Monday, September 26, 2011

You Mean a Degree is NOT Experience???

I swear, the stupidity that is out there.

Since when was majoring in "education" some kind of hard discipline?

How about this:
You hire former IBM algorithm programmers to teach math.
You hire former cops, judges, and authors to teach history.
You hire authors and journalists to teach English.
You hire engineers and scientists to teach science?
You hire accountants to teach accounting
You hire economists to teach economics

You DON'T hire a 23 year old child to babysit your children and then wonder why we're ranked below Turkey and Mexico in terms of PISA scores.


Jay said...

I don't know you'd have to be pretty stupid to go from being an IBM programmer earning a six-figure salary and great a low-wage job in which you have to put up with union bums and try to teach brats who don't want to learn.

Seriously the majority of the problem is not with the teachers, it's the parents. Anyone can teach from a book...even a Basket-weaving major...however it takes real skill to raise a kid right...especially in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

You can't just hire a scientist to teach science. A teacher needs to know how to put together powerpoint presentations, how to cite academic journals using updated APA style, and how to modify a lesson to accommodate nut allergies, among other things.

Anonymous said...

It's worse than that, Captain.

Teaching generally gathers some of the least motivated and least intelligent, particularly elementary education. EE is sort of like the equivalent of physical education. So you don't start with the cream of the crop - you often get quite the opposite.

A lot of schools of education do not have their students spend enough time in the classroom learning to teach - some have as little a 6 weeks of student teaching.

Not only do schools hire new kids just out of school to teach, the teacher unions and the seniority system in most schools dictates that the most experienced teachers get the easiest to teach subjects, the most motivated students and the students least likely to become discipline problems.

A new teacher finds the deck stacked against their success.

Then to top that off, there is usually no coaching or mentoring of the new teachers to help them learn how to teach and rapidly improve. It's very much a "thrown to the wolves" sort of thing.

And then we wonder why so many promising staff leave teaching within the first five years.

I'd like to see teacher preparation programs go a full five years, where the last year is spent in the classroom teaching in partnership with an experienced and good teacher as a mentor.

Also school districts ought to be required to have mentors for all teachers with under 5 years of experience.

And can we please have teachers with a major in the subject matter they are teaching please?

PeppermintPanda said...

I know little about the specifics of education in the United States, but I suspect that if you looked at teachers in private schools the graph would look dramatically different.

A guy who works-out at my local gym is a principle at a local private elementary school and one day I listened to him talking about how he had (on average) about 25 to 50 qualified applicants for every teaching position he had opened even though his school paid worse than the public system. His reasoning for this (which I believe is fairly plausible) is that quality teachers like working in an environment where they have fewer students who are more interested in their education and have supportive parents, are surrounded by qualified teachers which ensures they don’t have to clean up other teachers messes, and there is competent support staff to help students overcome learning disabilities and other problems which (may) limit their success.

Essentially, since he gives good teachers an enviornment where they can be good teachers (and escape the awful conditions of the union-based public education system) he has teachers fighting to get into his school.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that Turkey and Mexico hire cops to teach history, IBM programmers to teach maths etc ?

I imagine they do as America and all other countries have always done - they hire teachers to be teachers.

Captain Capitalism said...

All these comments,

Sarcastic, serious and oblivious

make my point even more so.

And that point is that teaching is NOT a profession. it is a simple task wherein an authority figure imparts wisdom upon youth.

Of course, this assumes the youth are prepared by their parents to honor and respect their teachers (which they aren't, and is the ONLY point I'll grant most teachers).

But that caveat aside, teaching is not a "skill." There is no merit or worth unto a "teacher."

it is having a person who is experienced in the field that can impart their experiences and how the real world works to better the children and give them a genuine education.

Of course, though, that flies in the face of the true intention of teachers and the teachers union;

easy employment for (generally, but not always) incapable staff. be they suburbanite brats who "like to have summers off" or aged baby boomer hippies that know how to game and score the system to advance themselves at the expense of the "beloved chilllldren" they have no problem hiding behind when they ask for raises to baby sit.

