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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:01 am 
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Goddess
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What is more, these extreme expectations don't exactly encourage excellence; they encourage cutting corners and lowering standards

My mother was a teacher in Colorado (retired now) and it's been that way there for a while. You (the teacher) are expected to pass the students no matter what. Your hands are tied. Those kids have no incentive to study or work hard to pass...save for what an overworked, underpaid, rule-crushed teacher (and parents, what few who care, but that's another rant) can inspire in them. And I get the feeling not many even want to try, especially after the first couple of years.

In fact, the more I think on it, the more it scares the bejeezus out of me. It frightens me, even as a non-educator to think these children will one day be running our country. Many are being handed an "education" without earning it and they're in for a rude awakening when they think the world will continue to treat them that way after graduation :P

But I'm babbling now, lol, and making myself depressed in the process.

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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:05 am 
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The Scribe of Athero
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It sounds like you are totally disillusioned with the teaching profession. From what you say, it's no wonder.

My suggestion to you would be to talk to some veteran teachers and ask them how they survive...what are THEIR tricks of the trade? Perhaps some of them might have some inspirational words on how to be a good teacher in spite of the system.

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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Prince - Princess
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Sorry, Kally! The topic of America's education system can really get into depression-land quickly. That's about where I'm living, at the moment...

Yeah - sadly, Raya, that's about right. :( I feel like I've caught fire and managed to burn out already. I hate to spew out my overflow of pessimism, but it's frustrating me to no end.

Part of the problem is my veteran teachers are extremely doom-and-gloom about these changes, too. Most of them don't have a vision for how they - even with all their experience - are going to make this pan out. A major concern is the lack of resources to rebuild their curriculum from the ground up.

In all honesty, my university's education program has pretty well prepared me for handling the increase of data analysis and such. However, my thought was and still is that this profession could only really be an option for me if the work load lessened somewhat compared to what the college has me do. It seems to me that later on, being a teacher will be just as life-consuming as being a student teacher is right now. I don't think I have the tenacity or even management skills required to do this job well and stay sane.

I really hope to start seeing reasons to try making it as an educator anyway, but I haven't had a breakthrough with inspiration since I have started this phase. My main thought is what a relief it will be simply to get through it and graduate. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:02 pm 
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The Scribe of Athero
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It's sad, but I don't think our teachers are treated well. No wonder they end up disillusioned and burnt out. I wish I had words of inspiration for you, Jebi, but...I don't. The only thing I can think of is have a good holiday after graduation. Maybe you can get your head in the right place to make these decisions in a way that will benefit you.

The other thing is that Loreat is a teacher...in high school I think (in BC in Canada). He seems to retain his sense of humor. Why not shoot him a PM?

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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Goddess
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Raya wrote:
The other thing is that Loreat is a teacher...in high school I think (in BC in Canada). He seems to retain his sense of humor. Why not shoot him a PM?

Ooh, good idea. And ask him about the end-of-term t-shirt he made to wear to class this year :)

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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:59 am 
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If teachers are only teaching to the test, then why not simply replace public schooling with a dynamically learning computer program across the board, and move the real teachers to classrooms in private education?

My mother is a teacher at high school level right now in a middle class area in Texas. The school contains about 2,000 students, with an average of 30-40 students per classroom. She is encountering the same problems, but on a lesser level, since she teaches medical classes, which are electives.

In other words, teaching to the test is everywhere, and the only way I have found to circumvent the fervor of politicians trying to make it look like they're fixing things is to teach somewhere they have less influence. Unfortunately, private schools tend to be nearly impossible for new teachers to get into (at least, that's my understanding of it), and I don't know of a single one that isn't religiously affiliated.

The only other option I know of in the US is to simply continue your education and teach at the college level, like you said. But even then your curriculum is often mandated, especially at public colleges.

You could always be a private tutor, but I don't think they make enough to live on without a solid customer base, and that only comes with a great reputation, and often knowledge in mathematics more than the other educational branches. (With a college degree though, you should know enough math to teach anyone anything in high school or earlier education... I had no problems tutoring 7-11th grades myself.)

If you've got the gall to put your name out there as a private tutor, that might at least give you the personal satisfaction of watching someone grow. As the education system worsens, more parents will be looking for privatized alternatives... and starting while you're still in school will allow you a little bit of time where you can still support yourself as you're building a reputation.

That's probably the route I would attempt first, if it were me. It's a lot of work because you have to construct your curriculum for each student from scratch and work to their needs (and often they're a pain in the ass)... but it's also a lot more rewarding. Plus, from what you're saying, it sounds like you'll have to do most of that work regardless.

EDIT: At some point, every child has to pass a standardized test, however, and so you might end up having to teach to it to some degree no matter what. Not that any standardized test requires an IQ above 60 to pass.


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 Post subject: Re: So about those English teachers...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Jebibubbles - creative writing in science fiction and fantasy should go over pretty well at KU. The Center for the Study of Science Fiction is there. Chris McKitterick (I've actually taken classes with him) and Kij Johnson teach in the English department, if those names mean anything to you. They've both written science fiction and/or fantasy themselves. McKitterick has a course on Science, Technology, and Society that I've taken that was fantastic. There are special programs in the summer, and KU has hosted the Campbell Awards a few times.

I'm not sure that the entire English department is thrilled with SF/fantasy, but you shouldn't be immediately disqualified for applying with one of those pieces. Just a thought ; )


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