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View Diary: This teacher reacts to seeing "Waiting for Superman" (923 comments)

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  •  Do you think credentials make the teacher? (4+ / 0-)

    People home school there children with no credentials and they can out perform those taught by those with them. There is more to this than credentials the talent and ability to convey knowledge to another person is not a simple matter of having a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Our biggest problems are teaching reading and math to young children. If you can do basic arithmetic and read you know the subject matter. The credentials in teaching are suppose to teach you how to teach different kinds of children in their varied stages of development. If you for some reason already know how to do that the credentials aren't necessary.

    •  It's a big part talent. (3+ / 0-)

      And people skills, management skills for a room of 26 kids.

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 08:25:39 AM PDT

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      •  Those skills can vary depending on the group (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If your teaching inner city schools and you are not from that background you will have a really hard time relating to the kids. That is why I think those who can should be rewarded for their unique talents.

        •  My biggest success and favorite group (7+ / 0-)

          by FAR was my inner city classroom. We rocked it out and had a blast, too. And I am definitely not from that background. Be careful what you judge and how.

          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

          by Unduna on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 08:50:20 AM PDT

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          •  Good for you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yeah i am jumping to conclusions. There might be other strategies that work with kids from all backgrounds. I can't speak to that, but there are plenty of teachers who don't do well with these kids and write them off as "Ghetto" or "stupid". That happens a lot, of course they try and teach them anyway but it would probably help if they could relate better.

            •  I loved them, but I get into to turning up the (6+ / 0-)

              volume. I like to go big. And they loved and wanted touch. Once I figured that out, we were on. I kept everybody close, within hand clenching, head rubbing distance. And they loved to be told how beautiful they were. And my god they were so gorgeous, each one.

              And learning to deal with their inclination to play alpha dog, that was super important. Everyday was wacka-mole with both a big hard stick and a big pump up to the heart and confidence.

              But the best thing of all about this group was their seemingly natural ability to understand that everybody needed different rules. The worst thing I could threaten would be a "Everything Fair Day". They flipped their shit if I threatened that and pulled it together fast. They loved their individual perks, and would work hard with their individual restrictions to keep them. I really loved and admired them greatly for their understanding of how that worked.

              And they understood that we were at war. That we were, each one of us, me included and sometimes even especially, in danger. They would ask me, "is it a bad grown up day, Ms. XXX? Don't worry, we got you, " they would say. God love em.

              Basically, they ruled and I adored them and I miss them like mad.

              Thanks for listening.

              "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

              by Unduna on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 09:17:45 AM PDT

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              •  Wow that is amazing (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Unduna, kingyouth, princss6

                It's like nothing I ever heard or imagined. I wish we were talking about what your doing in the classroom, instead of adult issues. I wish we had diaries on teaching strategies instead of glossing over that issue as if every teacher was as gifted as you. Those kids were really lucky, I hope their next teacher isn't disappointing.

                I don't think an extra degree or two would give you these skills or huge raise not that you don't deserve it. Teachers don't even have the time to share amongst themselves. We need to focus on teachers to develop them. All the focus goes on removing ineffective teachers which in the end might only be 1-2%. The vast majority of teachers would be unaffected outside of some lingering fears. The focus should be on empowering teachers to teach how they want and a chance to learn new methods. Being held to account for someone else's bad ideas is a common reality for many working people but it doesn't get the job done.

                I remember a movie about a guy who worked some magic in a inner city elementary school class, I forget what it was called.

              •  One of the values that my kid's (2+ / 0-)
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                Unduna, edtastic

                school instills is fair isn't that everyone gets the same or equal treatment, fair is that everyone gets what they need when they need it.  

                the most important factor whether students succeed is not their skincolor or their ZIP code or their parents' income - it is the quality of their teacher

                by princss6 on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 10:45:07 AM PDT

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                •  lets parse this a bit further (2+ / 0-)
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                  Tonedevil, princss6

                  the idea that everyone gets what they need when they need it may mean that not everyone gets the same thing.  I happen to agree with that -  I think the most equitable treatment would mean some get more than others in order to give them equal opportunity over the long haul.  But some people object to this.

                  "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

                  by teacherken on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 02:20:24 PM PDT

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    •  As it happens, I teach teachers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken, Tonedevil

      both those who have been teaching without credentials and those who haven't gotten their credentials yet. I also go out and supervise (observe) teachers. A credential doesn't guarantee that a teacher will be great, but it does mean that he or she will learn HOW to teach math, reading & writing, science, social studies, etc. There are very few "natural" teachers who just happen to know how to do all this. The students I teach who have been teaching without credentials are good people, but they definitely have holes in their knowledge of how to teach certain subjects, and are glad to have the opportunity to fill those gaps.

      I wonder why it is that people think teaching takes no special skills or knowledge. Children are the most precious members of our community; don't we want the most well-prepared and knowledgeable professionals helping them in the classroom?

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 09:22:41 PM PDT

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      •  Oh no... (0+ / 0-)

        I wonder why it is that people think teaching takes no special skills or knowledge

        I completely recognize this and it is why I push back on the meme that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their kids.  Teaching is a craft and a trade.  I know what I know...does not mean I can teach it.  As a matter of fact, there is nothing more sobering when as an avid reader, I had to support my son with some language disabilities in particular relating to reading!  I couldn't do it, other teachers failed, but he had one damn good teacher that finally broke through..finally!  This is after years of special instruction and the cost and time expended for a tutor.  In our case, the amount of outside help I could afford by in money and time could NEVER make up for the direct instruction every day.  Never!  What I wasn't a good parent, right?  Despite doing everything that the previous teachers had called for, my kid STILL couldn't read.  But one year with an effective (non-unionized) teacher has changed his life.  He went through K and 1st without knowing how to read and then in his second tour in 1st grade, finally, finally, he could read!  

        I'm not alone, I know this and I can testify without any doubt that even the best parents who do all they can, still have kids that when faced with incompetent and ineffective teachers, will not be educated.  I'm fortunate that I can afford private schools, not the elite schools mind you, but this schools are providing a very good education on par with the elites if not better, for my child.  I know I'm not alone and I know there are parents who have provided the same sweat equity but who people on this blog want to demonize because their kids are not performing.  It can't be the schools, right?  It just must me the parent and their lack of investment and engagement in their child's education.  Wrong.  Even the best parents can't overcome the horrible schools in my neighborhood.  

        the most important factor whether students succeed is not their skincolor or their ZIP code or their parents' income - it is the quality of their teacher

        by princss6 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 09:54:07 AM PDT

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