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Old 11-06-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: North
98 posts, read 122,654 times
Reputation: 41

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
What will you do to get the students to use those educational materials? It's funny, if I have my students read, I'm accused of teaching to the book. If students used them, better educational materials would be cheaper BUT FIRST you need someone capable of deciding what better is.
A panel of experts could establish a standard curriculum for the entire state or at least the entire district. Having every individual teacher do it is not efficient.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I'd have to say that I think paying teachers more would have more impact. People who feel valued for what they do tend to have more positive attitudes about what they do and are more willing to work harder. While better materials would be good, and cheaper, I don't see students using them any more than they use what they have now. The biggest problem with education in this country is that our kids are not motivated to learn. They're motivated to get check marks to get grades.

A move I think might have even more impact would be mastery learning but you might find you can't keep teachers without paying them more if we go to this model. Under mastery learning, the student can't move on until they get a B on the material. So the teacher has to prepare intervention materials for all students who don't get the B the first time while pushing those who did forward. Teachers will have kids at all different levels with this model. That's a lot of work but it does put the responsibility to pass on the student's shoulders. IMO, that is the number one correction our education system needs. We blame everyone except the learner for failure to learn when the learner is the one person who has to be on board if learning is to take place.

For me, raising my wages to what they were when I was an engineer would mean that I can put in more hours. The first thing I'd do is rehire my old housekeeper and have one less thing to worry about. I also wouldn't have to worry about finding weekend work to pay for Christmas and summer work to be able to save for my children's college educations. I'd love to do a series of lectures similar to the ones on Khan academy and flip teaching so that my students watch the lecture as homework and then come to class and work on the homework where they have support from peers and me but finding the time to do that is hard to do with a full time job and a family of my own to take care of. I'd also feel better about what I do. I can't help but believe that would have a positive impact. It wears on you when you feel disrespected by society all the time. Also, I could afford to take classes that I want to take and need to take to improve my performance but have to parse out because I just don't have $1200 a year for one class. I know the types of classes/seminars I need to take/attend but I have to pass because I don't have the money and it's not going to get easier when my kids are in college. I may end up leaving teaching just because I can't afford the continuing education credits I need to keep my certs.
You've identified the problem correctly, but I don't see how paying teachers more would solve. Based on your posts, you have excellent credentials and work very hard as a teacher. I commend you for this. You've also said that you have some serious issues with students uninterested in learning. This is understandable, and it sounds like other teachers have the same problems.

Here's what I don't understand: if the real problem is student effort, and a highly-qualified and dedicated teacher such as yourself can't solve this problem, then why should we expect to see positive results from paying teachers more? What kind of magic would you perform to motivate your students if you had an extra hour or two each day to prepare?

(Re lecture capture: be careful what you ask for. One online lecture can be provided to hundreds of students, and if the technology gets good enough your proposal could dramatically reduce demand for teachers and implode your wages.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I think, in the long run, paying teachers more would have more impact than better materials. Even if you buy the best materials today, they're outdated in 5 years and you'll be expected to use them for 15 years. Teachers are adaptable. Materials are not.
Why are materials outdated in 5 years? Even in science, most basic material doesn't change too rapidly. The amount that actually becomes outdated would fit in a leaflet, not a new textbook.

Online materials also solve this because updates are instantaneous and low-cost.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,744,558 times
Reputation: 31041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I have no problems with paying teachers more, but I expect more. A longer school day, more days of children in school. We don't need a 3 month break in the summer.

Things need to change. I think our entire educational model needs to be scrapped. It is antiquated, and is not forward thinking.

Sorry, but tracking works, not all kids are Harvard material. Track kids at 7th grade, and pit them inot college bound, or vocational bound tracks. And make junior high and high school actually worthwhile.
It is unbelievable the number of "planning days" our teachers have! They have a teachers only-no kids day once/month, and I'd estimate, once/trimester at least, have a sub while they are doing more planning. Growing up there was exactly one day per school year that the kids had off, and the teachers had a district-wide conference.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,200 posts, read 4,206,668 times
Reputation: 5454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
For what we do, too little. While you're correct we spend a lot on education, it's spend, disproportionately on special ed. So, before you condemn the system, compare what other countries spend on special ed.

I also think you need to compare wages for comparable educations. I'm worth every bit of $90K with excellent benefits and a strong retirement package in the open market.
Agreed on the first paragragraph.

On the second, no. Highly educated engineers with many years experience (in advanced areas of engineering; I'm not talking mere civil engineers) in the BEST paying large corporation here in southern NH today get paid around that amount, and are required to work 50 weeks out of the year, or 250 days a year. Compare that to our local teachers' contracts, at 37 weeks of work, or 185 days a year. On top of that minimum day for the engineer, he/she is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and pretty much every single weekend day and holiday will have a "emergency" that requires everyone to report to work and stay until the problem is fixed Since the corporation pays no overtime, it thinks any minute the engineer is not at work, it is "losing productivity" and profit.

