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View Diary: Education Was Just Killed In Indiana. (39 comments)

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  •  See, I Want To Be Careful Here (8+ / 0-)

    Maybe once I lost my job. I had a BA. MA, even taught college classes. I applied for a job teaching high school students in marketing, a thing I did for 15+ years, and was told I didn't have the qualifications.

    I am not saying teaching a class is easy. It isn't. But this is just fucked up.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:49:46 PM PST

    •  you did not have the qualifications (3+ / 0-)
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      zenbassoon, IndieGuy, War on Error

      public school teaching does, and must, have licensing procedures. Doesn't mean you won't make a fine teacher, but you need background in things that you are not prepared for. Child development, a teaching practicum in schools ( 5th graders and even 10th graders are not like college students ) and so on. The differences are vast. Still there are many states where you could teach provisionally, though I am in disagreement with that. Why? i was such a teacher; those who trained for the job were frankly better teachers, and that's what the stats show as well. Know what? If you taught college anatomy and physiology, you could not be an X ray tech on that alone; you'd have to get a license at a county college. Even having a degree in nuclear physics wouldn't suffice.By the way, a lot of people, including my laid off wife, are going back to county college even though they have advanced degrees in other fields, because that's where the training for most of today's jobs are. There are all sorts of implications to this, like the value of a 4 year degree when the jobs out there require an associates, and what that says about gatekeeping and so on. but that should be a diary in itself.

      •  I think I disagree with this. (1+ / 0-)
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        Certifications are not the answer.

        Teaching is more an art than a science, so there is no checklist of coursework or experience that will make a person a good teacher.

        Flattening out what is required for certification to teach need not kill quality. The burden for quality control has always fallen on the quality and character of each individual school community which is why it's so hard for inner city schools in struggling neighborhoods to be quality schools.  Hierarchy cannot save us. Community can.

        It is a rare teachers program that uniformly turns out teachers who are ready to manage a classroom and teach once they have a certificate in hand.  

        The best teachers have a gift.  Ideally all teachers would have this gift.  I'm not sure I know how to describe it, but I will try.  

        The best teachers have big hearts and love unconditionally.  

        They care about each student and can see through roles and masks to the individual in each student.  

        They are highly perceptive and intuitive, and observe human actions and behavior deeply and in fine detail as a natural part of their existence. -- This skill can be fine-tuned and honed through classroom experience and mentoring, but I'm not sure it can be developed to a sufficiently high level if it's not already there.

        The best teachers are independent thinkers and active learners who enjoy learning and exploring the world around them, so they have a wide breadth of connected knowledge as well as knowledge depth.  They are comfortable in their own skin, and are not afraid to say, "I don't know, but let's find out."

        They instinctively model the behaviors they want to see in their students. (This is another skill that can be fine-tuned and honed through classroom experience and mentoring, but if it's not already there to a significant extent I don't think it can become a  fluent part of a teacher's interface with student and classroom.)

        There's probably more than this, but all these things are key to being a really good teacher.  And in a really good teacher they are autonomic -- simply part of how that person is in the world.

        •  I don't think most of my relatives were (1+ / 0-)
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          what I would call a good teacher.

          They had the smarts, but not the gift.

          •  My Dad on the other hand (1+ / 0-)
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            never taught school or took an education class, but he was born teacher with the gift in spades.

            •  Why didn't he ever teach in school? (1+ / 0-)
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              He was an artist, and he got jobs in the commercial art field right out of out of school that paid triple what he would have gotten as a first year art teacher.

              Later on, when the marketplace shifted the relative pay so teaching would have been economically feasible -- getting credentialed was a hurdle he didn't want to deal with.

              •  If you don't want to deal with the hurdle (1+ / 0-)
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                then you shouldn't teach. Seriously, in no other profession is this allowed. Teaching will never be a profession until it is difficult to become one and there are serious hurdles to entry. That is in fact how other countries do it. Teaching is both art and science, just like medicine. A good teacher must still learn good techniques, like a good surgeon. The facts and the stats are clear; traditionally trained teachers from strong programs make better teachers. In fact, once you know what to look for, you can spot good teaching and quickly separate it  from someone who is merely good at entertaining children. i don't know whatkind of teacher your dad might have been, but he obviously didn't feel that the hurdle was worth going through. That's fine. But the hurdles are necessary; no other competitive country takes teacher training so lightly. It should be damn difficult to become a teacher, the pay should be much better, and teachers should be driving the discussion, not ALEC, the Business Round Table, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, or Michelle Rhee. Appreciate your input, and I think you are right about teacher qualities, but good teachingis also a skill and it can be taught.

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