Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Prophetic - Public v. Private

So remember in my last post how I said that the events in the world seem like the whole apocalypse thing? Well lo and behold, last night Fox news (I know, eww for Fox) did a segment on churches and religious groups that believe we are entering the apocalypse and that the world really is ending...seriously, I think this is all a little chicken little-ish, but it is interesting to look at what Revelations (not Jewish) says about the end of the world and compare it to the current events..still Revelations is so vague, that probably every era could make an argumet for the end of the world. I say...bring it on :)
Okay- new topic... as most of you know, I am very passionate about education, especially for low- income children. Well recently there was a new report published about public v. private schools. Now, I care so much about this because conservatives generally think the answer to helping poor kids is to offer them vouchers for private schools..I hate this idea because it takes money from the public schools and there are not enough spots in private schools for these kids and private schools can kick the kids out and keep the money...the child goes back to the public school without funds...Now, the new report shows that public schools are performing as well and often better than private schools with the exception of 8th grade all the hooplah about how wonderful private schools are, is just that..hooplah...
I have a lot more to say about that, but first, the point of this is that a friend of mine who keeps her own blog wrote about this and disparaged public schools for the requirements they hold for teachers...she mentioned that she does not want to take "loserish education classes" just to teach in public schools...she has a masters in the subject she taught in private school and feels that this is enough and that the public schools should respect her "degree, high grades, and good lesson plans". As much as I love my friend (MUAH)...I think this is part of the problem with the public v. private school argument...understanding a subject is not the same as being able to teach it...we have all heard the old adage that "those who can't do, teach"...this is why teachers get paid Jack...b/c everyone thinks that what we do is easy...and that anyone can do it...well let me tell you...teaching is also about understanding child development, learning styles, differentiation, and a bit of social work...only about half of teaching is really about the subjects....understanding children , what they bring and what they need and how you can create the optimal environoment for each of the 30 kids in your class is what the "loserish education classes" are really about..I am proud that public schools, with all of their other issues, at least require something of their teachers...and I am proud to have taken those loserish education classes and I too have a degree in the subject I taught, high grades and great lesson plans...


Valeria said...

I know I am not a subject matter expert on this, like you are. And I agree with you on most points if I look at this topic in black and white, but i tend to see grey most of the time, so:

1) Vouchers will give the children options to not go to the SE school with gun violence, no name recognition and very little possibility of getting into college. Not everyone has to/wants to/ is able to go to a private school, but the option is there.

2) Not all teachers are as passionate and dedicated as you are. From my experience, there were plenty of sucky teachers who went down this career path for 3 months off in the summer and working hours of 8 to 3. Now I know, for the great teachers (that are very few and far between) this is a 14 hour/7 days a week job, but, in my experience, there are not many like that.

Just my 2 cents.


Nicole said...

I didn't see your comment on my blog... hmmm, it seems both times your comment didn't post!
Too bad - if you don't mind, I would love to put a link to your blog on mine. I agree that teachers should have experience in child development and methodology. Perhaps I had a bad experience and that's why I call my ed class "loserish"... but I do think there's something to be said about having an expertise in an area. We teach children first, but we also teach a subject. Shouldn't our kids learn from the best in that field? I don't know, I wish we as teachers could be experts in both. At least in foreign language, it seems that we privilege the "lesson planning" over knowing the language, which is essential in my book.

You're right, though, in that many who are fluent (i.e. the "native speakers" who always take jobs from me... arg!) in a language are terrible at teaching it.

Let's debate this more. You're such a smart woman, and I love our "arguments" because at the end of the day, you're always my friend.


Anonymous said...

I love teaching...I really do. And I think I'm good at it. I also have a master's in my disicpline and took those education classes. Teachers need to know how to teach, not just your subject (which is what you like) but your children (which is what they need). I doubt, however, that my classes in education helped me at all. They were pretty much useless.

BTW, teachers are not underpaid. For people who work 9-10 month per year, their salaries are commensurate with the national norms. In fact, starting teachers in certain schools districts (and no, not just the really high class ones) can earn the 10-month equivalent of a salary which is dramatically higher than the $43,000 national average. I'm dick of teacher compalining about salaries...instead of unionizing to get $10 more off of healthcare and organizing strikes, why don't we form professional organizations, create journals, create real, meaningful professional development, and do the other imporant work that the professions who ARE paid higher have done to take themselves seriously!

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