I need to get this off of my chest…
If I ruled the world, teachers would be compensated fairly for the work they do.
Teachers would be treated as the professionals they are.
But…it would be easier to get rid of the bad apples that give the profession a bad name.
School funding wouldn’t be based on local property taxes.
Teacher evaluations wouldn’t be based standardized tests, but teachers would be evaluated.
Teacher education programs would be rigorous and well-respected.
I know there is no one-stop ticket to making public education “work”. But there are so many ways that I wish I could snap my fingers and fix these glaring holes. I’m young and idealistic , so I’m sure there are complexities and essential issues facing education that I don’t even understand. But sometimes, it seems like it should be so simple.
I’ve been quite interested in looking at ways foundations and school districts are trying to work to put good, well-prepared teachers in the classroom. I’m fortunate to be selected as a finalist for a Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship and looked at teacher residency programs and Math for America (not saying I would get in…but they looked VERY cool). There are AMAZING ideas as to how to get and keep great teachers in the classroom. Giving potential teachers support (both financially and professionally) is a great way to begin changing how the profession is viewed. It may be odd to be plugging these programs while I start my TFA life, but I’m worried about being under-prepared, and I haven’t even been to institute yet. I’m excited about KSTF because it provides avenues for collaboration and professional development that can dramatically alter a teacher’s effectiveness (and ward off burn-out). There are ways to get and keep great teachers in the profession. I just wish these strategies were used more widely. Think of the students that could benefit!
I’m so excited to start my TFA adventure. But I’m more excited to start my teaching career, knowing that TFA will only be the first step for me.