Are we hiring the wrong teachers -or paying them too little?

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chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Jan 17, 2018 - 12:39am PT
Well I lost track of this thread. I hope Kingtut is reading. Dude, I was a professional scientist in the Davis Crown Gall Group and went on to teach science. My student reviews speak for themselves. I got eighteen consecutive reappointments. I was a botany and chemistry professor. I was a climbing guide and gym employee and eventually my student athletes won national championships. I taught ninth grade English and Ive published numerous times in the media. I played professionally in several bands and I teach music. I got my start in the climbing world as a tree surgeon. Then I went on to teach about 4000 climbing lessons and had up to forty four kids on my climbing team which was sponsored. We attended twelve National Championships. I was a professional microbiologist for six years, then I taught microbiology at UCDavis for about seven years while completing my Doctoral Thesis. But according to you Im uneducated and dont know anything about teaching because I come from the Professions that I teach. Well I got an emergency credential but that didnt stop me from teaching entire semesters of A/P chemistry, Art, Leadership, US History, sixth grade multiple subject, Ninth Grade English and Economics as well as special ed for severe Autism spectrum disabled K-3. I have completed master teaching with reviews and extensive collaboration and professional development. I have been trained in the most modern teaching methods. According to you Im uneducated and ignorant? Perhaps you may reconsider insulting me with presumptuous, capricious belittling comments. I walk my talk when it comes to teaching the crafts I have practiced professionally.
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Jan 17, 2018 - 01:06am PT
Consider Olympic coaches, many medalists. Julliard and Berkely school of music, Professional musicians. Harvard Lawschool, experienced lawyers and judges. UCDavis medical school, practicing physicians. Gracey academy of Brazillian Jiujitsu, Hoyce Gracey. American Conservatory Theater, Real entertainers and movie makers. Western Ballet Theater, professional dancers. MMA, The California Kid. Mine Safety and Health Administration, mining engineers and geologists. U.S. Airforce, experienced pilots. Special Forces, combat professionals. Emergency Medical Services, veteren EMTs and physicians. Cosmetology schools, real barbours. In fields where real achievement is mandatory for success, you will always find professionals who practiced their craft. In public highschools, you will find recent college graduates and career educators with little or no professional experience. But hey, I guess in our current culture, real achievement and competencey are not required to get a trophy in schools anymore. Its no wonder our hightech sector is outsourcing or importing talent from elsewhere.
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Jan 17, 2018 - 01:52am PT
Well Kingtut, after backtracking and reading your post about the "preeminence" of the UC system, I see you actually support my assertion that professionals are necessary for a good education system. The King School of Law is directed by experienced lawyers and Judges. The Medical School is taught by practicing physicians like my father (OBGYN Oncology, surgical residency). The Vet School has one of the worlds most prominent animal clinics staffed by Vet Doctors. The Biological Sciences are taught by professional researchers. My chemistry professors were chemical engineers for Unocal and Lawrence Livermore Labs. My favorite Economics professor was a world famous Harvard economist who worked in international relations. The Land Air Water Resources division where I studied graduate level soil science does highway construction engineering for Caltrans. The Plant Pathology Dept is the host dept for the USDA and administrates the international germplasm storage facility. I myself am faculty emeritus at UCDavis. So how does it feel to get called out on your statements? I hope you are not spewing racist, anarchist dribble to any of my students. They are Doctors and professors now. And as for your comments about my right wing regurgitation, I was logistics director for Whole Earth Festival for two years, Karma patroller for twenty. I was even "Den Mom." Just because I have reiterated some things that the right has said doesnt mean Im racist or ignorant. Perhaps some of the things they say are true.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 17, 2018 - 07:57am PT
chainsaw, I guarantee you wonít see a mea culpa, let alone an apology from The Special One.
If Iím wrong I guarantee you and he will see one.
gruzzy

Social climber
socal
Jan 18, 2018 - 01:17pm PT
Someone is PISSED
kingtut

climber
Jingus Newroutaineer
Jan 18, 2018 - 02:25pm PT
Hey Chainsaw, my bad for assumptions about your education so my apologies.

Your post however, was not a useful one as more than one responder pointed out and seemed to echo an anti-education set of talking points.

Professional Athletes are multi-millionaires, that's why they don't teach Basketball etc.

Teaching Chem 101 (as you are well aware) has ZERO to do with working as a Chemist.

Dedicated teachers of a particular topic are more useful than all the research grants in the world to students but not Universities, as you should also be well aware. What working as a Chemist is like is not useful to the vast majority taking the class as a pre-req for their life science degree etc....

Sorry to have such a knee-jerk response to the perceived hostility towards teachers (which is a RW talking point) that I took from your post which I found non-focused and perceived as not understanding of the broader reality of secondary school (the principal topic of the OP) or undergraduate education, imo. This is not to say they can't be reformed with more "vocational" education for some students.

In addition, your secondary points about a better system of returning working professionals to the classroom is going to fail in the face of radically different pay structures and the insecurity of working life in America...nor is their necessarily any benefit to an undergraduate, nor be interested in the secondary school level, imo.

