A Teaching Career

  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Jul 10, 2010 9:03 AM GMT
    I remember a time when a teaching career was well respected. But I have noticed that the right wing has a tendency to belittle it in many ways. It is really sad. I think one of the main reasons they have attacked it so much is because they see teachers as being liberals and therefore an enemy. I hear them attack at every direction possible: everything from them being over paid, being lazy because of their hours and time off during the summer, their focus on only the bad teachers, and saying things about them teaching because they could not make it in the "real world." We are always in need of good teachers and looking at this career in this manner will make it difficult to encourage enough good new teachers in the future.


    37298_1499971496859_1161322584_31408439_



  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 12:13 PM GMT
    nonsense, it will be my next career . . . you are just a budding apparatchik, with the mind of a lemming . . . you want to have your views validated . . .

    and by the way, I had a high school teacher who made WWII boring . . . and the right wing had nothing to do with that . . he was a good man, but a dullard . . . he was born to "coach" (is the teachers' union to blame for the fact that he couldn't be fired? a real right-winger would have fired his ass)

    teaching is a default career for many, sad to say . . .
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 12:35 PM GMT
    Sadly, we don't ask funding questions when we go to war, but we do when it comes to health care and education. Teachers have become the human punching bag in this recession and it is wrong. How many people say "Wow, I could never teach kids", but then bash people who do. I think all Americans should student teach for a few weeks to get a clue on what teaching is like, and then judge.

    Is there a way to remove bad teachers? There sure is, but that means administrators have to get out of their office and do their job. Instead they want to take away due process rights instead to make it easier on themselves.

    We have a system in which we elect people to a school board to meet when school is over and talk to the administrators, who have usually been in a classroom for 2 years before they left it and got into administration, and make decisions about a school.

    I say school boards need to made up of 7 elected people and 7 teachers from the school and nothing moves forward until both sides agree.

    Right now the schools are run by the students because administrators are too afraid of getting a phone call from a parent.

    Until we value people and education over guns and bombs, then nothing much will change.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 12:35 PM GMT
    I do think that part of the downfall of teaching is the unions. They create complacency. There is a major difference in the level education students recieve when you compare public education to private and even home schooling. I went to public school all my life and the majority of the teachers seemed to teach straight out of a textbook and district regulated course lessons. Basically it felt like they were all substitute teachers.. I've even had teachers fall asleep during class while we just talked about whatever icon_confused.gif They just don't seem to care... and if the teachers don't care, why should the students?

    Now, I had a few good teachers that really knew what they were teaching and had a passion for it, but they were few and far inbetween.

    I feel that if there were more incentives for good teachers and more consequences for bad teachers, the education system would improve. I just don't see the system changing anytime soon. icon_neutral.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 10, 2010 12:41 PM GMT
    I work with many teachers with investments, its a primary market. It has been getting harder and harder to recruit new teachers based on pay, lack of support many times by administration, kid related issues, etc. It is harder and harder for a new teacher to make it a permanent career.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 12:43 PM GMT
    pecfan said

    Right now the schools are run by the students because administrators are too afraid of getting a phone call from a parent.

    Until we value people and education over guns and bombs, then nothing much will change.




    I definitely agree with this too. Parents expect teachers to dote on their kids as much as they do, but not every kid deserves an "A" just because they tried their best.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 1:48 PM GMT
    semaj562 saidI do think that part of the downfall of teaching is the unions. They create complacency. There is a major difference in the level education students recieve when you compare public education to private and even home schooling. I went to public school all my life and the majority of the teachers seemed to teach straight out of a textbook and district regulated course lessons. Basically it felt like they were all substitute teachers.. I've even had teachers fall asleep during class while we just talked about whatever icon_confused.gif They just don't seem to care... and if the teachers don't care, why should the students?

    Now, I had a few good teachers that really knew what they were teaching and had a passion for it, but they were few and far inbetween.

    I feel that if there were more incentives for good teachers and more consequences for bad teachers, the education system would improve. I just don't see the system changing anytime soon. icon_neutral.gif


    Unions do not create complacency. The issue in most schools that underperform is a lack of resources. That's why you see such a margin between public and private or homeschooling.

