After reading the two articles, I have to say that they are both similar yet very much the same as other things I have learned on the same topics. First off, the article It's People, Not Programs is very similar to what i have been hearing recently. Almost everyone I speak to about the state of our schools, seem to believe that it is the teachers who makes the difference. They do not believe that changing the testing or the curriculum are going to greatly enhance the performance of our schools. However, it does seem like all the new state policies and guidelines seem to think that they can improve student performance by changing the programs.
I do not understand why they seem to be allowing people who are not teachers to create the laws and guidelines when they do not have much, if any experience in the classroom. I think that the policymakers are just adding to the problem.
As for the article What it Takes to become a Great Teacher, my experiences both agree and disagree with the article. Just as the saying goes, Those who can not do, Teach. Sayings like this and teacher salaries nationwide show that many people do not view teaching as an important profession, when just like the article points out it is actually the most important. People need to realize that teaching on a small scale sets the course of the future of our country. In many other countries, teachers are shown the same respect and hold the same level in society as lawyers and doctors and it is about time teachers are given the same respect here.
Speaking to many of my friends who are young teachers, and listening to many of my professors talk, many of them say that it takes years to truly become a good teacher. If this is the case then I agree with the article and think that students who are learning to become teachers, and young teachers need to be offered more support and schooling. Maybe student teaching should be a full year learning experience rather than a few weeks and maybe schools should offer co teaching positions to many young teachers to help them gain experience in the classroom and have a fellow young teacher to share the experience with.
Let' explore the idea... "young teachers need to be offered more support and schooling." How do other professionals grow? Where to they get their professional development? Who is responsible?
Other young professionals learn their craft through years of intense schooling and sometimes years learning behind veterans in their field. They observe, get both in the class and in the field training and then spend more time working along side someone who has been doing it for many years. I think young teachers are given support however, I feel like the training and support offered is limited. We observe 100 hours and spend a few weeks student teaching. I dont believe that is nearly enough. Becoming good at anything takes practice and I think young aspiring teachers should have to observe more, student teach longer and when they are officially teachers, be given more support from veteran teachers and others in the school. Both the higher ups in a school and the young teachers themselves who need to ask for help if they need it are responsible.
These two articles are very similar to what I have been learning about in my other classes. Teachers make the biggest difference in a school and without good teachers, the school isn't considered a good school. I agree that it is not about programs; it is about people because you can have a great program in school but if the teacher is terrible, it is definitely going to be a terrible class.
I think every teacher will have their own way of teaching that gives them confidence, whether that be having an open classroom or assertive discipline. I don't think there is one specific way to teach; if there was everyone would teach the exact same way and we would therefore learn the exact same way and that would be incredibly boring.
Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher, and I have had some teachers that I was shocked had jobs. It's being a great teacher that is hard. I agree with the article What It Takes to Become a Great Teacher that students who are learning to become teachers should be given more support and opportunities to become those great teachers. I agree with Domenick that co-teaching would be a great opportunity for first-time teachers to gain experience in the classroom to use for when they eventually become the sole teacher.
I also really loved at the end of the article when the surgeon who was giving up his medical practice to become a public school teacher said, "I've already done the second most important profession. Now I want to do the first." This really struck me because being a teacher is so important and there are always demands for good teachers. It definitely isn't an easy profession, but it is one of the most rewarding.
After having read both articles, I felt that they both had the same ideas in that making schools better all depends on the teachers that are in them. Based on what I read, I agree with what the articles are saying and from my own experience: school was fun, enjoyable, I wanted to go, when I loved my teacher. I looked forward to the classes where my teacher was funny and engaging and dreaded the classes where the teacher was as dry as a piece of burnt toast. In today's society, how engaging and memorable you are to your students is what will determine your success as a great teacher. These two articles seem to follow the pattern of other articles and discussions I've heard and read throughout schooling.
In the article, What It Takes to Become a Great Teacher, they talked about how you may be born with wonderful people skills and ability to be a teacher, but it just doesn't come that easy. You also need to work and study the development of children to fully understand everything. They also mentioned the idea of setting up new programs that attract ambitious future teachers who truly want to be in a classroom environment and then having an apprenticeship where for a few years thy teach under the wing of a seasoned, skilled teacher. I think that that is a fabulous, wonderful idea. I would have love to be in a program like that. I feel it is a great way to get experience first hand, while having someone there right next to you that will guide you when you feel like your stumped.
