfectly fine with my assessment. I don't need to be in his classroom frequently to know these things. I'm intelligent enough to recognize the difference between a bad teacher and a bad day. I'm wise enough to know that because students are complaining about a teacher doesn't mean he or she is ineffective. But come on...some things are pretty obvious. When you are working in small teams you learn quickly about one another and the various teaching styles (or lack thereof) and attitudes. In this case, I don't think I'm "full of myself" at all for labeling this teacher a poor one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  40. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Feb 16, 2011

    :yeahthat:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. nstructor,
  2. Colliemom
Total: 211 (members: 6, guests: 169, robots: 36)
test