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News & Politics News & Politics

Why Teachers Hate Reform...

Posted by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 1:39 AM
  • 21 Replies
2 moms liked this

 I learned an interesting fact recently (and sorry I don't have the source--it was in a video I was watching over someone's shoulder). There was a educational reform someone was interesting in studying--a new method of teaching. They had several teachers try it out. Luckily they had a person who had been using this method for years to come and observe them. What she observed is that it took the teachers three years to really learn how to do the program correctly. This is something you never year about. It takes new teachers several "survival" years before they can start thriving--even ones who turn out to be great teachers have this period of time where they are swimming with their heads barely above water. This is why teachers don't like reform. Sure this method MAY be better, but experienced teachers are going to have to throw out years of learned skills and TEACH WORSE for two or three years before they start teaching better. If a teacher has to go through this once or twice in their career...they can handle it. But if they are constantly dealing with forced reforms, they are constantly staying in that "survival" mode and never actually getting to the place where they can thrive.

Sure...changes do need to be made sometime.  But, I think politicians should avoid forcing reform if possible.  Sure,  there are some reforms that have to be forced or they don't happen at all (changes to the whole school structure for instance).   But even these can be implemented in new school, and shouldn't often be required state/country wide.   On reforms that don't require a whole school to be involved, new teachers can be taught these methods at the University (teachers who are learning anyways) and the new techniques will gradually find their way into classrooms without making whole schools full of teachers go through this painful "growth spurt" at once.  .

by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 1:39 AM
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erika9009
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 6:27 PM

They also hate reform because they can lose their job if they suck at being at teacher.  These tenure laws and seniority things have just made pervos like Mark Burnt nearly impossbile to get rid of.

fostermommy1
by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 6:42 PM
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Oh my goodness, somebody finally gets it!  I am a teacher and I hate the "flavor of the year" that we have to go through.  New methods and strategies are thrown at us so fast we can't adapt or master anything.  I have been teaching for 17 years and feel like I have sucked for at least the past 7 because everytime I think I've gotten something down really well and am finally seeing success with the students I have to change, not just a little, but entirely. It's a lot different than a proceedural change in an office. It's like going from Word to Pages...you can make it work, sort of, but it takes a lot of time to get really good at it.  


Ms.KitKat
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 7:03 PM

That is a very interesting perspective.  It does make sense.

TappyToes
by Bronze Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 7:12 PM
1 mom liked this

The politicians advocating for these 'changes', are more interested in 'making news' in than educating our kids.

idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:37 PM
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 I'm curious.....I know there is pressure in what you teach, especially these days with so many teachers forced to teach to the test (whatever that test may be) but how much leeway do you have in how you teach?  I can understand learning about different methods and such but are you forced to teach a certain way or can you pick and choose what you think wlll work well for you?

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change especially regarding teaching methods?  Do you think the old school method of rote learning is the most effective way or are there more innovative approaches that you believe may hold promise?

Sorry, I just realized that I threw a lot of questions your way.  Its just that so many people like to criticize the education system and even if the criticism are valid, its the people who are actually doing the job that should have the most valuable information about what works and what doesn't work.

Quoting fostermommy1:

Oh my goodness, somebody finally gets it!  I am a teacher and I hate the "flavor of the year" that we have to go through.  New methods and strategies are thrown at us so fast we can't adapt or master anything.  I have been teaching for 17 years and feel like I have sucked for at least the past 7 because everytime I think I've gotten something down really well and am finally seeing success with the students I have to change, not just a little, but entirely. It's a lot different than a proceedural change in an office. It's like going from Word to Pages...you can make it work, sort of, but it takes a lot of time to get really good at it.  

 

 

jamamama00
by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:46 PM
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Or they can make you lose your job due to absolutely no fault of your own if you are stuck in a shitty district or just happen to get a bunch of lower level learners.

Quoting erika9009:

They also hate reform because they can lose their job if they suck at being at teacher.  These tenure laws and seniority things have just made pervos like Mark Burnt nearly impossbile to get rid of.

jamamama00
by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:49 PM
We learned many different teaching methods in grad school and for the most part, like you said, you cherry pick what works best and/or use a wide variety of methods so that you reach the difference learning types. A teacher's leeway in teaching varies drastically from one school to the next.

