American schools need better teachers, so let’s make it harder to become one.


American schools need better teachers, so let’s make it harder to become one..

First of all…read the above article. Read it if you are a teacher…read it if you ever wanted to be a teacher…read it if you know you don’t EVER want to be a teacher.

Now…in my experience, I felt the rigor of the teacher program application process, when I applied to TeachGNO. I think that TeachGNO was aiming toward this. Why did it fail?

  • Teach for America teachers tool jobs so TeachGNO could not guarantee teacher-elects jobs.
  • They lost the grant

Why? In a post-Katrina world, when teachers weren’t returning home, and school systems were a mess.I thought they recruited the best of the best, well I WAS among those accepted. In my opinion, the problem was that they, the University of New Orleans, put someone in charge as a subsidy of the UNO College of Education. Had the program have been separate, maybe UNO execs wouldn’t have seen it as such a threat. Maybe they would have actually seen it as a way to recruit the best of the best, graduating from UNO, EVERY year.

I am biased. I saw some people fail…miserably. But that was all kinds of new teachers, TeachGNO, Teach for America, and traditional teacher preparation programs.

What they need to tell you is that it is hard. Very. Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. And it doesn’t end when you get home from work. We are “on call” to administration, parents, and students. As much as you say you don’t, all of us have gotten fussed for not responding to one of the above in a timely manner.

If they want to recruit the best people, make it worthwhile.

There will also be this time period where sucky teachers are on the same playing field as great, well-prepared teachers. And that isn’t fair. But hey, life isn’t fair…and that is the FIRST class you should have to take when preparing to become a teacher.

EDUC 1000 Life Is Not Fair. Quit bitching. At the end of the day, know you are awesome. May the force be with you. Don’t teach the “don’t smile until October” or some other crap. Teach them to be prepared. Teach them that even the most prepared lessons fail, miserably.

But, when that kid, the one that hasn’t done anything all year, thanks you for being in his life, because his life “kind of sucks right now and you aren’t the worst thing in it”…that’s a good thing.

Smile and wave. The next big thing will be the same as the last big thing, but different. THIS time it will be required, and then it MAY go away. But hey, we are all required to do it, so we are all in this together. Take what you will and make it your own.

Advice? You won’t get your life back, in its entirety, for a good three years. Yes…I said it. Your life WILL suck and you will think about quitting all the time…but you won’t. Because when it is great it is amazing. And when it sucks, you will cry. And yes, in front of the children. But children have this amazing way of going home and coming back the next day to give you another chance. They forgot…we didn’t, but they did, and THAT is what matters. Dredge on.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Posted on June 17, 2014, in Educating Educators and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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