I don't know how you motivate the teachers who lack the intrinsic motivation to do better. I know they exist (from my own experiences growing up) but I honestly don't think they're in the majority. How do you avoid treating the good teachers like dirt but still manage to get rid of the bad ones?
Do things like paying teachers more for higher test scores, insisting on mostly useless certifications, and extreme micromanagement really improve teacher quality or do they drive people away from the profession?
I'm honestly not sure what do do about the situation. I personally think that teachers should be paid better so that there won't be a shortage. Without a shortage, schools can pick and choose what teachers they hire in the first place. I know that in many districts a teacher basically can't get fired unless they touch a kid. Probably we should find a way to comprehensively evaluate teachers for job performance (not just on test scores or grades) but I'd want to make sure that teachers don't have to fear for their jobs because a principal wants to hire a friend or because they manage their classrooms in a way the principal doesn't like or because a parent complained.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Oct 2006
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"Do things like paying teachers more for higher test scores, insisting on mostly useless certifications, and extreme micromanagement really improve teacher quality or do they drive people away from the profession?"
I really don't think so. I have watched my mother this year work her rear off, from 7am to 8pm trying to get her students ready for TAKS (the Texas test). I watch the teachers at the school I teach at slip out fifteen minutes early every day and hand their students packets to study for TAKS. Most likely, my mother's students will do very well on the TAKS. According to the October scores for my school about 40% will fail. Here's the best part... are you ready? The teacher's at my school are paid bonuses if a certain percentage (60 percent) of their students pass. My mother's school has no pay incentive.
Money helps, but really, a quality teacher doesn't work hard for the stipend. The stipend or extra pay might movitate one initially, but being a good teacher takes a lot out of a person. It's a way of life, not a job. The quality teacher does the job that needs to be done in order to get their students to the right point. They don't clock out at 3:55 and leave it all at school. It's really just not possible.
At least that's my experience. I tried to be the "school stays at school" teacher and I didn't like the quality of teacher that I was.
On the NCLB front-- one of the problems that we faced in my last school district was that students didn't see the value in passing the state tests. Other than the 11th grade test, that needed to be passed to graduate (and they have 5 tries), there were no negative consequences for the students who failed the test. Many of my students told me that they didn't care what happened to the school, the teachers etc. They didn't see how the test affected them and they really didn't care. They figured (correctly) that their passing the test would bring the district more money that they would never benefit from.
Posts: 862 | Registered: Oct 2003
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quote:On the NCLB front-- one of the problems that we faced in my last school district was that students didn't see the value in passing the state tests.
Depending on the material tested, the students may be right. If the test is only there to judge the school, and not, you know, for the greater glory of education, then the students rightfully don't have anything invested in their performance.
Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001
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quote:Originally posted by Belle: Sorry to disappoint you endersdragon, but even under NCLB education majors are only required to take 1 class that introduces us to the "exceptional learner" which is 3 semester hours and then a 1 hour lab where I think we do some observing of EL classes.
I don't think four semester hours out of the 150 I'm required to take is going to make that much of a difference. In those four semester hours we are supposed to get an overview of working with kids with all kinds of learning challenges, from physical disabilities to autism to gifted and talented kids. I don't think four hours is enough time to even adequately cover what I'd need to know to work with autistic kids, much less adequate to prepare me for working with every other type of exceptional learner I'll see in my classroom.
But then again, the whole special education system needs to be overhauled, there are so many issues like mainstreaming vs. separate classrooms, and getting the funding needed to meet IEP goals...it's a mess. Parents of exceptional kids need to pretty much become full time advocates for their kids, and often they feel they are in a battle against the administration to get the services their kids require.
I don't think NCLB has helped this situation, in fact most people I know who are either teachers or parents of exceptional kids think it's worse now than before.
Yeah I agree it is not good but then again when has it ever been. We need more schools for aspies for one, but theres only one real public school that I know of and only a few private (generally boarding) schools. People never get that weither or not they can get along in regular classes isn't the only cause for concern.
Depression runs much to rampent in aspies (for an example of this other then myself, I have a friend that goes to what was formerly the ASPIE school, forget what its called now, that was suicidal by the age of 12 due to bullying.) On top of that I have an online friend with a 12 year old son with PDD-NOS whos teachers think its alright if he is getting a D even though he has a 140 something IQ, (not to mention the time he was arrested for hitting someone when they grabbed him, granted they lightly grabbed him but if you grab an aspie he can't be held accountable for what then happens.)
And those are just asperger (sorta) examples, go to any other similiar invisable "mild" disorder and you will see similar kinds of problems. I have heard that still today most deaf parents want their deaf kids (assuming they have them) to go to the deaf school (man if I said deaf one more time! lol.) So in short the entire special education system is a mess.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Dec 2006
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