Is this common? Admin won't provide textbooks.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by 2ndCareerTeacher, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. 2ndCareerTeacher

    2ndCareerTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Hi everyone. This is my first year teaching after transitioning from another line of work. I teach high school business in a public school.

    In planning for next year (if there is a next year at this school), I was instructed to prepare a quote for textbooks for one class that currently has no books supplied to it. I researched several books and submitted a quote to admin. In response, admin simply said "there will be no books." No explanation, no discussion.

    The district has plenty of money, a fact about which admin regularly brags. My question for you all is, how common is it for admin to absolutely refuse to buy textbooks and/or other resources for classes?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Very common.

    Budget money is often allocated in specific ways. Having a lot of money in the budget does not always translate to having a lot of money in the textbook budget.
     
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  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2017

  5. 2ndCareerTeacher

    2ndCareerTeacher Rookie

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    Thanks, Caesar753 and SpecialPreskoo. For all the talk of "which textbook should I use" and "you don't have to make your own curriculum, textbook writers do it for you" in my education classes, sadly there was nary a mention of the possibility that some (many? most?) schools won't pop for the resources. This has come as a nasty surprise at the beginning of my teaching career.

    I have some resources that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers; it is a helpful site. Which leads to a follow-up question: it's great to find places like TPT for a stray activity or project idea here and there. However, having no curriculum at all -- you walk into your classes on the first day having nothing but a catalog description of what the class claims to be -- is this also common?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Get ready for a lot more surprises. There are many differences between what you talked about in your ed classes and what you will actually encounter in a real classroom.

    Yes, it's common to have to write your own curriculum based on a class description or scope document, especially at the high school level and especially in electives courses. What are you teaching?
     
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  7. 2ndCareerTeacher

    2ndCareerTeacher Rookie

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    I'm teaching business classes.

    I almost hate to ask: what other types of surprises am I in for?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Virtually everything.
     
  9. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Yes.

    Also, textbooks don't have to cover all of your standards. They only have to have about forty percent to get on the approved list.

    Welcome to teaching. You're expected to create something from nothing. :)
     
  11. 2ndCareerTeacher

    2ndCareerTeacher Rookie

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    Hmmm. Paradigm shift. They really ought to tell you these things in education classes. The skill set they try to cram into you does not fit the actual job description of teacher. For that matter, the actual job description does not fit the actual job reality (but that happens in every field, so no big surprise there).

    Anyway. Onward and upward.

    SpecialPreskoo, thank you for all of the links. I have about a third of them in my arsenal already, so your inclusion of them was a great help in validating that I'm on the right track. I have not been able to shake the feeling that I am doing something wrong by piece-mealing together a curriculum. Evidently, as I am beginning to understand, that is exactly what most teachers do.

    I am full of questions as I begin to get my feet under me. This forum is very helpful. I'm sure I will post more. The value of reading others' perspectives is . . . a huge relief.
     
  12. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    Mar 18, 2017

    I've always had books everywhere I've taught whether in private schools or colleges. Sometimes college students don't buy the textbooks, however, due to monetary issues or simple refusal.
     
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  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    They don't teach most of this in education courses because they don't have the experience themselves. And anyone that tells them differently from what they believe, is just whining or exaggerating.

    Schools of education share three common attributes: They work VERY hard at recruiting customers (err, students), they are echo chambers and their faculties consist of former teachers that couldn't hang in the classroom. The longest any of my professors taught was 12 years. Most were under 7. Sometimes you'll get lucky and have a current teacher teach your course. Those teachers will generally be straight with you.
     
  14. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    I agree that graduate schools of education work hard to recruit students. Where I received my PhD in Education, the school was basically a factory line producing MA after MA, PhD after PhD. There were definite standards, but it was not an intimate, get-to-know your advisor kind of place.

    My professors were all former high school teachers, but they did seem to leave that world behind in their focus on publishable research. They didn't get into the nitty-gritty of hands-on teaching for the most part. It was more theoretical and research-oriented.

    Even in terms of PhD job placement, they did not really care what happened to the students as soon as they were not officially required by their tenureship committee to pay attention. My main dissertation advisor did not write me a letter of recommendation when I graduated. One of my committee members started a year-long sabbatical as soon as she received tenure, so she dropped off of my committee and didn't advance any of her other advisees. She also was too busy with her own tenure case when I asked her to write me a letter of recommendation. (I did get straight A grades in my PhD program, received a merit scholarship, and was a meritocratically chosen Graduate Assistant, so I had some credentials for a letter). Another faculty member who was a Clinical Faculty was almost denied renewal of his contract, so at that time he stopped writing letters of recommendation for all of his students. There were no job networking or "let me see your resume" tips from faculty. The best thing was an alumni mentorship program where I asked some alums job placement tips.
     
  15. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    It seems to me that schools of education should offer a course in machine maintenance. I'm constantly troubleshooting the printer, the copy machine, the laptop cart...
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have created all of my own curriculum since I started teaching. It wasn't uncommon to be required to teach certain standards, and textbooks wouldn't be available for the next 7 years or so, so we are forced to create our own stuff.

    I don't use a textbook at all in my physical science class, and I had intended to teach from my biology textbook only to find out that it was kind of useless so I don't use it it either.
     
  17. Teacher0909

    Teacher0909 Rookie

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    Mar 21, 2017

    I hate you're in this situation. As teachers, we should be provided the necessary materials to actually do our jobs. I know these suggestions won't solve your problems, but they might provide some help. Have you thought about contacting a company for one book to sample? More times than often, companies will supply you with a copy to review in hopes that you will like it and purchase more. Having that one, up-to-date, book, with current standards can assist you with planning your lessons. Also, I know several teachers who have contacted local, larger districts nearby and asked if they were discharging books that year for a specific subject. They were more than happy to give the books to them. Good luck, and don't get discouraged. I'm sure you'll find a way to give your students the best learning opportunities you can.
     
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  18. 2ndCareerTeacher

    2ndCareerTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2017

    These insights are so helpful; thank you to everyone who took a moment to share. I have indeed requested and received sample teacher editions from textbook publishers. Those have been the backbone of my curriculum in terms of providing sequencing and a general outline.

    As far as schools of education being diploma mills . . . Amen. And amen. That has been my experience exactly. I expected that, so I was not disillusioned during my schooling. Still, some straight talk in education classes about what really happens inside a school -- lack of administration support, lack of discipline, manipulated grading so that "nobody fails" -- would be helpful to prevent newbies being blind-sided when they get their first teaching gig.

    I am learning the ins and outs of how public school administrators operate and the priorities with which they are preoccupied. To say that education is heavily politicized on all levels would be a laughable understatement. Again, I expected that, just not to the degree that I am experiencing. At a minimum, I expected as a new teacher to receive support in terms of having a curriculum in place during my first classroom assignments. If I had children in this school and knew that some teachers may be literally winging it . . . I would be gravely concerned.

    To the comment about education schools teaching machine maintenance -- how true! I am grateful for my previous professional experiences when I learned how to finesse machines out of their occasional "I'm not gonna work and I won't tell you why" stupor.
     
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  19. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2017

    There is a collaborative effort for free textbooks (I believe it is through Rice University). Our district has switched to mostly digital textbooks and school issued laptops. It is rare that you would see an actual paper textbook used.
     
  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Things I didn't learn in teacher school...sounds like a good separate thread!
     

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