Let's talk about teachers

Discussion in 'Education' started by chanel, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Waiting for Superman is in theaters now. I have not seen it yet, but there's been a lot of buzz.

    Waiting For "Superman" | Trailer & Clips | Official Movie Site

    I've been reading a lot of teacher bashing in the news lately, and as many of you know, here in NJ, Chris Christie has been at war with the NJEA. NJ has some of the top public schools in the country and some of the worst in our inner cities. Blaming teachers for school failure (without the kudos for success) seems self-defeating. What I mean by that, is an "us vs. them" mentality can cause horrible morale, which can affect teacher performance and students' attitudes toward education.

    I attended public schools in NY, PA, and NJ. Out of about 40 teachers from K-12, I can say I had about three that I did not "like". However, in hindsight, I probably still learned a lot in their classes. I cannot recall one teacher who did not teach.

    I'm curious to see how many others believe that teachers are not doing their jobs. What percentage do you feel are truly incompetent?

    I do believe that tenure can protect unstable and ineffective teachers. But I also believe that percentage is very, very low. What say you?
     
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  2. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Man, this is a ginormous topic, chanel. K-12 is so long ago, I scarcely remember. I had some real angels among my HS teachers and guidance counselor and would never have gone to college without their intervention. I can recall getting whipped in 1st grade because I could not master phoenics (my parents had taught me to read, and phoenics was just incomprehensible to me) and I had a real nasty bitch of a nun somewhere around 7th grade....but women like that prolly don't even exist anymore.

    I have a question for you, though: why do teachers need tenure? Nobody else gets a lifetime job anymore. Why must they have that stupendous security?

     
  3. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Tenure protects teachers who are often victims of bogus accusations. Tenure protects teachers who are making a livable wage from being replaced by younger, cheaper employees. Tenure protects teachers who may have a "personality conflct" with an administrator or a highly connected parent in the district.

    Tenure does not guarantee a job for life. We have had a few instances of teachers being "asked to leave". They may not have been "fired", thus not showing in the stats; but that's what happened.

    The problem with getting rid of bad teachers is the expense of the process. Perhaps that could be tweeked. Blame the lawyers.

    But I'm still curious to know how many people think that teaching is a cake job, where people can sit around and read the paper. Students need to be busy bell to bell or they become unruly. I can't imagine any adult doing that to THEMSELVES willingly unless they were into masochism. :eek:
     
  4. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    I doubt anyone thinks teaching is easy. In the best of circumstances, it sounds like a tremendous brain drain -- and the work teachers do outside the classroom hours is staggering. In average-to-bad circumstances it sounds as dangerous and taxing as being a prison guard.

    Not sure I am buying the tenure arguments you gave, though. Aren't the risks you identified ones people face in many other lines of work? What I don't get is why a more ordinary civil service or union style of protection will not satisfy; why must it be tenure?
     
  5. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    Boy - it's been eons since I was in school, but I have to say I think my teachers were superior to many of today's teachers. Just about every teacher in my (public) HS had their Masters in their given subjects and some were adjunct professors at University of Richmond. Classroom high-jinks meant detention.

    I only have the Richmond school system to compare with, but I'll tell you it's a system in shambles. Even 30+ years ago I refused to live inside the city limits of Richmond because I knew my kids wouldn't get a decent education. I clearly remember one year when there was a mass "exodus" of teachers to attend some college basketball finals rather than being in their classroom teaching students. It was a mess.
     
  6. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Madeline - we are talking about other peoples children. You know as well as I that many parents think their babies can do no wrong. And some are willing to hurt someone who they perceive has hurt their child. When I have more time, I'll highlight some of the bogus charges that myself and others have had to defend. No other profession compares ex for maybe the PD. And a simple accusation, no matter how bizarre, can destroy a person.
     
  7. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    There is a teacher in my building on PIP right now. If she fails again this year, she is gone out of teaching.

    Observing her, and listening to the other teachers that work with her, it's for the best.

    So at least Indiana has a process for getting rid of "bad" teachers.
     
  8. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    You get no argument from me, chanel. I have teacher friends.....I dun know why anyone would do this job. I don't dispute, teachers need protection from arbitrary job loss. But tenure? Cops don't get that, chanel. Prison guards don't. Social workers don't. Do teachers face a higher risk than some of these employees?
     
  9. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    I saw this creepy episode of L&O where NYC teachers on PIP were sent to "re-education classes" and stayed there. Some for years. I hope to God that was fiction.

     
  10. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    No It wasn't. The rubber room has got to go. I don't know what kind of job protections the police have, but I imagine its almost the same thing as tenure wouldn't you think?

    Our district has "forced out" some bad teachers. There are ways to make people quit - tenure or not.

    But back to my original question, how many "bad teachers" are there? And what makes someone a bad teacher? Low test scores or hating children? (There are some of those)

    Some of the most "popular" and "cool" teachers are not necessarily effective. Being "liked" certainly helps, but teaching should not be a popularity contest IMHO.
     

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