Time to “Tear Down” the current educational system for educators. It seems the logical place to start in fixing the education system in American.
How did we create a current system that has theoretical experts training actual practitioners? Education is a profession therefore we need to set the system up like other professions. Doctors, Nurses and Lawyers don’t go from classroom strait into the profession so why do we let teachers? We need a systems that slowly nurtures in-coming teachers and keeps them in the profession.
Here are four of my suggestions:
- All schools of Education must be in-bedded in a school district structure to create “teaching” districts. (Similar to teaching hospitals that are often considered the best.) Professors actually teach and students see lessons presented and broken down for for strengths and weaknesses. No more talking about ideas in theory it is show in practice. By connecting the districts to the university programs it will give students and educators more access to necessary resources. Students would spend more time learning in the workplace and less time in the classroom.
- Change the way the re-certification process works. Currently, (in Michigan where I work) districts need to provide every teacher with 30 hours of PD a year. Teacher also need to keep current with 6 college credits every 5 years. This PD is often not relevant to all teachers and college credit not relevant to the schools. So let’s stop wasting the money and have Graduate/Mentoring programs integrated into districts. This would be so much better than for profit grad programs prey on the teachers.
- Foster an environment of sharing instead of competition. Competition is great when it is in sports but school districts need to work together sharing ideas and resources. Collaboration needs to extend out of districts to benefit all students. Time is important t all teachers so we need to try to give someone a hand. “Top” mentor teachers should move from district to district learning and sharing what works.
- Take the business out of “Ed Reform”. The current reform movement is not driven by data or what will help all students. Michelle Rhee and Jeb Bush want to sell you their program. The charter school movement is run by for profit companies. Let teachers and districts decide what works not executives that have a profit motive.