    Teachers are being forced in many states to teach exactly from the textbook or to teach directly to a standardized test. The metrics that are being used are not an effective measurement of teacher impact.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 2:12 PM GMT
    In the last five years or so, there has been a big recruiting drive for teachers in the UK. The pay is good and I think teachers are generally well respected here.

    When I was at school, teachers could get away with being mediocre or just plain bad. There are far more checks and balances these days and lessons appear to be more stimulating.

    I think it is a tough job though. The thought of facing 25 kids on a Monday morning would fill me with dread!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    semaj562 said
    pecfan said

    Right now the schools are run by the students because administrators are too afraid of getting a phone call from a parent.

    Until we value people and education over guns and bombs, then nothing much will change.




    I definitely agree with this too. Parents expect teachers to dote on their kids as much as they do, but not every kid deserves an "A" just because they tried their best.


    The school violence issue is one reason why when service member exit they offer an incentive program, supported by the Federal Gov't in which they can become teachers on a "fast-track".

    I've had former service members as teachers before and their classes were rigid strict they didn't tolerate any foolishness and didn't care if parents or administration didn't like their methods. They certainly got their job done and did it with a unrelenting determination thats to be admired. Most other teacher bent over backwards to prevent being threatened by a student or their parents.

    (sorry for errors, still half-sleep)
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 10, 2010 2:18 PM GMT
    You get what you pay for
    You want better teachers? Pay Them

    You want a quality education for your kids? Stop electing republicans
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 10, 2010 2:21 PM GMT
    noren saidnonsense, it will be my next career . . . you are just a budding apparatchik, with the mind of a lemming . . . you want to have your views validated . . .

    and by the way, I had a high school teacher who made WWII boring . . . and the right wing had nothing to do with that . . he was a good man, but a dullard . . . he was born to "coach" (is the teachers' union to blame for the fact that he couldn't be fired? a real right-winger would have fired his ass)

    teaching is a default career for many, sad to say . . .


    as someone whose parents were both teachers and having taught at a public school and university myself, i have to completely disagree with you. this isn't the 1970s any more. do you have any idea how much work you have to do to become a teacher? if by default you mean get a b.a. and then a teaching certificate and then pass tests and then go through a trial-based employment for little money then yes, it's a default career.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    Ricovelas said
    semaj562 said
    pecfan said

    Right now the schools are run by the students because administrators are too afraid of getting a phone call from a parent.

    Until we value people and education over guns and bombs, then nothing much will change.




    I definitely agree with this too. Parents expect teachers to dote on their kids as much as they do, but not every kid deserves an "A" just because they tried their best.


    The school violence issue is one reason why when service member exit they offer an incentive program, supported by the Federal Gov't in which they can become teachers on a "fast-track".

    I've had former service members as teachers before and their classes were rigid strict they didn't tolerate any foolishness and didn't care if parents or administration didn't like their methods. They certainly go their job done and didn't with a unrelenting determination thats to be admired. Most other teacher bent over backwards to prevent being threatened by a student or their parents.


    I think one of the biggest problems we have in education these days is that last thing.. discipline... Teachers who are stricter will get their job done... but in our present culture it seems as if students think they can say whatever they want to their teachers.... and complain about them... ive been a teacher myself before I entered med school and I was very impressed with my teachers in every class... they were organised, disciplined, did not take protest... and gave us the information we needed without wasting our time.... Then, I was flabbergasted to hear the students complain about every single teacher and methodology they had, as if they had ever taught a class in their lives or even knew the subject matter.... This is a serious lack of discipiline and resepct we seem to be instilling in the young towards elders, teachers and the like.... I have seen television shows where young people would ridicule elder people... and one of my best, wisest and most knowledgeable teachers would sometimes give criticism about the medical establishment, only to stop himself and say "Im just an old man, why would you youngsters wanna hear all this rant"... I told him to please keep talking, his opinion to me on the state of the establishment was worth gold, he has decades of experience that I will never catch up on, and most students these days can no longer appreciate that or respect that... and that has to do partly also with the way the parents have brought them up... they thought they could raise a generation of kids that needed no discipline and needed complete freedom to express themselves.... And like Ricovelas' point made clear: it doesnt work that way.. you need military discipline
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 3:07 PM GMT
    Teachers have become glorified babysitters. At one point I was a secondary education major and I still would like to be one, but I'm not going to try to teach to a bunch of kids who don't want to be in the classroom. If their parents would do their job at home and create the learning environment from day 1, then teachers would be able to do their job properly. Yes, in the past decade most teachers have been put under scrutiny to teach to the standard tests such as; The Meap, ACT, SAT, ect., but if the students actually gave two shits about their education, instead of being worried about running home to their Xbox, Wii, or computer games, then maybe the teachers would be able to get something more accomplished.
    Then there's the whole issue of individual student attention. A teacher will be more efficient and be able to adapt to students needs if they aren't teaching 35 students per class period. You can't divide up your attention towards each student in an hour, it just won't happen. The funding and resources need to be set aside to lower class sizes, get better materials, and let learning outside of the textbook happen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 3:44 PM GMT
    I have taught both college (Asst. Professor) and US Senior High, and I loved it. I also did a short stint in Middle School, and did NOT like it, however. Half the time it was like herding cats with these younger kids, and I hated having to "dumb down" what I presented to them to match their cognitive level. I'm better at speaking "adult" to other adults or near-adults.

