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Old 12-27-2023, 07:11 AM
 
22 posts, read 13,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
Beat me to it.

Honestly, my fear is that we are going to go to this model more and more - out of necessity rather than choice. Enrollment in college education programs continue to decrease at an alarming rate. Students have caught the message, being a teacher is a thankless job with low pay in comparison to other professions so they aren’t majoring in education. I wanted to become a teacher but when I saw the situation my mind changed. Now I study finance because for me it looks much better. It's also hard, but with writing tasks, I use the help of https://essays.edubirdie.com/research-proposal-writing-service and it has never let me down yet. I know a lot of other students who changed their major because what they wanted is not that positive now. We have districts around here where almost 100% of their new hires were some form alt certification from “grow your own” former aides to whatever warm body with a high school diploma that showed up. Teachers quitting mid-year, once practically unheard of, now is no longer even a surprise and you just hope they give you some kind of notice.

When I think of all the decent teachers through the years that were tossed away without a second thought for incredibly petty reasons by some principals and look how desperate we are just to get someone who might work out I get a little ill.

One of the first reforms that might help stop this trend is getting rid of all the excess people in Central Offices. Not only are they sucking up all the money that should’ve been going to raises for teachers in the classroom, but the good ideals, nifty programs, mandatory reports and onerous assessments they dream up to justify their jobs which end up creating mounds of extra work for classroom teachers are large part of excessive stress that is creating the exodus from the classroom.

It is highly ironic that federal laws such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, which were made in an effort to “improve” education by holding “bad teachers” accountable, have in actuality been instrumental in leading to a lowering of teacher quality.

I agree with you. My brother is in secondary school, and he says that now they have much more kids in classes just because there are not enough teachers. And you know, one teacher, a lot of kids - the quality of such education is not good. Someone needs more attention, additional explanation, someone learns everything fast, someone is too noisy, others nothing...
The salaries are low, the pressure is high, and we have what we have.
I have a lot of friends in universities, but noone study something related to education. What for?
Changes are needed to improve situation.
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Old 12-28-2023, 12:11 PM
 
Location: WA
5,484 posts, read 7,776,973 times
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Teacher here.

Without reading through this entire thread I would make a couple of comments based on my experience with hybrid learning during the pandemic (simultaneous teaching with half your kids in class and half zooming in remotely). Which I found to be an absolutely impossible thing to pull off.

The main issue is that the techniques you use for in-person instruction are at odds with the methods you need to use for virtual instruction. In fact they are opposites. What do I mean? Simply that the best practices and methods you use in-person require that you get up and move around the room, engaging with students, looking over their shoulders to see if they need help, and in lower classes a WHOLE LOT OF REDIRECTION to get them back on task. Good teachers are rarely sitting at their desk. And they often get students up and moving around too.

By contrast, remote teaching demands that you sit behind your desk in front of the zoom camera so that the remote students can see you and you can see them (if they have their cameras turned on). And engage with them electronically. Hybrid learning taught us that you CAN'T do both simultaneously. You either have to optimize your classroom and instruction for in-person learning, or optimize your course and instructional methods for virtual learning. You can't do both at the same time.

The main problem with remote learning is that it only really serves a certain learning style. The tech wizards who are promoting remote learning are mostly ultra-bright introverted techies who disliked traditional school because it was too slow for them and there was too much engagement. They thought they would be better served if they could just geek out in front of a computer and learn everything at 4x the speed of the traditional classroom and they are probably right. But they constitute only a small percentage of actual students. And we err when we think school experiences of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. are applicable to the broader population. They are not. They are, in fact, the exceptions. And we shouldn't let their experiences dictate how we teach the majority of students who are nothing like them.

Every general education classroom has a broad mix of students with different learning styles. Some thrive with independent study online or with books, some need social engagement to learn and for them group work is best. Some are very hands-on types who actually think with their hands and need to pick things up, manipulate them, and figure them out that way. And for them, labs and projects are best. A good general education classroom is going to include a mix of all of that in order to meet the learning styles and needs of all the students in the class.

