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Re: Job security ...and decent districts!


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 11:22:25 PDT

Larry wrote:

> Perhaps going thru some rough waters early on in one's teaching career isn't
> so bad as an education that prepares one for dealing with other districts.
> Still....wouldn't it be nice if part of the education credit requirement
> courses at the university level had the practice of bringing in a good
> number of teachers to share their words of warning. If the universities
> would pay for a day of subs for those teachers? Students free to field
> questions....?

A music teacher colleague of mine did such a thing. He was well connected
with several universities and would often go to seminars where the college
students quizzed and probed him on expectations in interviews and
expectations of being a teacher.

I'm not sure that student teaching covers all the possibilities that a forum
of experienced teachers could provide.

Perhaps it's an idea worth pursuing. After all, I as a high school teacher,
provide the opportunity for many college admission officers to come to my
class and plug their programs. Perhaps, they should provide me the same
opportunity to come to their college classes and tell them what it's really
like and what to be prepared for.

Just a thought if any college people are out there reading.

Larry also talked about how difficult it is to keep new, young teachers in
his district. I think this is not a problem confined to his particular
geographic limitations. I think it is a problem all over. I think new
teachers are not at all prepared for the work load , the stress level. the
amount of hours, the demands and needs that education is all about today.
We have a similar problem in my district. The young teachers leave and say
"I had no idea it was so much work."

I can hardly blame them but
where is the lesson being taught?

College programs need to take a look at what they are preparing students
Can we continue to survive when the myths about teachers still exist?
You know what myths I mean?
Teachers work a shortened day - you go home at 3/4 -- you have the summer
off (oh, yeah!) -- you have big vacations -- ...

I think the colleges, our National Associations, we as teachers, need to do
some rethinking on recruiting prospects to our most admirable profession.
And, I think, our local school boards, state, and national governing bodies,
need to start considering that salary attracts good people.
I'm lucky, I'm in a district that pays very well. But I know that is not the
norm. I think I can think of few professions that require so much education
and in turn provide such little compensation.
The biggest myth that still exists is that w are supposed to teach because
we love it - not for the money. (I'd like to hear my dentist say he does it
for the love and not the money)

I certainly don't have solutions. I see bigger and bigger turnover in
teacher populations and fewer and fewer staying in for the long haul.
How do we make teaching an attractive career for smart young folks? How do
we make it a place they want to stay and grow and become wise old teachers?
How do we get rid of the myths other than our own ranting?

I don't know