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The Teacher Thread - Page 4

post #46 of 561
Thread Starter 
^^^I do understand why she may not have been allowed to teach. Doesn't mean I don't think she wasn't capable. I personally found, as most of my colleagues as well, that I learned so much more from my few hours with a mentor my first year teaching than I ever did in any ed class I took. he taught me real world techniques for MY students. The problem with education courses is they deal with two types of things when it comes to the students. Hypothetical groups, which never become the real groups we teach, or individual cases, which is just ONE story of billions that are kids lives. Let me explain, since the New Year, these are just a few of the individual cases from my experience. 1. I teach an after-school running program to third and fourth graders (they SCARE me to death, all 20 of them). After my first class I went to my administrator about one of the students and what I saw as very anti-social and immature behavior (even for a 3rd grader). Her response, "Oh, XYZ is autistic." Totally changed how I deal with that student and now we're cool...but something that I would never have been told had I not asked. 2. An 8th grade girl (sweet as pie, lovely kid) has been slipping in grades and behavior the past few months so we had her mom up. She told us that she's been cutting herself, and sees a therapist. I now make sure I take the time to speak to her one on one each day and let her know she's great and hang in there...the past month, I've been hard on her, because her behavior was very poor, I feel awful. 3. An Asian 8th grade girl has been absent a ton this year (like 65% of the days). Parents are off the boat and speak no English (think its just the mom too). Finally get a translator in to call her, and we find out that she's telling her mom that the stuff in school isn't important and she doesn't have to go, so she's been letting her stay home. 4. Another 8th grader, who was in the 8th grade LAST year, failed, and to "teach him a lesson" his mom didn't enroll him in summer school, forcing him to retake 8th grade. At one of our last faculty meeting our principal told us she was VERY unhappy with how many 8th garders were failing, and she didn't want this many holdovers, especially if we think they are going to pass the state ELA and Math tests (which is the promotion criteria as well as passing the four majors (ELA, Math, Science, and SS). So, the teachers give the kid a 65 (most). He actually did deserve it in my class, but in others he turns in NO WORK. Mom sends an email to all the teachers, the principal, and the AP saying that we're insulting her intelligence and making her job harder by "just passing him through". My principal is FUMING. Thankfully the kid earned a 66% in my class, so I'm covered, but some of my colleagues ARE NOT. What should they have done? I'll post more later, but i need to go to work...and I'm in a GOOD school, we got an A on our NYC report card, and have been a pillar in our (upper middle class) community for almost 200 years.
post #47 of 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkRanger View Post
I'll post more later, but i need to go to work...and I'm in a GOOD school, we got an A on our NYC report card, and have been a pillar in our (upper middle class) community for almost 200 years.
Location, location, location. Its not just for real estate.
post #48 of 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
There are great teachers out there, and I'm pretty sure NyRanger is one of them, but there are far more poor teachers. Alt Cert gets better people into classrooms and has shown to dramatically help close achievement gaps. Its a good thing and the dinosaur union cronies can't deal with that.

I won't touch the anti-union rant and address the alt cert thing.

I agree that a lot of alt certs make good teachers, but let's face it - it is a shockingly poor crash-course in education theory and methodology. I think the reason there are a lot of good alt cert teachers is that they tend to be older and have more maturity and life experience in a variety of fields. Comparing a 40-something alt cert first year teacher with a fresh-faced early 20s Bachelors of Ed graduate is a bit unfair, no?
post #49 of 561
I'm an intro chemistry professor at a community college, just started my second year.

My only teaching experience before this was teaching labs, at a research university. I didn't take any teaching classes, had never planned on or even considered teaching. It just sort of happened, wanted to stay in the area for a year or two for family reasons and found this. I'm actually enjoying it, although it's not really as taxing on my core skillset as I'd like.

The difficulty mostly comes from the community college aspect. I do like being at a teaching centric institution, at many universities teaching only faculty are looked down on and teaching is a core for the research faculty. The problem really stems from the fact that we have no admission criteria, other than graduating high school. Georgia public schools are rather weak on science as a rule, so my students frequently come to me knowing nothing, and not having especially good work habits. We expect about ~50% of our students to drop out, and about 30% of the kids in my class fail or drop. It's a bit painful for me, but there's really nothing to be done. Bringing those kids up to level would shortchange the higher performing students.

I'm probably going to be moving out of teaching later this year. I do actually enjoy my job, but I feel like I need to get out into the scientific world and test my skills. I don't get that minimal level of productive stress here, I just kind of coast along and finish all my work in 25 hours a week. There's not really even more to do, I learn things I need to change as I go along, but putting more "work" in won't help that process so far as I can tell. I think it would make a great career later in life when I have less energy.



As an aside: a friend of mine has a masters in science education, and was originally a chemistry masters student before switching. He's almost certainly more qualified to teach than I am, but I have a PhD and he doesn't, so I get hired and he's still looking. I also get paid more. All this despite the fact that my PhD did not have a significant teaching component. I'm sure this says something about how we evaluate teachers, but I don't quite have the perspective to know what the message would be.
post #50 of 561
NYR, does New York have a big "Assessment For Learning" push right now? It's a trend we're seeing a lot of the schools here move in. A question to the panel: What is required to teach in New York state. I've got an HKin degree and an Ed degree and am thinking about the possibility of a one-year move. Not sure what certs I'd need to look into.
post #51 of 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBrown85 View Post
NYR, does New York have a big "Assessment For Learning" push right now? It's a trend we're seeing a lot of the schools here move in. A question to the panel: What is required to teach in New York state. I've got an HKin degree and an Ed degree and am thinking about the possibility of a one-year move. Not sure what certs I'd need to look into.
Its all about certification. If your certification has reciprocity, you can teach. If not, you need to get certified. Check with the individual county and/or the state to find out.
post #52 of 561
I figured this would be a great place to rant. My wife works at a certain NYC public school and has told me stories about the administration that are difficult to fathom. There are a bunch of administrative people there making over $100k per year (it's open information) and do absolutely nothing all day. To make matters worse, they are abusive (cursing, pinching) to the students.