Now talk about the "average" work day. For the teacher, 8 hours? For the engineer, first meeting of the day is 6 a.m., and if absolutely everything is going perfectly, he/she can go home around 7 p.m. If a "crisis" is occurring, then the engineers stay until the problem is solved, typically over 20 hours straight. For "crises" that are longer-lived, the engineer will drive home for a cat-nap, with maybe 3-4 hour off every 24.

As to the "strong retirement program" so richly deserved by teachers? This corporation raided the vested pension fund 10 years ago and voided all the pensions, and the Robber Baron CEO stole the money. These engineers get NO retirement plan other than what they've saved. And health care insurance and other benefits? Teachers pay very little of their for their contribution, and the plans are very generous. At this corporation the health care insurance is VERY expensive and covers VERY little, and the corporation boasts how they pay "almost 70% of the total costs."

When the current generation of engineers dies off, expect the electrical system to collapse, and plants that keep our nation running to shut down. Nobody has entered the fields necessary to keep these highly technical systems running for decades, and the YOUNGEST engineers are 50 and in poor health from very stressful, miserable worklives that create stress related diseases. When they leave, the plant-specific knowledge they have goes with them. You can't just hire chinese or indians to come in and pick up the pieces, though the Robber Baron CEOs think that--as well as plenty of other totally wrong things.

And yet people will continue lining up for teaching jobs, because where else can you work half the hours, but get paid the same, and get benefits far superior? And teachers get lucrative pensions to boot.

Teachers may be paid a reasonable wage if America's Middle Class hadn't been destroyed by Free Trade and outsourcing jobs and immigration and Robber-Baron CEOs, but in today's world they are lottery winners.

And here in southern NH we are driving retirees (and those who lose one of the family's 2 jobs) out of their paid-for homes, with property taxes of over $10,000 per year for a run-of-the-mill home. Due to the collapsed housing market they have to take a huge loss to sell, or cannot sell at all and must lose their entire home investment. Much of this is due to the ridiculous over-spending of the school system. And, NO, it is not fair, or sustainable, or worth the cost.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:37 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 34,137,778 times
Reputation: 12779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I also think you need to compare wages for comparable educations.
I agree with this 100%. We should certainly take into consideration the quality of education. There's no way that someone with an engineering degree from a state school should get paid nearly as much as someone with an engineering degree from MIT.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: North
98 posts, read 122,654 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I agree with this 100%. We should certainly take into consideration the quality of education. There's no way that someone with an engineering degree from a state school should get paid nearly as much as someone with an engineering degree from MIT.
Is there any compelling evidence that superior education produces better teaching results?
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,744,558 times
Reputation: 31041
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I agree with this 100%. We should certainly take into consideration the quality of education. There's no way that someone with an engineering degree from a state school should get paid nearly as much as someone with an engineering degree from MIT.
We're not talking about engineering. We're talking about teaching. Teachers with more education do make more. If an engineer who happens to be teaching has more than the required units, they'll get paid for those units. Should they get paid more because an engineering degree is "worth more" in the free market. No. Teaching doesn't work that way. I have a BS. If the only job I can get in this economy is at Target, should they pay me more? Of course not.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,713,317 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunninRebel View Post
A panel of experts could establish a standard curriculum for the entire state or at least the entire district. Having every individual teacher do it is not efficient.

You've identified the problem correctly, but I don't see how paying teachers more would solve. Based on your posts, you have excellent credentials and work very hard as a teacher. I commend you for this. You've also said that you have some serious issues with students uninterested in learning. This is understandable, and it sounds like other teachers have the same problems.

Here's what I don't understand: if the real problem is student effort, and a highly-qualified and dedicated teacher such as yourself can't solve this problem, then why should we expect to see positive results from paying teachers more? What kind of magic would you perform to motivate your students if you had an extra hour or two each day to prepare?

(Re lecture capture: be careful what you ask for. One online lecture can be provided to hundreds of students, and if the technology gets good enough your proposal could dramatically reduce demand for teachers and implode your wages.)

Why are materials outdated in 5 years? Even in science, most basic material doesn't change too rapidly. The amount that actually becomes outdated would fit in a leaflet, not a new textbook.

Online materials also solve this because updates are instantaneous and low-cost.
It's a matter of what you can endure. When you feel valued and appreciated for what you do, you can do more. I could do more, if I had more time but I have my own family to take care of. More pay would mean I could hire out some of the things I do at home and find more balance. I could do more while avoiding burn out.