    The only reason I had to cut that career short was my epilepsy. I really couldn't subject my students to my seizures, plus my short-term memory is a disaster, for related neurological reasons. Especially in HS these days, where Classroom Management is all computer-based and very real-time, whereas I'm very behind the times, at least in remembering to promptly complete the tons of automated reports the Administration wants all day long.

    ::: phone call to my HS classroom in the middle of my lecture ::: "Mr. XXXX, it's 9:15 and you haven't submitted your cafeteria lunch count yet. And we still need that state-mandated survey about... [BLAH BLAH BLAH].

    Idiots! The lunch count for the whole school hardly varied by (+)(-) 15 on most days, unless we were having a flu outbreak. Your kitchen KNOWS how many kids we have, and has already bought the food days earlier. What did you do before the school got this software and networking right to my desk? Talk about silly micromanagement!

    So that I found myself teaching less, and administering more, and speaking more with the front office than with my front row of students. Well, that's not rewarding enough for me, nor using me to optimum advantage. I did consider returning to college, where things are less rigid than HS, interestingly enough, but my seizures remain an issue in any classroom.

    But I did love teaching, I still thought I was very good at it, my weak admin skills aside. Indeed, in college, where they conducted student surveys of the professors (which offended a lot of them on tenure), I was always ranked in the upper 5%, the topmost division they published. So I know what I can do in a classroom. But damn, I'd like to do it again. icon_sad.gif
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 10, 2010 6:22 PM GMT
    I've taught at the university level in two countries over the course of the last 20 years. I realize that it's not the same as k-12 education, but the end product of k-12 education sits in my classroom every day, so I have a few thoughts on the matter:

    1) There are some really great teachers out there who work really hard for very little pay or recognition because they're passionate about education and the kids they teach. They can inspire life-long learning. Here's the rub: the recent focus on end-of-grade tests (Thanks, Mr. Bush, for your dumb ass No Child Left Behind crap) means that teachers cannot teach creatively, nor can they expand on subject matter that the kids really want to know more about, because they have to keep to this top-down issued schedule that eliminates any room for anything beyond what is going to be on the test.

    By the way, there are some pretty crappy teachers out there, too. Some are in it because they didn't know what else they wanted to do, or because they were hired to coach the football team and end up teaching US History.

    2) There are some really sucky parents out there who think that teachers do little else than dump information into their kids' brains while conveniently "babysitting" them at the same time. These parents feel no active responsibility to promote learning at home, either by participating in their kids' education or by setting good examples themselves. On the other extreme are parents who start regimenting their kids at a very early age so that they'll be "ahead" of the others. This constant pushing and monitoring of their kids' progress really robs them of their creativitiy and spirit. They might be good test takers, but often they are completely charmless and emotionally crippled when they get to college.

    3) The majority of kids are too distracted by all the gadgets and technological doo-dads their parents have bought them to actually focus on learning. There are some who are actually able to focus, but they're the ones to bump up against No Child Left Behind and other bullshit, so they're often bored and disillusioned.

    4) Some countries really value teachers and put them through rigorous post-university training before they even get in front of a classroom. In some places, teachers are considered on the same social plane as doctors or lawyers and earn really good salaries. By the way, these are also countries, by and large, that are doing much better on outcomes where primary and secondary education are concerned. Among industrialized nations, the US is now second or third tier, below the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Taiwan, and South Korea.

