Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kate Fridkis: The Students Who Become Teachers

Kate Fridkis: The Students Who Become Teachers

"There are probably several dissertations in this. They've probably already been written and published. I'm not going to pretend to come within a mile of comprehensiveness here. Here's my armchair summary:
  • Teaching isn't that respected, as professions go. This is ridiculous. Teaching is incredibly important. I think it's one of the most important things anyone can do with their lives. But for some reason, working with children sounds to a lot of people like, 'Not doing much important.'

  • Teaching is really, really stressful. The college grads who manage somehow to get into Teach for America often crawl back, whimpering and defeated. They went in bright and idealistic and fabulous. But it's just so astoundingly hard.

  • Teaching isn't the best-paid thing you can be doing if you're very, very smart. Someone I'm close with had considered going the professorial route (albeit a different thing from teaching high school) before he realized that Wall Street was an option.

  • Teaching means dealing with a ton of bureaucracy. Even if you have great ideas, there's no guarantee that you'll be allowed to implement them."

I can't agree with these statements more. I love my job as a teacher, but I've seen why so few people stay in teaching for the long haul, and the reasons are exactly what is listed above. How do we change this?

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