In "It’s People, Not Programs", they also spoke about how without great teachers, schools lack greatness and that depending on how good or bad a teach is effects the students perception of school. If the student has teachers that they love and enjoy being in their class, they will enjoy and love going to school and being there. But, if majority of their teachers are bad, they will hate and dread going to school. I agree with this theory 100%. When you look forward to doing things in that classroom and being there for however long that period is, it makes the day seem to go by faster and smoothly. When it's a miserable class, that period seems to drag on forever. If you are one of the great teachers and are just such an approachable person, the students will remember you forever. If you make a child feel like they are super and are achieving great things in your classroom and you really encourage them, they will remember you forever. They may not remember the "programs" you did in the classroom, but they will remember you as a person.
The two articles, What it Takes to Become a Great Teacher and It's Teachers Not Programs are similar to readings I have read through my journey in becoming a teacher. I absolutely agree with both articles. What it Takes to Become a great Teacher talks about how schools should have a residency program for teachers and not just for doctors. This makes me feel confident in the program I am in, even though the program is only 1 year; we will be in the classroom 4 days out of the week. On the day that we are not in the classroom, we will be taking classes that will help us engage with the type of students we will be working with. In the article it touched on the subject of learning child development classes, which I agree may work in my teaching. Over this past summer, I took an adolescent experience course; it was great because it brought me back into the mind of how an adolescent thinks. Just by taking this class, I was thinking of different ways I should teach just like the teacher in Hoboken, NJ did in this article.
The second article speaks about how we need great teachers; we can have all the great programs in the school, but if we have bad teachers, those programs will not work. I believe that the teacher's attitude reflects upon the students, if a teacher is not happy in their classroom, students will not want to be in that classroom and sometimes act up or not even listen. Every teacher needs to adopt their own way of teaching depending on their personality. I have heard the saying, "No Smile til November" from some teachers in our program and have been told that we do not have to follow this method if it does not suit us. I agree that a school may have hundreds of different programs, but having a great teacher is the one that makes it work.
I feel that these articles have a lot in common to other articles which I have read. I agree with the articles that if you want a good school then you need great teachers. I believe that great teachers need to be trained so that they can learn how to be a good teacher.
The article it's people not programs is a good example of the idea that its people who matter I. The classroom and not programs, there is no set of promgrams which is one size fit all. So we should allow the teachers to pick what works the best for their classrooms.
How do we know "what works?"
How do we know what works is a very interesting question especially since there is widespread fight against standardized testing. While I agree that standardized testing is far from perfect, I think it is needed as a way to find out "what works". Like Democracy and capitalism standardized testing is fundamentally flawed but we've yet to find a better way to guage what works.
First all I would like to say is that surprisingly, I actually enjoyed reading both articles!
I felt that both articles were similar in the points that they were trying to make, but they were different in content. Teachers are the most important ingredients to making a school either a great school or a bad school. In the article, What it Takes to Become a Great Teacher, I like how the author explained that great teachers were not born that night or made that way overnight. Many people find it hard to believe that it takes a lot of time and practice to become a great teacher. Don't get me wrong I do think some people show more potential when they are younger to become a great teacher while others do not. However, like I said it still takes a lot of practice just like any other skill that people acquire. I also agreed with the idea of opening special education programs that filters out the inadequate possible educators. In the second article, It's People, Not Programs, also talked about the need for spectacular teachers. It explains in the "Open Classrooms" scenario, that no matter the setting they are placed in great teachers should be able to accomplish everything and anything. The "Assertive Discipline" section explained in two different scenarios how discipline definitely does not work for everyone. In fact, students seem to test the limits less when they are given less discipline along with given more trust to do the right thing within the classroom.
Both of these articles were helpful in different ways, but like I said they had a way of making the same points. I really enjoyed these articles because they kept me interested and didn't make me fall asleep. I guess there is hope in great teachers.
I enjoyed both articles, and I do agree with them. These articles focus on people teaching instead of teaching programs or teaching methods. What these articles are trying to point out is that the best teaching methods in the world won't work unless you have a good teacher, which is true. I've been told that a bad teacher can set a student back as much as two years which is a tragedy. I've also personally experienced the magical effect a great teacher can have on a student. A great teacher can make all the difference in the world, but we shouldn't abandon our quest to find the best teaching methods. I also believe great facilities support great teachers. I absolutely agree that teacher training programs gibe new teachers inadequate practical experience, but at some point a new teacher is going to have to jump into a classroom. Teacher's are already paid poorly if they had to work an extra year as an unpaid intern even fewer people would be attracted to the profession. There is also a problem with bureaucracy in education, great teachers are often abandoned by schools that wont support their teaching methods. There is a huge problem with teacher burn out when otherwise good/great teachers are driven to quit because they see no way to enact change in their schools. It's also very hard to attract brilliant teachers, when teachers get paid barely more than the janitors at their school. I myself have often doubted my choice to become an educator based on the poor compensation teachers get throughout the country.
Dr. Smith is the Principal of Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Ruth Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University.