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.

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