Tuesday, September 28, 2010

State of Education: Part 2: Teacher's Responsiblitiy

One of the biggest uproars targeted towards Educators is their tenure.

The average number of years a teacher is on probation before becoming tenured is just three years. In Nevada it is two years. Adam was tenured after the first year and his administration deemed him highly qualified.

People believe that giving tenure to teachers is removing that responsibility, making teachers lazy, and damaging the morale of the education system.

Many people want to take tenure away from teachers. I disagree (and not just because my husband is tenured).

Tenure is one of the ONLY protections in place for teachers. While teachers are often assaulted with accusation from parents, students, communities for being "bad" their tenure protects them from being unjustly fired or accused.

I think tenure should be given to teachers after a longer probationary period. Teachers have a huge learning curve that needs to be accommodated by administration. Teachers should have ample time to learn the system, develop one on their own, come into a behavior/teaching routine, and be provided with continuing education. Parenting takes time, skill, and experience to become better and more successful, so does educating a classroom.

In my last post, I talked about statistics of students. So how much responsibility does a teacher have to the education of their students? 50%...100%

Think of your children's educational experience, or your own educational experience. What do you believe the teachers should be responsible for?

In my personal opinion this is the break down:

Students/Parents should:
Arrive to school on time, prepared to learn (with supplies, homework, full tummies after a good night sleep).
Focus on classroom behavior and rules
Respect teacher and fellow classmates
Take responsibility for actions
Be an active participant in classroom discussions
Complete tasks and assignments on time
Use classroom resources, as well as resources at home like the library, parents, and the internet
Ask questions

Teachers should:
Arrive to school on time, prepared to teach (with supplies/lesson plans,full tummies after a good night sleep).
Provide and enforce classroom behavior and rule expectations
Take responsibility for actions, and hold each student accountable
Facilitate classroom discussion
Complete lesson plans, activities on time
Provide outside resources (websites, book list, homework)
Know your subject/answer questions

Administrators should:
Provide support for teachers
Provide materials
Provide resources
Enter into each classroom at least twice a month if not more to observe what is going on
Have one on one with teachers

Ridiculous things I have heard:
School is for learning and parents shouldn't have to teach what should be taught in the classroom
"I have to work so I shouldn't have to worry about if my child is receiving a good education--that is the teacher's JOB."
"I didn't understand the assignment so I didn't do it." (Biggest pet peeve ever--why didn't you talk to the teacher, go on the internet, call a classmate, ask a parent?)
Teaching has to be fair so give the same to every student (looks good on paper, but if one student needs CPR, does that mean that every student should get CPR because it is fair? If one student needs reading help, does that mean we slow down the progression of the whole class and go back to basics for one student? There are resources in the school for that)
"I couldn't get my kid to school on time."
"My parent didn't sign my permission slip because they didn't look in my backpack" (students--communicate daily with your parents about your school)
"I didn't sign my kid's permission slip because they didn't show it to me" (parents--check backpack every day).

It is the teachers job to TEACH, to facilitate, to provide opportunity and resources. It is NOT the teachers responsibility to make sure the kids are learning--that is the parent/child's responsibility. It is the parent's job to engage the student in their own education, to make sure your kids are there, to make sure the kids graduate--not the school districts. You may disagree--that's ok.

1 comment:

Melinda said...

I agree! Idaho, at least in my district, does not have tenure anymore. We have something called "renewable contract" which basically means we can assume we will continue to get another 1 year contract at the end of every school year unless we are otherwise notified-or resign. Each contract is only guaranteed for 1 year. I like the way you outlined responsibilities. I read a quote in a book I read on how to teach music concepts better that says: "The primary cause of all learning is the activity of the student's mind. The best that the best teacher can do is to assist that activity. -Mortimer Adler" I like it because it reminds us that both the teacher and the student are responsible for learning to take place for anyone.