You will find me very respectful of anyone that is educated and a teacher, and for my part in demeaning your career I apologize.


regards
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 18, 2018 - 05:31pm PT
In the USA, money is God, and the value of most anything is in the money it generates. Public school and mental health are two categories that are vastly underfunded, relative to, say, military spending, because they COST money to run so the cheaper-is-better path is most always taken. Police and fire have better unions and since risk is attached to both professions, they are well funded - or else. And a lot of powerful folks make bank of military spending - in the name of keeping us safe. But in the name of keeping us smart, the dough is lacking.
Zclipper69

Trad climber
mill valley
Feb 8, 2018 - 07:39pm PT
To me it seems you all have a point in some regard or manner. All posts struck me as being backed by observable fact and are touching on meaningful issues.

From my experience in public schools, the majority of teachers have been well intentioned, often knowledgable people. However, like most restaurants, their economic model is based on serving hungry people. In the case of teachers, this means they get paid (their livelihood) depends on relaying a script to students who have no choice but to attend. Thus, like the restaurants, the teachers have a market which is locked in and bound to make sales.For teachers, breaking from the script is not encouraged. Instead they are rewarded for the good grades of their students.

Anyways, I'm just thinking while teachers may be able to and do help inspire their pupils and encourage them to learn, the prevailing paradigm does not encourage teachers to do more than read from a closely written script.

The whole issue of teaching not being a career of high social cache and teachers not being paid "enough" is also formidable and worth a great deal of thought.

Peace,
Zclipper69
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Feb 8, 2018 - 09:40pm PT
I haven't read all of this thread, so I'm probably stepping in where I shouldn't, but my wife works in administration in a school district in Washington State. The stories I hear about the entitled teachers attitudes are unbelievable. The perks they get, the paid days off, the short work year, the retirement, and the bitching are amazing.

I tutored one of my wife's grandchildren for 6th grade math and was just blown away about how they are teaching this subject, and the lack of teaching skills exhibited.

The students no linger have math textbooks; they get handouts for the subjects. The stupid ways they are teaching students to do simple things like multiplication are just .... stupid. The students no longer learn that 9 X 9 = 81 so they don't even have to think about it; there is some convoluted 'estimation' bullshit they go through then narrow the answer down with some mnemonic system..... I was incredulous. The word problems the students were given were basically undecipherable; I had to go through this poor kids stuff, figure out what the point was, then translate back to her so she could solve the 'problem'.

It reminded me of how BITD we were exposed to set theory in the 7th grade. I had been in New Zealand and returned in the middle of the term and was dumped into the math class. Sure, I figured it out, but I told myself at the time it was stupid and I was right.

The teachers don't even know what they're teaching and a lot of them are plain useless. One of the math teachers can't speak very good English and is very soft spoken; so much so that the students can't understand what he is trying to convey. He's not dumb, he's just a very poor teacher. But there he is, handicapping these students. No wonder none of them are interested in maths.

There sure is a lot of poor teaching going on. There are good ones, but they are few and far between. And take away students' phones and laptops.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 8, 2018 - 10:15pm PT
It reminded me of how BITD we were exposed to set theory in the 7th grade...I told myself at the time it was stupid and I was right.

Hmmm...set theory is one of the foundational topics of mathematics, a part of mathematical reasoning and communication around the world, as well as an ongoing source of research problems.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to set theory in the seventh grade in the US. It was at the time of the Sputnik "crisis" and suddenly the country thought investing in math and science was not simply a good idea, but an essential step in catching up to the Russians in the "space race." In the place of the mind-numbing arithmetical manipulations with no meaning and no interconnections typical of middle school math, we were given a basis for understanding what we were doing, a basis that could grow from a backyard garden to a mighty forest as one progressed in knowledge.

In part because of that set theory, I and a whole generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers found useful, productive, and fulfilling careers in subjects that made ever deeper and more profound sense, partially because they were based on conceptual principles rather than rote memorization.

So there you have it, a somewhat different perspective on what constitutes seventh-grade stupidity, and perhaps also a reflection on what it may or may not mean to be "right."

zardoz

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 9, 2018 - 04:34am PT
Jesus Christ, once again teachers are being blamed for test scores and performance issues with the students. Here's an idea, maybe it's the students?

Some kids neither want to learn nor do they value education at all.

Separate those that don't want to learn from those that do and magically both groups will benefit. The kids that do want to learn won't miss the disruptive non-learners and the non-learners can just hang with their friends, get in fights, and move on into drug dealing without all of the fuss.
Robert L

climber
Feb 9, 2018 - 05:00am PT
In the USA, money is God,...

How much does it need to cost, for a child to learn what they desire and need?

The U.S. spends more on education than countries that seemingly achieve even better outcomes for their residents. Perhaps better learning outcomes may not require more teacher-spending. The existing budget may suffice if more effectively allocated.

Chainsaw may be an amazing teacher. Chainsaw.... how good were you at identifying your students prior knowledge before trying to teach them new stuff? And how did you help them to unlearn stuff which would hinder them learning new stuff? And what are your former students up to these days?