Sorry, getting cranky in my old age. And by "cranky" I mean "accurate." Because let us not forget, the Captain has taught at pretty much all levels of education, from kindergarten to college to adult education.

It's not a hard job. You just have to have a pampered life and constantly be told you're a winner while you go to school to think it is, to the point you go and protest at Wisconsin when the governor proposes treating you like a real adult.

Perhaps I can sum it up with a great quote I gave my 7th grade English teacher when she was giving me crap about me not finishing my homework;

"Yeah, well it must have took a lot to major in a language you've only been speaking for 18 years to reteach it to kids who have only been speaking it for the past 12 years of their lives."

Aaron said...

Most of my teachers at uni were professionals who taught part time. My favorite was my calculus teacher whose dayjob was at JPL. It's the only way to go.

rogeru45 said...

Hire lawyers to teach English since their profession is mostly arguing grammar anyway. Plus there are lots of out of work lawyers at the moment.

Seriously though, teacher education needs to include training in "command presence", maybe a partnership between a university and the local police force.

rogeru45 said...

Get lawyers to teach English since their profession is mostly arguing over grammar anyway, ie. what is the meaning if "is".

Seriously though, teacher training should include leadership and "command presence" taught by somebody who has trained cops and/or military. Maybe a partnership between the university and the local police force.

Glenfilthie said...

Absolutely stellar work. No, teaching is NOT a profession, as currently practised by the current gaggle of unionized pooch screwers, socialists, and naive do-gooders.

However - you CAN give control to a 23 year old and get absolutely stellar results. Hell, my kid learned math from me and was doing grade 10 Algebra when she was in Grade 7. I have no training as a teacher whatsoever.

The answer to the problem is easy. Yes, the teachers are culpable; I would like to see every second one taken out and shot at random as a warning to the others - but ultimately the parents bear responsibility for their kids.

Today's parent thinks self esteem is more important than education. They think spanking and discipline is child abuse. Today's average parent is a product of that school system that was bad 20 years ago; and over time things have just gotten worse.

If you are happy with the marks your kid is bringing home remember that they give diplomas nowadays to kids that can't read. The teachers are demanding the abolishment of failing grades and assignment deadlines too. The Captain's Decline is literally being created and institutionalized in the classroom.

Educate your kids folks. Nobody is going to do it for you.

Arch said...

Yet more cognitive dissonance on the left...

"It takes a village...unless the teacher's union says it requires a properly credentialed and brainwashed teacher. Then you have to go with that or you hate children!"

Learning no more requires an authorized teacher than an oil change requires a licensed mechanic.

Jeff M said...

Interestingly, the best teacher I ever had in High School was a first year teacher, my AP Economics teacher. He was about 35 and a former lawyer; he told us flat out that the reason he went into teaching was to get more time off.

Wow, it's almost like having actual real world experience makes you a better teacher.

Ilkka said...

Related, have you already visited the site "We Are The 99% Percent"? You could get a whole series of posts about these people, many of who are unfortunate, but then there are those morons who went $100,000 in debt to get some navel gazing fluff degree that they can't begin to pay off with their minimum wage jobs. Just skim the first few pages and you see what I mean.

Alex David-Luc Taylor said...

Under NCLB the schools that are suffering get LESS money to say... hire people with experience. The schools that are already doing ok get to keep money

Anthony said...

rogeru45 hits one of the gaps in most teachers' training: there is nothing to develop, or test for, "command presence" in a teacher. A teacher who is barely competent at the subject matter, but who can keep order in the classroom will get better overall results (as the smarter kids teach themselves) than a teacher who lets the kids run wild. But there's no training in that ("classroom management" classes don't cover it), and it's not always tested for in an interview. The only hope is that teachers who don't have (or develop) it get hit by an economic downturn and get laid off before they have enough seniority, and decide that they hate teaching because they can't control the kids.