"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Next Logical Step After You Demonize the Teachers...

My friend sent me the link below and asked me what I think about easing teacher licensing rules. This has been on the radar for quite some time now with the advent of charter schools. I think this is a predictable course of events given the last few years in Wisconsin. I am sure this is aimed at luring instructors in STEM to public schools (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). There was already notoriously low motivation for people truly interested in and proficient in STEM areas to become teachers since they can make buckets of money in the private sector doing what they love to do. Now that our governor has demonized teachers, I imagine there might be a number of STEM teachers out there who have lost the motivation they did have and have decided to chuck the teaching gig in favor of doing science for a substantial salary. This places school systems in a quandary as to how they plan to teach the curriculum.

My mom was an English teacher. She spoke five languages and was an extremely intelligent woman who was educated far beyond her peers of the day. She went to college during WWII to earn her BA, putting herself through school by working at a munitions factory. She HATED "education" classes with a passion only equaled by her hatred of gym class and maybe math class. She thought they were the biggest waste of time on the planet that with zero value added to her teaching credentials, yet she was an outstanding teacher. She quit teaching in the early 70s because she couldn't tolerate red tape (the apple/tree analogy is apt here).  If a teacher says the "education courses" are for the birds, I'm wondering what their use is? My mom got her master's degree when we kids were small, about 3, 6, 8, 10 and 14. Imagine trying to type a thesis on an old fashioned typewriter with five hooligans surrounding her. No wonder she had no patience for idiocy. She barely had time to take a quiet bath!

So, while I don't think this will make that much of a difference in the overall scheme of things, I am skeptical that they will get what they're looking for in easing the restrictions. There may be a few outstanding natural teachers added to the ranks from this, which would be a good thing. There may also be a few clunkers added, but what profession isn't without its yutzes? On balance, I predict that everything will remain the same.


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