I have visited many schools around the globe. I've noticed that some teachers are very knowledgable, yet such doesn't necessarily transfer to students mastering the content being 'taught'. And I have seen many students entertained by teachers who present content much like wondeful 'performance art' - the students seemed wonderfully engaged - yet still, while the students spoke of loving such teachers, they couldn't recall much of what had been 'taught' when tested in the following few days. I hazard to presume that folks are still trying to figure-out what reliably effective and relevant-to-the-future teaching content and skills are needed.
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Feb 9, 2018 - 05:15am PT
rgold, I understand that re set theory. My point is that for most students set theory is useless; basic math skills should be taught. It was understandable to me in the 7th grade, but stupid in the sense that I knew it was useless for most students.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Feb 9, 2018 - 06:59am PT
Our society has devolved to where everything is
somebody elseís fault.

I think our society has devolved to where only scammers are rewarded. Kids see this. What's the point of hard work, when hard work gets you nowhere? Learning to game the system is how you get ahead. Lies and cheating get you farther than producing something useful. You don't get a comfortable retirement by saving or investing, you get ahead by skimming money off of 401Ks. Etc., etc.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 9, 2018 - 07:02am PT
I have a general interest in economics, and I remember hearing from a colleague about college professors in Russia working for dirt, dirt wages--like they could do almost anything else to earn more money but stuck to the university because they loved their subjects and could spend their days with intelligent, like-minded people. So, once in the faculty lounge, I asked a senior philosophy professor what was the least he would accept to do this job--i.e. teaching undergrads at a community college in a California Central Valley town. Keep in mind that the job is basically eight months of work when you include all breaks, and there were good health bennies. The dude had a PhD, so take that for what it's worth. His answer? No less than $90k! I almost choked on my coffee but managed to keep a straight face. Seemed liked some pretty fierce entitlement syndrome to me, especially considering that EVERYONE starts these jobs at much, much, much lower pay scales. I started my own career making $36k. Of course, if the job were in San Francisco or other very expensive town, $90k is not even middle class, but when I say Central Valley, I'm not talking Davis or Sacramento.

So here's a question: What should a veteran teacher living in an affordable area get paid?

BAd
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 9, 2018 - 07:06am PT
I think our society has devolved to where only scammers are rewarded. Kids see this. What's the point of hard work, when hard work gets you nowhere? Learning to game the system is how you get ahead. Lies and cheating get you farther than producing something useful. You don't get a comfortable retirement by saving or investing, you get ahead by skimming money off of 401Ks. Etc., etc.

Whoa dude you're sounding way Ayn Rand there.

I've worked hard. I have not scammed and cheated the system. Can't you say the same?

DMT
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 9, 2018 - 07:41am PT
I think we're kinda screwed:

Cali just dropped its rock-bottom "high school" exit exam, one that was basically 8th--10th grade level.

https://edsource.org/2017/california-joins-trend-among-states-to-abandon-high-school-exit-exam/588640

The remedial college programs will be packed FOREVER.

BAd
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 9, 2018 - 07:44am PT
rgold, I understand that re set theory. My point is that for most students set theory is useless; basic math skills should be taught. It was understandable to me in the 7th grade, but stupid in the sense that I knew it was useless for most students.

First of all, two are not mutually exclusive; I acquired all the basic math skills and then some. But I think the main problem arises when one decides that enriched essential content is "useless for most students." The problem isn't that in hindsight the observation might not be true, it is that deciding which students are going to get that enriched content pretends to understand the potential and future intellectual trajectory of very young people, condemning those sorted into the "most" category to numerical and mathematical illiteracy and possibly robbing the nation of important future contributors.

Naturally, one hopes for teachers who understand the material (this is a major reason for the failure of mathematics initiatives) and are good at helping kids master it, and it is and will be an ongoing quest to find and train appropriate candidates. Meanwhile, I think boring a few kids with ideas and concepts they end up not using later is better than stunting the potential of an unknown (and unknowable) number of young people.

Returning to a personal note, I am glad that, as we learned elements of set theory and number theory, subjects my parents did not understand and could not help me with, they did not undermine the enterprise by proclaiming it a stupid waste of time, but rather expressed pride in the fact that their child was exceeding their own knowledge, and so was privileged to contemplate wider horizons than the ones that circumscribed their lives.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Feb 9, 2018 - 08:25am PT
Whoa dude you're sounding way Ayn Rand there.

I've worked hard. I have not scammed and cheated the system. Can't you say the same?

Ding, Ayn Rand thinks the scammers come from below, but the scammers are at the top. Bankers, Wall Street shysters, etc. In our generation, work still had some reward. It's different now. The kids see who gets ahead. I see it in my stepson's circle. Truth and honesty get you nothing. It's the scam that gets rewarded. Look no further than the White House for a great example.
bouldering88

climber
Feb 9, 2018 - 08:48am PT
I work near JT in a public school.. Come job shadow some day when you are out here climbing and then you will see what is up. You can't handle the truth. Ever see the movie Idiocracy? I live it all day, err day.
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