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Trenton Wilson

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How do we expose our educators to new ways of learning?

I really want to be involved in doing something productive for my community.

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  • Jul 15 2013: If all the teacher could keep up with the new way of teaching autonomously, that would be the best in terms of both the standards of education and the budget for education. But, most of the teachers stop learning how to teach after they build their own teaching style. So, we need the system that prevent the teachers from persisting in their way of teaching. I think the solution is re-education of teachers. By giving them the chances to learn new ways of learning periodically at university, they are able to rethink how they are supposed to teach.
    My point is teachers also must have opportunity to learn in school like school kids, since they are required to change how to teach as time goes by.
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      Jul 16 2013: Change is a slow beast, especially in a bureaucracy so closely tied to politics, and public opinion.

      In order to keep our teaching licenses, we are required to attend college courses and workshops every year. For example, this year I am working on my masters program (6 college credits/semester), took a classroom management class (16 continuing credits), and am taking a test writing class (40 continuing education credits).

      Last year I took a Linguistics class, a different classroom management class, and about 40 hours of computer and technology courses. The year before that I earned a new endorsement that allows me to teach kindergarten through senior in high school on my license due to the number of credits I had earned. But, you get the idea.

      It isn't the fact that teachers never go back to school after finishing. If anything, we are always in school. Until the ideas become more mainstream, and the government changes its emphasis from the crippling multiple guess exam, to a meaningful method of assessment schools will be stuck with factory settings. But, as charter schools, and hands-on type schools become more popular we should see a general change in public education towards constructivism.

      We know that the old top down models don't work, we just wish the politicians who dictate school funding would figure it out.

      There are other problems that need to be fixed, starting with mom and dad and guardians and important adults in the child's life making school and learning the child's number one priority.

      Oh, and yeah, a few old dinosaur teachers do need to be retired.
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        Jul 16 2013: i think the ultimate problem is unions keeping those dinosaur teachers a job, but like you said about the problem being mom and dad and guardians. Well that goes more with culture and that is a even more serious problem. Its not all on the teachers but a good amount is. a more serious problem is defiantly culture and the environment the kids are in and even the teachers are in.
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          Jul 18 2013: Do I detect anti union sentiment ? You describe teachers of today as (counter culture generation)? "PLease". What FoxLoose propaganda moment did you take that from? The counter culture generation is bull,manufactured by media about a tiny portion of spoiled upper middle class,kids who made good news footage to spin. The majority of kids from the 50s60s were to busy working, or fighting in Vietnam to be marching in the streets,not that that's a bad thing.You really show inexperience by making statements like that. Unions exist because people don't like to pay the fiddler after dancing all night. Millions of parents are working 2 jobs to survive. Sadly many forget that your children are your responsibility. They think they can neglect their children's education, using school as a dumping ground while they work. It doesn't work that way. Parents have to read to their children from infancy for proper growth, spend learning time with them.They come home after a long day, and vegetate on NFL, or NASCAR, while the kid who needs them vegetates on video games.You talk about Montessori schools. Most parents can't afford that.The massive shift of jobs to China, and resulting employment crash in the US. is the biggest problem. The condition is due in large part to the catastrophic failure of neocon economic policy, which nearly collapsed the entire world economy and led directly to the biggest bank robbery in history.Public schools( in some form ) will continue to exist for the foreseeable future. If people would stop bashing unions, and teachers for a national paradigm failure, we'll make progress. Schools cost a lot of money. Get over it. Until teachers receive pay, and benefits are commensurate with their professional status schools will continue to suffer.Teachers and schools require federal subsidies it's a fact of life. American big business, and multinationals should be made to pony up $. We can most certainly innovate but it's easier when people aren't attacking you.
    • Jul 16 2013: I actually take a bit of offense at this statement, that "most teachers stop learning how to teach...". If anything, I have learned more about education since I started teaching than I ever learned before I entered the profession.