    5) We're in real trouble when school boards begin to be comprised of fundamentalists who want to teach creationism and dictate what teachers can teach and what students can read. It's almost as is some of them are hell-bent on returning to the 19th century.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 6:38 PM GMT
    "How to Create World Class Teacher Compensation" by Allan Odden and Marc Wallace, Jr.

    The book is NOT just about "compensation". It is about the strategic linkage of "student learning gains" (not "test scores") to research supported models of excellence in practices (not just teachers, but also administrators and educational support staff) that are proven to improve student learning gains. The models utilize a "Total Rewards" strategy of "compensation" and other rewards components to create incentive for everybody (Students, teachers, administrators, educational support staff, families, communities) to strive for sustainable student learning gains.

    The system is broken, not necessarily the participants.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 6:48 PM GMT
    NC3athlete saidI've taught at the university level in two countries over the course of the last 20 years. I realize that it's not the same as k-12 education, but the end product of k-12 education sits in my classroom every day, so I have a few thoughts on the matter:

    1) There are some really great teachers out there who work really hard for very little pay or recognition because they're passionate about education and the kids they teach. They can inspire life-long learning. Here's the rub: the recent focus on end-of-grade tests (Thanks, Mr. Bush, for your dumb ass No Child Left Behind crap) means that teachers cannot teach creatively, nor can they expand on subject matter that the kids really want to know more about, because they have to keep to this top-down issued schedule that eliminates any room for anything beyond what is going to be on the test.

    By the way, there are some pretty crappy teachers out there, too. Some are in it because they didn't know what else they wanted to do, or because they were hired to coach the football team and end up teaching US History.

    2) There are some really sucky parents out there who think that teachers do little else than dump information into their kids' brains while conveniently "babysitting" them at the same time. These parents feel no active responsibility to promote learning at home, either by participating in their kids' education or by setting good examples themselves. On the other extreme are parents who start regimenting their kids at a very early age so that they'll be "ahead" of the others. This constant pushing and monitoring of their kids' progress really robs them of their creativitiy and spirit. They might be good test takers, but often they are completely charmless and emotionally crippled when they get to college.

    3) The majority of kids are too distracted by all the gadgets and technological doo-dads their parents have bought them to actually focus on learning. There are some who are actually able to focus, but they're the ones to bump up against No Child Left Behind and other bullshit, so they're often bored and disillusioned.

    4) Some countries really value teachers and put them through rigorous post-university training before they even get in front of a classroom. In some places, teachers are considered on the same social plane as doctors or lawyers and earn really good salaries. By the way, these are also countries, by and large, that are doing much better on outcomes where primary and secondary education are concerned. Among industrialized nations, the US is now second or third tier, below the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Taiwan, and South Korea.

    5) We're in real trouble when school boards begin to be comprised of fundamentalists who want to teach creationism and dictate what teachers can teach and what students can read. It's almost as is some of them are hell-bent on returning to the 19th century.


    I was taught mostly in the Netherlands... I received some American education as well... on the whole I think American education has suffered and seems to be behind... I have heard some American students say the opposite, but most agreed that the general level of education in Europe is higher than in the US... I dont know why... maybe like was said before... too much focus on military spending?? I cant say I know though
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 7:14 PM GMT
    I highly respect teachers. My sister is a special needs teacher. But I would never consider teaching as a career. Too many overindulged, self entitled little brats. And teacher's have their hands tied if a child misbehaves, and they need to be disciplined. If a teacher tries to discipline a child or takes measures to enforce school rules, you have mindless parents threatening to sue the teacher/school district and get somebody fired. Definately not worth the trouble for such little pay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 7:19 PM GMT
    catfish5 saidI highly respect teachers. My sister is a special needs teacher. But I would never consider teaching as a career. Too many overindulged, self entitled little brats. And teacher's have their hands tied if a child misbehaves, and they need to be disciplined. If a teacher tries to discipline a child or takes measures to enforce school rules, you have mindless parents threatening to sue the teacher/school district and get somebody fired. Definately not worth the trouble for such little pay.