So no, virtual learning in school is never going to be widely useful for the general population. Because the real task is getting students engaged and that usually requires actual teachers and other students to interact and engage with, not a computer screen. That doesn't mean certain students won't find it useful. But those with the personality and attention span to learn in front of a computer day-in and day-out are frankly a minority.
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Old 12-29-2023, 04:16 PM
 
14,431 posts, read 14,359,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
You know, "the excess people in Central Offices" thing is sort of one of those 'in the eye of the beholder' things. In fact, with the diverstiy of your work experiences, were you ever in a position where you may have been looked at in that way?

As a principal, I don't recall ever seeing a position in the 'central office(s)' that were not of value. What I do remember seeing is individuals in those positions that were sometimes not worthy.

What I am sensing in recent years is that too much 'busy work' is being placed on the shoulders of teachers. General over-supervision of teachers, instead heavy supervision of the few teachers who most needed supervision.

I've seen NCLB work well. But that doesn't mean that I think it has all been wise. NCLB was nothing more than the same kind of 'consumerism' that has affected many businesses. And some of it is fake. It started with American cars, which had gotten junky, and the American people revolted. But now there's a lot of fake responding to consumerism. The other day I went into CVS and bought Q-tips. I've since gotten 2 emails asking me to reivew my purchase. Do I really believe they care if I liked my Q-tips? I recently had a negative experience at an urgent care facility and responded in no uncertain terms to their request for feedback to my visit. Do I really think they read my review? Apparently not, because if I had had a client that negative, I would have contacted them. And this is what I think is happening in education: reams of required lesson plans and other paperwork that is pretty much not even being reviewd. Make-work.
Just an anecdote that I want to tell. When my daughter went to school it was in a geographically large school district that primarily served middle class and upper middle class students. Parents could be very demanding.

One day my wife and I, realized the bus stop which had been in front of our house had been moved. It had been put on the other side of the road about one block down. I thought my wife was overreacting a bit, but she insisted I call the district and try to have the bus stop moved back in front of our house. I made a couple of calls and lo and behold I found myself talking to the ultimate bureaucrat of bureaucrats, the district bussing manager. I sort of apologized and told him that the decision to move the bus stop in our neighborhood had greatly upset my wife. Before I could get much more out, he proceeded to launch into a tale of his troubles. He told me that all day long he had to listen to competing groups of parents fighting to have the school bus stop next to their home. In his words, he told me his job was a "rotten damn job" that he couldn't wait to leave. The guy did graciously put the bus stop back in front of our home.

I realized that this is probably what people are talking about when they talk about a "bloated school bureaucracy that costs tax dollars". Yet, what else do you do? Someone has to have the actual job of mapping out bus routes and bus stops. Further, someone has to hear out parents concerning these issues and make decisions that can never make everyone happy. In a district as big as ours, the job was a big job that truly required a full time person.

I do have some issues with the way the schools spend some of our money, but the rational part of me realizes most expenditures are probably necessary.

What do I like the least about school administration? This answer may surprise some. Its the "touchy-feely attitude" that too many in education seem to have where they are scared to death they might offend someone. That though, is a topic for a different time and place.
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Old 12-30-2023, 09:55 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
10,349 posts, read 13,986,873 times
Reputation: 18290
Quote:
Originally Posted by moguldreamer View Post
American classrooms need more educators. Can virtual teachers step in to bridge the gap?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...e/70712191007/

The article cites some progress in using virtual/remote teachers. While not ideal, it seems to add some value sometimes.
Curious if you know what happened in 2020 with that.
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Old 12-30-2023, 10:39 PM
 
Location: WA
5,484 posts, read 7,776,973 times
Reputation: 8596
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Just an anecdote that I want to tell. When my daughter went to school it was in a geographically large school district that primarily served middle class and upper middle class students. Parents could be very demanding.

