I recognize this is a touchy controversial subject that is receiving a lot of attention in the news recently. Yesterday when my dear friend who's been teaching for 18 years said, "Being in education sucks now." it got me thinking. I'm going to try hard to keep this brief with bullet points so people can actually read it. I'd be happy to go in further depth if anyone is interested in my opinions.
1. The number one problem in education is... there is no clear definition or purpose of what "education" is.
Possible answers from educators and politicians:
- Good test scores
- Create good employees
- Teach how to think
- Responsible Citizens (Whatever that definition looks like to that particular educator)
- Raise America's youth
And obviously besides "Good test scores" these purposes for education are very difficult to objectively measure.
2. We expect way too much out of this "education". No one will ever care as much about your kids, his well-being, his education, and his future as much as you do.
3. The big talk in Utah right now is Merit Pay. Here is the problem with merit pay. With no clear definition of education how do you determine what a good teacher is?
- Passes the most students/fails the most students
- One that gets the best test scores
- The one that is funniest or most popular
- The one that pushes students to new levels
- One that takes all the lowest performing students and inspires them to work
- The one that the principal likes the most or evaluated highest?
Point is.... it is extreme difficult to measure a "good" teacher when we can't define education.
Example: When I first came to my current school I got mediocre scores on my evaluation. Then on the bottom the principal wrote, "There is no question that these students will walk out of this class with a life long passion to learn about world and the people in it." I was furious. According to the evaluation I was mediocre???
This year I made sure to teach to the "test" or evaluation Now... I am "master teacher". When if I am honest with myself, I don't feel like I am as good of a teacher as I was 5 years ago.
4. People are flipping out about the new core being implemented. Having studied the core, as far as I can decipher there is nothing detrimental or bad about the new core. But what I have a major problem with is: federal government being involved in education and creating core in the first place.
Ok, I'll get off my soap box and get back to molding the minds of the future of America. Muhaha.