To revamp our education system, blame teachers less and pay them more.
Sara Yoe's insight:
I've always known that it's all about having a genuinely good teacher, and any student will tell you that is what makes them motivated and helps them the most, even in areas outside of their academic discipline. This really confirmed my belief that the value our society places on teaching as a profession is the problem. Good teachers will come if we implement plans and procedures to attract and recruit them as other top nations do. But, this raises the question of how we are evaluating nations and labeling the 'top' ones that way.
I really liked how this team of teachers and future teachers are working side by side to help create a base curriculum that is available throughout the state. This reminded me of the common core, but I like that it is at a state level and that it helps teachers in a more in depth way than the common core does. This joining of pre-service teachers and experienced teachers I think is really cool; it gets the newer ideas mixed together with years of observational experience of what works and what doesn't. I think working together across generations of teachers will be very beneficial for Colorado, and could be beneficial everywhere.
Having just talked about the importance of what is on the walls of a classroom and having had that be our focal point of observation this week, this was interesting to read. I especially liked the statement that teachers should consider whether they want this to be their classroom or a space that they and their students share. I think that really is an important question to grapple with and that the answers to that question are the most important in figuring out what should and should not go on the walls.
Rutgers University professor Maurice Elias serves as director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab and coordinator of the Expert Advisory Group to the NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Pre
Sara Yoe's insight:
This article I found to be very interesting, and helps to begin to answer why teachers become so burnt out and careless towards the students. The last sentence particularly resonated with me based on what I have seen in a classroom of a teacher who seems to be burnt out. It also helps me to have empathy for teachers who aren't the most idealistic heartwarming characters one would hope for. I know that I have looked forward to the time when I will have autonomy as a teacher, and seeing that teachers really can be micromanaged by many sources is something that I know I would dread and it would wear me out too. It has even made me reflect on feedback I gave to a teacher recently about a student and how that might not have really been what the teacher needed to hear, as she also seems very burnt out. It has definitely given me a greater sense of empathy to teachers.
Clara Hemphill, founding editor of Insideschools.org, and José Vilson, a New York City math teacher explore the controversy surrounding the Common Core state education standards.
Sara Yoe's insight:
This article really resonates with my feelings about Common Core. I think having a common standard that is used throughout the country is a great thing, for military kids and for practicality of knowing that a high school diploma from Wisconsin is equal to that of one from Hawaii. But I do fear that it will further perpetuate testing, and I didn't know there were specific Common Core exams that kids are taking now, in addition to their state's standardized tests.
With the emphasis placed on education reform today, it really makes me question why their is not an emphasis on the quality of our teachers. The fact of the matter is, the qualifications for becoming a teacher in the first place are not difficult enough, and when that is compounded with allowing ineffective teachers to teach, it's no wonder that we are falling behind globally. I've been against tenure for a long time, and this just really confirmed how much harm tenure does to our students.
This is interesting article expands on the last one I read about teacher burn out and really goes in depth about how teachers can become so easily worn, emotionally and physically from this job. It can also get more in the way of someone's personal life than people may realize. I was also shocked at the statistics explaining how many teachers leave the profession each year. It definitely makes me nervous about entering this career, and makes me very interested in keeping my options open to other ways to work with children, like child psychology or social work. Those also seem to be emotionally draining, but seem to have the autonomy many teachers need.
Journalist Sasha Abramsky looks at what it means to be poor in America.
Sara Yoe's insight:
A realistic perspective of what poverty looks like in the US, which helps to break my stereotypes of what poverty is, which is based off of understandings of poverty in third world countries that I see in the media.
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