One day my wife and I, realized the bus stop which had been in front of our house had been moved. It had been put on the other side of the road about one block down. I thought my wife was overreacting a bit, but she insisted I call the district and try to have the bus stop moved back in front of our house. I made a couple of calls and lo and behold I found myself talking to the ultimate bureaucrat of bureaucrats, the district bussing manager. I sort of apologized and told him that the decision to move the bus stop in our neighborhood had greatly upset my wife. Before I could get much more out, he proceeded to launch into a tale of his troubles. He told me that all day long he had to listen to competing groups of parents fighting to have the school bus stop next to their home. In his words, he told me his job was a "rotten damn job" that he couldn't wait to leave. The guy did graciously put the bus stop back in front of our home.

I realized that this is probably what people are talking about when they talk about a "bloated school bureaucracy that costs tax dollars". Yet, what else do you do? Someone has to have the actual job of mapping out bus routes and bus stops. Further, someone has to hear out parents concerning these issues and make decisions that can never make everyone happy. In a district as big as ours, the job was a big job that truly required a full time person.

I do have some issues with the way the schools spend some of our money, but the rational part of me realizes most expenditures are probably necessary.

What do I like the least about school administration? This answer may surprise some. Its the "touchy-feely attitude" that too many in education seem to have where they are scared to death they might offend someone. That though, is a topic for a different time and place.
After having worked in 5 different school districts, my least favorite attitude in school administration is the seeming need of district administrators to bring outsiders into positions of leadership. The pattern always seems to be: (1) Bring in some principal or superintendent from the outside (often out of state) that they found through some search firm. (2) Hire them at excessive pay with a big song and dance routine. (3) Watch them take at least 2 years of stumbling around to figure out the culture of the school, school district, and community and start to be effective. (4) A year later watch them get hired away to some higher step on the ladder position in another district or state. (5) Rinse and repeat with the next fancy outsider.

Every district I have ever worked in had plenty of highly qualified and dedicated people who were actually invested in the whole community who were willing and able to step up. Most schools and districts are not wont for good people.

Now some struggling districts can probably use new blood. But that was never the case any place I ever worked. And no outsider was ever better than the local folks.
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Old 12-31-2023, 10:59 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,529 posts, read 60,771,442 times
Reputation: 61164
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
After having worked in 5 different school districts, my least favorite attitude in school administration is the seeming need of district administrators to bring outsiders into positions of leadership. The pattern always seems to be: (1) Bring in some principal or superintendent from the outside (often out of state) that they found through some search firm. (2) Hire them at excessive pay with a big song and dance routine. (3) Watch them take at least 2 years of stumbling around to figure out the culture of the school, school district, and community and start to be effective. (4) A year later watch them get hired away to some higher step on the ladder position in another district or state. (5) Rinse and repeat with the next fancy outsider.

Every district I have ever worked in had plenty of highly qualified and dedicated people who were actually invested in the whole community who were willing and able to step up. Most schools and districts are not wont for good people.

Now some struggling districts can probably use new blood. But that was never the case any place I ever worked. And no outsider was ever better than the local folks.
In my 31+ years in the same school system we had about 14 or 15 Superintendents/Acting Superintendents.

Some of the more recent outsiders:
Buddy of the then State Superintendent, couldn't qualify for a Maryland Instructional I certificate. Constantly fought with the elected School Board so much that it was abolished and a Governor appointed Board was installed. That Board found out that she was, in fact, impossible to work with. Left when it was discovered she'd misused millions of dollars of federal grant funding.

Her successor lasted a couple years before resigning when it was discovered he was taking bribes from school system vendors to steer contracts. Ended up in federal prison.

His successor was appointed just before the School Board reverted to being elected again. Verbally committed to eight years, left after three when questions were raised about the legitimacy of his Doctorate.

His successor had been an Assistant Superintendent who came with him. Left just ahead of sexual harassment charges and the discovery of misuse of foreign teacher visas. The system was fined several million dollars, had to pay compensation to the foreign teachers for improper charges and was enjoined from recruiting outside the US for five years. It also lost all the foreign teachers to other systems as it was also forbidden from reauthorizing their visas.

His successor was an Interim offered a full term by the elected Board, which was abolished by the Legislature at the request of the County Executive who promptly appointed his brother in law as the School Board Chair. He was fired at the changeover.

