Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Train the Teachers Better!

Here we go again. Secy. of Education Ann Duncan recently delivered a speech calling for more and better teacher preparation in USA teacher education programs. Secy Duncan said that in order to make sure that the US remains competitive, more time, attention and yes, financial resources must be given to better teacher education.

All of this is well and good, but we have several huge roadblocks here.. including our cultural bias against educators in general (on the whole we pay them little), the poor morale of American teachers( about half leave the profession in five years) and our odd ability as a culture to blame teachers for many of society's ills...poor student performance and high property taxes among many others.

What is it going to take to change the way we educate our teachers, who in turn educate our children?
First, teachers need respect. No one with any brains enters a profession where so little respect is given to those within it. Second, teachers need support, and that includes the support of administrators (themselves former teachers) parents, community leaders, etc. Finally, teachers need exposure to the work world that their students will be living in; business and education still rarely mix, and I believe that is one underlying reason we find ourselves in the economic mess that we are in.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Downtime Vrs.Missed Opportunities

Are you glad that you were laid off? Has it given you a sense of relief?

Perhaps for some the questions above might come as a surprise, however many recently laid off people report a sense of relief and sudden peace that the ax has finally fallen and they can leave all the stress and anxiety their job produced in them behind. If you were fortunate enough to receive a severance package that provides not only an income but health benefits for several more months it is tempting to delay any job/career search and just kick back for a while.

So, do you do it? Do you go "on vacation" from life and chill out? My advise is sure...you earned it....but the job/career search can be a long and arduous road and will probably take more time than you think so decide on a reasonable break and then get back into the saddle as soon as you can. Make an action plan; include in it the services of a career coach/counselor and get busy. If this action plans includes a career change as well, then you have another complication adding to the timeline. Do not delay!