Why Teaching?

January 19, 2014

I am in the process of getting my initial teaching license, and have done a lot of substitute teaching along the way. Can I just say it has been an interesting journey. I decided to go an alternative path and took classes that I felt would be beneficial to me and my students. It is important to first educate teachers if we want to offer students a better education. Education in the United States can be improved, but we must first start with the key element of education, teachers.

The Holmes Group published Tomorrow’s Teachers, which recommends these steps:

  1. To make the education of teachers intellectually more solid.
  2. To recognize differences is teachers’ knowledge, skill, and commitment, in their education, certification, and work.
  3. To create standards of entry to the profession examinations and educational requirements that are professionally relevant and intellectually defensible.
  4. To connect our own institutions to schools (members of this education panel).
  5. To make schools better places for teachers to work, and to learn.

While this list pre-dates NCLB, it still offers starting points or building blocks for a solid teaching foundation. I feel that this article puts a lot of emphases on teacher responsibility, while teachers are responsible for a tremendous amount these days I think responsibility should be equally distributed among all elements of education. Schools and administration also have a major responsibility to provide tools, proper learning environments, and offer support for teachers. I also feel that parents and students need to accept a certain amount of responsibility for their child’s education. That being said, I think that the Holmes Group were correct in saying that they had a responsibility in offering their students a better education, so students could become better educators.

I think that there are many areas of improvement in education, and you could spend countless hours debating the topic and making lists, suggestions, and brain storming. Until we come together and accept the challenge to actually improve education, things will continue to remain at a standstill. I know one thing to be true, one of the best things that happened to me in school were awesome teachers that made an impact on my life and influenced me to work harder and make something out of my life.

Soder, R. (1986). Tomorrow’s Teachers for Whom and for What? Missing Propositions in the Holmes Group Report. Journal of Teacher Education, 37(6), 2-5. doi: 10.1177/002248718603700601

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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