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Monday, October 28, 2013

Opining on Education: What's Good, What's Not, Ways to Make it Better

James Van Pelt on why education is the same or better than ever.
"[V]ery little has changed with our kids.... I often hear older folks complain that the kids when they were in school were different. They were more respectful. They studied harder. They were in every way 'better.' 
"I just don’t believe it."

A husband who's happy his wife is leaving education. (News Observer)
"[S]he is free to live her life unburdened by the oppressive hands of incompetent legislators and school board members who wish to micromanage education."

Why Do Teachers Quit? And why do they stay? (The Atlantic)
"[B]etween 40 and 50 percent of teachers will leave the classroom within their first five years (that includes the nine and a half percent that leave before the end of their first year).... four percent higher than other professions."
"It’s... lack of respect.... Teachers... do not call the shots. They have very little say. They’re told what to do; it’s a very disempowered line of work.” 
“We are held up to a really high standard for everything.... It stems from this sense that teachers aren’t real people, and the only thing that came close to [making me stay] was the kids.” 
“When you’re in your early 60s and you’re still coming home with 65 hours of grading over two weeks…that’s very overwhelming. [But] I love working with teenagers. I love the relationships and I love being able to help them.” 
"...all the teachers I speak with... cared for their students deeply, but .... the workload, the emotional toll, the low pay—was just too much." 
"...schools that do a far better job of managing and coping with and responding to student behavioral issues have far better teacher retention.” 
"beginning teacher support[:] teachers who have... two small initiatives... (working with a mentor and having regular supportive communication with an administrator) are more likely to stay in the classroom.... Parental engagement and high student achievement are key factors."

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