If you’re just joining us, we are discussing this article, written by our custodian friend David who thinks that homeschooling is a bad idea. David has already said that teachers have the training necessary to teach kids and parents. . .well, we do not. Despite the fact the teachers themselves don’t feel confident in their training to handle various situations; David the custodian does!
David further points out that kids need experienced teachers. Teachers with the right training and the right experience. I am wondering if part of this elite group of experienced teachers would include graduates from the New York City Teaching Fellows Program?
The premise of the program is that it takes highly successful individuals (people with advanced degrees, high GPA’s or otherwise noteworthy accomplishments) and sticks them in a classroom while they simultaneously take classes towards a Master’s in Education. The idea is that successful people are successful no matter where they go because they possess some inner drive. I am sure that the program does help fill some teacher shortages and that there are some good teaching fellows who are really serving our city. However, I have yet to meet a public school teacher that says the teaching fellows are well trained enough and I have even met a few teaching fellows who have all said they are in way over their heads. An interesting side note: my husband meets all but one of the criteria for applying to the program. What’s the one requisite you might ask? They only want completely unexperienced people and when he was looking into it he had already had 4 years of teaching experience!
Another survey showed that in New York City, approximately one third of new teachers are likely to leave their jobs in the “near future”. So let’s go back to our math work. If I were to send my child to the local public school, she is fairly likely to have a teacher with less than 5 years of experience.
The truth is, you don’t need a lot of experience to teach well. If you did, cities like New York wouldn’t fund programs that allowed inexperienced teachers into the classroom. If a lack of experience was so devastating, schools would enforce a “residency” program for teachers before they actually gave them their own class. But the reality is, you don’t need a lot of experience to be a good teacher. Do you get better with more experience? Sure–especially if you’re teaching in a school setting. But the question here is can you teach your own child at home without a lot of experience and the answer is a resounding yes!
The difference is the teacher to student ratio. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that my kids learn to read, do math, and love learning. I have a good friend (who is by-the-way a fantastic teacher) who was just talking about how she hasn’t really gotten to teach too much yet because she has to do assessments. I have no such assessments to do. I know where my kids are at, what they need to work on and what sparks their curiosity.
After reading his full article, I kind of wonder if David our friendly custodian has enough of the right training and experience to comment on the education of our nation’s future!