      In addition to required education for maintaining certification, I have attended a myriad of professional development courses throughout my career. All of them good in their own right and all have improved my educational career.

      You know what though, most of the time, we are recycling "old" ideas that were solid and research based with new ones, or just putting a new name to them. They are good ideas. Many of them, if implemented with integrity, would show improvement in student learning.

      Instead, we are faced with a constantly changing field that is swayed by politics much more so than rational thought. The "next good idea", yes including technology and distance learning, are introduced and not taught real well. But educators are expected to do it and students are expected to learn, all with not enough support to make things actually work well. Then, a year later, administrations put for a new set of "new ideas" for how to teach, and we start again.

      If schools were to have great administrators with clear visions and the ability to do one thing right for a while with quality teachers, you would see amazing results because the teachers have the experience and knowledge to do things right if allowed to.
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        Jul 16 2013: Everett, it is just a popular misconception about the teaching profession.
        • Jul 16 2013: Fritzie, I know. Still frustrating to hear. I do try respond professionally when I hear comments like that.

          My greatest frustration is not the constant learning, it is the constant learning about the knee jerk programs that someone thinks are important without any type of actual data or fact to support the need for the program. For several years I have learned "the next best thing" and implemented a program only to learn a new one the next year.

          Much of it is just re-packaged from what someone did years ago, and it was good then as it is now.

          Admittedly, only good teachers, or teachers who care about their profession, are students of teaching as well as teachers. Not all fit that category.
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        Jul 16 2013: I was not suggesting, Everett, that you were not responding professionally. I know it is tough sometimes to hear people claim to have all the answers in this field and also tough to go through all the training and implementation of programs experienced teachers know are likely not to improve outcomes for kids.

        What is only an experiment to a funding source can have a lifetime of impact on the students happening through at that time.

        People outside the field are typically unaware, I find, of the mandatory as well as self-initiated professional development teachers undertake each year.
        • Jul 17 2013: Thank you Fritzie. I sometimes feel that my comments, while I attempt to be professional, come across as harsh or caustic. I did not feel that you were suggesting that they were. Sometimes I do need do do a double take on what I wrote.

          I do believe it is an awareness issue for the most part. Just like that of many other professions.
      • Jul 18 2013: I`m sorry for making you frustrated. I meant most of the teachers in Japan. I see you are doing hard and you would do better if only the administers did their jobs right. But the situation here is not the same. We still don't have the course or systems that are meant for middle aged teachers. So, I see a great deal of gaps between young and old teachers' method in teaching.
        I totally agree with you that teachers are working hard. It is same here in Japan. Possibly, we might be working harder in terms of time. Most of the teachers come to school around 8:00 and leave around 20:00 and still have the work to do at home. In addition, those who are in charge of club activities have to do their work after students go to home. For sure, we are working hard. But, I just feel something is wrong. Though we are working so hard on educating children, I feel we are not spending enough time on honing our skills of teaching and cultivate our knowledge of the subjects.
        • Jul 18 2013: Kazu, don't apologize for making a statement based on your observation and opinion.

          I have had the opportunity to work with some teachers from Japan and actually found them to be incredible teachers. And yes, they are hindered by the long hours and limited opportunities for professional development.

          The issue you address is common around the world, simply not enough time or not enough effort placed on providing good opportunities for professional development for teachers.
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          Jul 18 2013: Thank you for contributing a perspective based on your experience in Japan.

          Teaching and schools are not at all uniform within a country and even less so in different countries. A couple of months ago TED staff sponsored a thread specifically for those not in the United States to share the challenges and triumphs of schools in their countries.

          It was an amazingly productive thread, both for showing the common challenges and the differences.
    • Jul 17 2013: HI Dear Kazu hanayama:).You are definitely right.We teachers should go on studying like kids go to school too.At least once two years period,offering opportunity for every teacher to go back to schools to keep on learning.Those teachers wouldn't like to go on learning,should be fired from teaching occupation.

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