Sunday, March 17, 2013

Teaching as a Profession

Professor Walter Williams has an editorial in OA Online here in which he criticizes schools of education for turning out students who can’t pass state certification exams.  He suggests eliminating all education schools and compares it to slum clearance.

I salute Professor Williams for pointing out this problem;  I'm just confused by this proposed solution, to eliminate the schools of education.  Surely the major reasons ed. schools are turning out poorly prepared teacher candidates is because, as he documents, they are getting in the poorest prepared students.

Teaching needs to be made a more attractive profession, in terms of salaries, status, and working conditions.  Why would our brightest students now choose to enter a profession where they will be micro-managed as to what and how they teach, be paid a salary well below that of their peers in other professions, and be given untenable teaching loads.  Add to that the unceasing drumbeat of the media accusing teachers of only caring about money and their lavish (???) pensions.

I was a graduate of top colleges and went into teaching years ago when it was one of the few professions open to women.  Plus then we at least had autonomy as to what and how we taught.  Would I go in now, or advise my children to become teachers?  It breaks my heart to say it but no, I don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. Teaching is still a wonderful profession in many places. The school I teach at, in a near suburb of Boston, is a great place to work, humane to both adults and kids, and we don't, so far, feel too much pressure from the modern mania for testing and so on.