The next Superintendent had begun his career in the system and went to adjoining Counties. He was hired away by the County Executive with a sparkling reputation. He presided over one of the largest child porn/elementary school child sex abuse scandals ever seen. At the same time he secretly gave 35% raises to Central Office personnel while arguing against teachers receiving a 4.5% raise over three years. He resigned with his reputation shredded.

His successor was home grown from Kindergarten up through the ranks (also one of two best Principals I worked for). She lasted one term (plus the remaining couple years from her predecessor). Left due to School Board infighting. This is still an appointed Board with a couple elected members.

Her successor is new but has stated that some of the problems are overwhelming. He left his Texas system after it was taken over by the State.
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Old 12-31-2023, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,966 posts, read 24,467,741 times
Reputation: 33018
Frankly, the superintendency is often a thankless job.

When it comes to whether people should be promoted within or hired from outside the system...I think the answer is yes. LOL. If you always hire from within you have the problem of stagnancy in the district. If you hire from outside you have the problem of people not knowing the district. I think a little of both is best. In our very large system (Fairfax County, Virginia), I thought it worked pretty well -- most of the superintendents were from outside the system, while most of the assistant superintendents were hired from within.
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Old 01-01-2024, 07:21 AM
 
14,431 posts, read 14,359,027 times
Reputation: 45871
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
In my 31+ years in the same school system we had about 14 or 15 Superintendents/Acting Superintendents.

Some of the more recent outsiders:
Buddy of the then State Superintendent, couldn't qualify for a Maryland Instructional I certificate. Constantly fought with the elected School Board so much that it was abolished and a Governor appointed Board was installed. That Board found out that she was, in fact, impossible to work with. Left when it was discovered she'd misused millions of dollars of federal grant funding.

Her successor lasted a couple years before resigning when it was discovered he was taking bribes from school system vendors to steer contracts. Ended up in federal prison.

His successor was appointed just before the School Board reverted to being elected again. Verbally committed to eight years, left after three when questions were raised about the legitimacy of his Doctorate.

His successor had been an Assistant Superintendent who came with him. Left just ahead of sexual harassment charges and the discovery of misuse of foreign teacher visas. The system was fined several million dollars, had to pay compensation to the foreign teachers for improper charges and was enjoined from recruiting outside the US for five years. It also lost all the foreign teachers to other systems as it was also forbidden from reauthorizing their visas.

His successor was an Interim offered a full term by the elected Board, which was abolished by the Legislature at the request of the County Executive who promptly appointed his brother in law as the School Board Chair. He was fired at the changeover.

The next Superintendent had begun his career in the system and went to adjoining Counties. He was hired away by the County Executive with a sparkling reputation. He presided over one of the largest child porn/elementary school child sex abuse scandals ever seen. At the same time he secretly gave 35% raises to Central Office personnel while arguing against teachers receiving a 4.5% raise over three years. He resigned with his reputation shredded.

His successor was home grown from Kindergarten up through the ranks (also one of two best Principals I worked for). She lasted one term (plus the remaining couple years from her predecessor). Left due to School Board infighting. This is still an appointed Board with a couple elected members.

Her successor is new but has stated that some of the problems are overwhelming. He left his Texas system after it was taken over by the State.
You could make a soap opera out of that story. Wow...
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Old 01-01-2024, 03:24 PM
 
18,323 posts, read 10,709,703 times
Reputation: 8603
Quote:
Originally Posted by moguldreamer View Post
American classrooms need more educators. Can virtual teachers step in to bridge the gap?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...e/70712191007/

The article cites some progress in using virtual/remote teachers. While not ideal, it seems to add some value sometimes.
IMO No. Virtual Teachers are not Teachers, simply put they are Instructors, big difference.
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Old 01-01-2024, 03:27 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,529 posts, read 60,771,442 times
Reputation: 61164
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
You could make a soap opera out of that story. Wow...
Just as a note, those were the last several with no break, from around 2002 until this year.
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