Quoting idunno1234:

 I'm curious.....I know there is pressure in what you teach, especially these days with so many teachers forced to teach to the test (whatever that test may be) but how much leeway do you have in how you teach?  I can understand learning about different methods and such but are you forced to teach a certain way or can you pick and choose what you think wlll work well for you?


If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change especially regarding teaching methods?  Do you think the old school method of rote learning is the most effective way or are there more innovative approaches that you believe may hold promise?


Sorry, I just realized that I threw a lot of questions your way.  Its just that so many people like to criticize the education system and even if the criticism are valid, its the people who are actually doing the job that should have the most valuable information about what works and what doesn't work.


Quoting fostermommy1:

Oh my goodness, somebody finally gets it!  I am a teacher and I hate the "flavor of the year" that we have to go through.  New methods and strategies are thrown at us so fast we can't adapt or master anything.  I have been teaching for 17 years and feel like I have sucked for at least the past 7 because everytime I think I've gotten something down really well and am finally seeing success with the students I have to change, not just a little, but entirely. It's a lot different than a proceedural change in an office. It's like going from Word to Pages...you can make it work, sort of, but it takes a lot of time to get really good at it.  


 


 

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM

that is true.

They can even lose their job if they don't have a liberal philosphy like in Mt View, CA.  Conservative teachers stay teaching only because of tenure.  Their liberal bosses would find some way to fire them without tenure


Quoting jamamama00: Or they can make you lose your job due to absolutely no fault of your own if you are stuck in a shitty district or just happen to get a bunch of lower level learners.
Quoting erika9009:

They also hate reform because they can lose their job if they suck at being at teacher.  These tenure laws and seniority things have just made pervos like Mark Burnt nearly impossbile to get rid of.


____________________________________________________

Erika..

The best things in life are not things.

idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this

 Many of us have that one teacher that we remember for the rest of our lives.

Mine was Mr. McCormick.  He taught social studies or something like that.  I first had him in 7th grade.    His teaching method was utterly unique, slightly abusive (but in a good way- too hard to explain) and amazingly effective.  He demanded much but his class was never boring and the methods he used to get a point across were unlike any other teacher I ever had since. 

I was lucky enough to have him again in high school and his was the only class that I never dared to cut but I also never wanted to.  If only all teachers were like him school would be incredible and kids would be transformed.  His passion for the job never waivered, not even a little bit even as his impatience often showed.

I will remember him with extreme fondness until the day I die.  A truly amazing teacher.

Quoting jamamama00: We learned many different teaching methods in grad school and for the most part, like you said, you cherry pick what works best and/or use a wide variety of methods so that you reach the difference learning types. A teacher's leeway in teaching varies drastically from one school to the next.
Quoting idunno1234:

 I'm curious.....I know there is pressure in what you teach, especially these days with so many teachers forced to teach to the test (whatever that test may be) but how much leeway do you have in how you teach?  I can understand learning about different methods and such but are you forced to teach a certain way or can you pick and choose what you think wlll work well for you?

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change especially regarding teaching methods?  Do you think the old school method of rote learning is the most effective way or are there more innovative approaches that you believe may hold promise?

Sorry, I just realized that I threw a lot of questions your way.  Its just that so many people like to criticize the education system and even if the criticism are valid, its the people who are actually doing the job that should have the most valuable information about what works and what doesn't work.

Quoting fostermommy1:

Oh my goodness, somebody finally gets it!  I am a teacher and I hate the "flavor of the year" that we have to go through.  New methods and strategies are thrown at us so fast we can't adapt or master anything.  I have been teaching for 17 years and feel like I have sucked for at least the past 7 because everytime I think I've gotten something down really well and am finally seeing success with the students I have to change, not just a little, but entirely. It's a lot different than a proceedural change in an office. It's like going from Word to Pages...you can make it work, sort of, but it takes a lot of time to get really good at it.  

 

 

 

buttersworth
by Bronze Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 12:34 AM
1 mom liked this

I think the whole problem would be resolved if local BOEs, parents and communities were more responsible for their schools, with state and federal mandates non-existent.

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