The bright side about this school is that the teachers are all great and try their best to stay away from the admins.
post #53 of 561
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxgenius View Post
I figured this would be a great place to rant. My wife works at a certain NYC public school and has told me stories about the administration that are difficult to fathom. There are a bunch of administrative people there making over $100k per year (it's open information) and do absolutely nothing all day. To make matters worse, they are abusive (cursing, pinching) to the students.

The bright side about this school is that the teachers are all great and try their best to stay away from the admins.

Its hard to imagine admins "doing nothing". In fact, in my school, what makes them difficult to deal with, and nasty at times is the fact that they are OVERWORKED. My P and AP are good people, but they just have 24 hours of work to do in an 8 hour day. To me, its not worth the $$.
post #54 of 561
@NYR

What do you think the merit pay measures that Michelle Rhee enacted in Washington DC? Think they'll work or would work in NYC?

Quote:
In 2008, she also sought to renegotiate how the school system compensates teachers. Rhee offered teachers the choice of: being paid up to $140,000 based on what she termed "student achievement""”but losing tenure; or, retaining tenure"”but earning much smaller pay raises. This controversial move to end teacher tenure and promote "merit" pay was strongly contested by the teachers unions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Rhee
post #55 of 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkRanger View Post
Its hard to imagine admins "doing nothing". In fact, in my school, what makes them difficult to deal with, and nasty at times is the fact that they are OVERWORKED. My P and AP are good people, but they just have 24 hours of work to do in an 8 hour day. To me, its not worth the $$.

Agreed. As the spouse of an administrator, I wish she was still a teacher. Sure, money is better, but when it's broken down by the hour forget about it. Ten to twelve hour days (board meetings, PTA etc), has to go in on snow days when teachers don't, no summer break.

And with today's public attitude, it's practically a thankless position to be in.

I would never tell her any of this because I know she loves her job.
post #56 of 561
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico2007 View Post
Agreed. As the spouse of an administrator, I wish she was still a teacher. Sure, money is better, but when it's broken down by the hour forget about it. Ten to twelve hour days (board meetings, PTA etc), has to go in on snow days when teachers don't, no summer break.

And with today's public attitude, it's practically a thankless position to be in.

I would never tell her any of this because I know she loves her job.

100% agree. My mother AND father were both admins who worked their way up to being in charge of their own schools from teaching positions. My dad did it in Catholic School, and it worked out for him (he has his EdD) and my mom was/is a workaholic. She retired from the Bd of Ed and now is the principal of a Catholic Grammar School on SI. It worked for them. And I'm sure it works for your wife, but talk about thankless...they get crap from their superiors, are often misunderstood and HATED by the teachers that work for them and have to spend so much time AWAY from kids...

Chico, continue to appreciate what she does, because you may be one of the only ones.
post #57 of 561
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newinny View Post
@NYR
What do you think the merit pay measures that Michelle Rhee enacted in Washington DC? Think they'll work or would work in NYC?

It has its merits, no pun intended. the thing I don't like about it is that almost all of achievement is measured in standardized test scores, which in my mind are inherently flawed. I understand that a student can grow from year to year, but by putting all of the responsibility and praise on a single teacher is too much. There are too many "x factors" that go into student growth to place the livelihood of a worker on it.

I also feel it has the potential for teachers to work against one another, rather than to work collectively together. Then there's also the argument of how to judge Phys Ed, Arts, Science and History. Most of these merit pay systems are based on Language Arts and Math progress. There's a lot to be worked out before this can actually be beneficial.

I thought about having the idea of having merit pay on a school wide basis, but then you'd have schools at each others throats, and I don't think its a good idea yet.

Rhee kind of jumped into shark infested waters with a deep bleeding gash and without the ability to swim. What she needed to do was heal up the wound, take a swim class, and get herself in a cage. Once the kinks are worked out (if ever) it may be something we see.

The biggest problem with education today, in my mind, is the politicizing of it. I also think that its a lot of lip service. If gov't was really serious about reforming education in this country, you wouldn't read about threats to layoff teachers as often as you do. Politicians won't tax people who make 250K, but they'll cut the services afforded to the poor masses who are publicly educated.
post #58 of 561
I've done a few guest lectures at the university level. In my brief, limited experience, it was hard enough to capture the audience of undergrads that I would like to believe were in that class because they WANTED to be there. Getting them involved and thinking deeply about the material was even more difficult.

I don't think I could handle teaching little kids.
post #59 of 561
Thread Starter 










Room was a bloody mess this AM...maybe I'll take better shots after the vacation, when its clean.
post #60 of 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkRanger View Post
Politicians won't tax people who make 250K, but they'll cut the services afforded to the poor masses who are publicly educated.

That's not what you meant right?
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