    I think special education, while albeit more challenging and requires more creative teaching strategies, is extremely rewarding if you brake through to the student.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 7:53 PM GMT
    One problem special needs teachers have is trying to get students to pass standardized testing required by No Child Left Behind (aka No Teacher Left Standing). In Texas, every student has to pass the TAKS test in order to advance to the next level. Even students who are practically comatose must pass the TAKS, too (although they can take a modified version of the test).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 8:04 PM GMT
    catfish5 saidOne problem special needs teachers have is trying to get students to pass standardized testing required by No Child Left Behind (aka No Teacher Left Standing). In Texas, every student has to pass the TAKS test in order to advance to the next level. Even students who are practically comatose must pass the TAKS, too (although they can take a modified version of the test).


    That's horse pucky... as you know sometimes more than likely some of the students will have to be taken care of for the rest of their natural lives...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 8:12 PM GMT
    NC3athlete saidI've taught at the university level in two countries over the course of the last 20 years. I realize that it's not the same as k-12 education, but the end product of k-12 education sits in my classroom every day, so I have a few thoughts on the matter:

    1) There are some really great teachers out there who work really hard for very little pay or recognition because they're passionate about education and the kids they teach. They can inspire life-long learning. Here's the rub: the recent focus on end-of-grade tests (Thanks, Mr. Bush, for your dumb ass No Child Left Behind crap) means that teachers cannot teach creatively, nor can they expand on subject matter that the kids really want to know more about, because they have to keep to this top-down issued schedule that eliminates any room for anything beyond what is going to be on the test.

    By the way, there are some pretty crappy teachers out there, too. Some are in it because they didn't know what else they wanted to do, or because they were hired to coach the football team and end up teaching US History.

    2) There are some really sucky parents out there who think that teachers do little else than dump information into their kids' brains while conveniently "babysitting" them at the same time. These parents feel no active responsibility to promote learning at home, either by participating in their kids' education or by setting good examples themselves. On the other extreme are parents who start regimenting their kids at a very early age so that they'll be "ahead" of the others. This constant pushing and monitoring of their kids' progress really robs them of their creativitiy and spirit. They might be good test takers, but often they are completely charmless and emotionally crippled when they get to college.

    3) The majority of kids are too distracted by all the gadgets and technological doo-dads their parents have bought them to actually focus on learning. There are some who are actually able to focus, but they're the ones to bump up against No Child Left Behind and other bullshit, so they're often bored and disillusioned.

    4) Some countries really value teachers and put them through rigorous post-university training before they even get in front of a classroom. In some places, teachers are considered on the same social plane as doctors or lawyers and earn really good salaries. By the way, these are also countries, by and large, that are doing much better on outcomes where primary and secondary education are concerned. Among industrialized nations, the US is now second or third tier, below the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Taiwan, and South Korea.

    5) We're in real trouble when school boards begin to be comprised of fundamentalists who want to teach creationism and dictate what teachers can teach and what students can read. It's almost as is some of them are hell-bent on returning to the 19th century.


    Where have you been all my life?!!
  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Jul 10, 2010 8:13 PM GMT
    One major problem is the teaching to the standardized tests. I can't begin to tell u how glad I am to have had creative teachers not worried about nclb.

    Secondly, money is being mismanaged at the administrative level. My district cut all first and second year teachers right after putting $2000 smartboards in the majority of lower level classrooms. Also they're paying administrators ridiculously (6 figures plus 95% of their insurance and 100% of their grad school so they can get paid even more). This year struck that down but who knows what the future holds. We also gained an associate superintendent while maintaining ten "divisional" people who teach one class and evaluate teachers the rest of the time. What are principals so busy doing that there need to be other people evaluating their employees?

    I'm not sure if I'll retire a teacher. I have received tenure but the job itself does not pay enough for being a job that you take home constantly and for all the wasted time diverted away from students to less important things.

    As for the republicans, they're mad at teachers trying to teach everyone well. As Ted knight says in caddyshack, "the world needs ditch-diggers too". If all teachers were set for success all students would be as well which could lead to a hard worker getting in front of the silver spoon which would kill the entitled upper echelon class. Scary!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 8:21 PM GMT
    Or have fewer poor and destitute people who's only hope for good jobs is to join the military
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 10, 2010 8:22 PM GMT
    amar_m saidOr have fewer poor and destitute people who's only hope for good jobs is to join the military


    ....ummm.... icon_confused.gif