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Re: [OT] Teachers (Was:Re: King Donald)

On 2/3/2017 10:08 AM, Mike Easter wrote:
Much unmarked snipping below.

Wolf K. wrote:
Mike Easter wrote:
Wolf K. wrote:
Disaster Master wrote:

In addition we would need to abolish Teachers Unions, and
engage in some form of merit system.

There is, it's called the salary grid: the rows align with
qualifications, the columns with years of experience.

Years of experience and training don't necessarily reflect the
aptitude of the teacher to teach effectively.

a) Teachers who can't teach effectively usually quit within a year or

Or not; maybe teach forever.

b) There is no universal method of effective teaching.

Of course not.

It is hard to believe that with all of the 'structure' and
associated expenses surrounding the teaching business/profession,
that that structure can't be made to be effective at evaluating how
adept a teacher is at accomplishing teaching goals.

Well, there is one, but it's useless:

Then you are saying here it is impossible to evaluate teachers' merit.

Well, if you are willing to track their students for 20 years, their success/failure rates as citizens/wage earners/leaders of society, might give a good evaluation, but that doesn't seem feasible, let alone 'timely'. If you have a better idea, please, share it.

More seriously, there is a method to assess a teacher's
effectiveness. It's labour and time intensive, though, requiring
both collegial and supervisory observation. But it works, because
it's diagnostic, summative, and remedial.

That sounds like a good idea that can be improved upon to make it more
efficient, not eliminated/disregarded.

We all know there is enormous variability in the substrate of
student makeup and ongoing variability in defining exactly what
should be taught and tremendous corruption in the acquisition of
materials to teach with, but still, the concept of 'merit' should
be based on some important metric besides how many years some
incompetent teacher has been functioning incompetently or how much
 time the same inept person decided to spend in school instead of
or in addition to actually teaching.

I taught for 35 years at both the university and high school levels.
Believe me, anyone who survives the first year or two of teaching
high school is an effective teacher.

I think that teachers, like lawyers and doctors and others, aren't
necessarily the best ones to provide us the guidelines for how to manage
their industry.  They have a very very vested interest.

We need a verb like "dance".

I like your dance analogy, but I completely disagree with the idea that
poor teachers automatically drop out in a year and that it is impossible
to have some kind of effective merit system and that we should pay
teachers according to the grid of how long they've been teaching and how
much credentials they have.

That sounds like a poor substitute for actually finding the good and
poor teachers.

How long a person teaches, or their educational level are only clues, not indicators. One of my favorite English teachers didn't get his bachelor's degree until about two years after I graduated. He taught on an 'emergency' teacher's certificate from 1943 until 1964 on that certificate, and was one of the best English grammar teachers I have known. Teaching isn't something you learn, it is a talent, or maybe an art. Sure, you can learn methods, and about standards, testing theories, and different approaches to 'classroom management', but the ability to teach goes far beyond what is taught in education courses. I think the most essential quality is empathy.

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