Going to year round schools with more prep time for teachers would have the same impact, IMO but teachers would demand more pay because they'd be working more days. Year round schools with a more sane schedule week to week during the school year would also help to avoid teacher burn out. I'm no good to anyone if I get myself burned out and I've done it. I didn't think I was going to survive my second year teaching. I tried to do all the things I couldn't get to my first year. I'd still like to do more but I have to cap it. There comes a point when I have to say "It's time to go home and take care of me and my family" whether the job is done or not.

Online materials are great if all of your students have access. Using online books requires every student to have a computer and internet at home. I teach in a wealthy district and I hear cries of "We don't have internet" when I assign something that requires the internet. Computer labs in schools are hard to schedule as things are.

I do like the idea of online materials. No books for me to keep track of and spend days repairing in the spring (we have to repair them to the best of our ability. They only send out the ones we can't repair ourselves.). And as you said, instant updates...which is both good and bad. It's bad if I didn't realize there was an update......so it gives me one more thing to keep track of. Now if you can just manage to put a computer with internet access into the hands of each of my students, we'll be all set.

As to things becomming outdated, we're competing with X-box here. When books look like they came from the last century, kids dismiss them. I use a video series (World of chemistry from www.learner.org - free and free is good....) and have to explain to my students that the videos may be old but the chemistry in them has not changed. Still, they don't relate when they talk about things being in the future that are now in the past. Chemistry may not change but books need to stay relevent. Technology also changes things. I get to play with CBL's later in the year. I'm converting two labs to computer based. The instructions in the lab manual is outdated now. ( I LOVE that I have the ability to collect data with computers...I had NOTHING at my last school...It was in Make do with what you have city...)

Technology makes it easier to teach more so as technology changes, books need to change.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:00 PM
 
15,294 posts, read 16,844,720 times
Reputation: 15019
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangEater82 View Post
If they cannot fill teaching positions, they will have to raise their pay. By law they cannot simple just shut down. They are forced to provide schooling for children.

Sent from my autocorrect butchering device.
So all teachers should just quit now. Honestly, there are a lot of things that could be done if we got up the gumption to quit and let the *market* take over NOW.

I wager, the parents would not like it much though.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:02 PM
 
Location: North
98 posts, read 122,654 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
It's a matter of what you can endure. When you feel valued and appreciated for what you do, you can do more. I could do more, if I had more time but I have my own family to take care of. More pay would mean I could hire out some of the things I do at home and find more balance. I could do more while avoiding burn out.

Going to year round schools with more prep time for teachers would have the same impact, IMO but teachers would demand more pay because they'd be working more days. Year round schools with a more sane schedule week to week during the school year would also help to avoid teacher burn out. I'm no good to anyone if I get myself burned out and I've done it. I didn't think I was going to survive my second year teaching. I tried to do all the things I couldn't get to my first year. I'd still like to do more but I have to cap it. There comes a point when I have to say "It's time to go home and take care of me and my family" whether the job is done or not.

Online materials are great if all of your students have access. Using online books requires every student to have a computer and internet at home. I teach in a wealthy district and I hear cries of "We don't have internet" when I assign something that requires the internet. Computer labs in schools are hard to schedule as things are.

I do like the idea of online materials. No books for me to keep track of and spend days repairing in the spring (we have to repair them to the best of our ability. They only send out the ones we can't repair ourselves.). And as you said, instant updates...which is both good and bad. It's bad if I didn't realize there was an update......so it gives me one more thing to keep track of. Now if you can just manage to put a computer with internet access into the hands of each of my students, we'll be all set.

As to things becomming outdated, we're competing with X-box here. When books look like they came from the last century, kids dismiss them. I use a video series (World of chemistry from www.learner.org - free and free is good....) and have to explain to my students that the videos may be old but the chemistry in them has not changed. Still, they don't relate when they talk about things being in the future that are now in the past. Chemistry may not change but books need to stay relevent. Technology also changes things. I get to play with CBL's later in the year. I'm converting two labs to computer based. The instructions in the lab manual is outdated now. ( I LOVE that I have the ability to collect data with computers...I had NOTHING at my last school...It was in Make do with what you have city...)

Technology makes it easier to teach more so as technology changes, books need to change.
What exactly would you do with an extra hour per day to motivate your unmotivated students?

The mindset that rejects materials because they "look" old is exactly why our schools are failing and why no amount of money spent on supplies or teachers has any chance of fixing them.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: North
98 posts, read 122,654 times
Reputation: 41
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Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
And yes, btw... I do believe that teachers should have the highest quality of education. Those with lower quality educations should not be teachers.
I didn't ask whether you believe it, I asked whether you have compelling evidence to support your belief. And how do you measure educational quality?
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