Teacher Preparation

One would think that in the selection process for teachers, ability to breathe should not be the most difficult criteria on the list. Please do not go berserk and think that I am beginning to bash teachers, because I am not. I am however curious as to why there are not more stringent requirements and testing, such as with doctors and lawyers for teachers? Yes there is the certification process that thanks to the NCLB law is now required for all public school teachers-but still not all teachers. I propose that there should be more required of a person, than is currently mandated, that will have within their power the potential to shape the minds of an entire generation.

Teachers should have to go through an intensive education program that helps to match their skills and abilities to real life in the classroom setting. There should be an intensive residency type program, similar to what Doctors must go through, for new teachers that gives more direction than the current “Student Teacher” positions. This residency type program will help to give teachers the real life skills that they need to successfully instruct our nation’s youth. I believe this type of intensive program will help to increase the desire of high school grads, and young college students to become teachers. Which leads me to a question.

Why isn’t it true in our society that the teaching schools are filled and have years long waitlists to get into the profession? Why aren’t people in our power mad society driven to become teachers? Really-having a captive audience of 30 children for seven hours a day, and 180 or so days per year sounds like the perfect job for most type A personalities. So why isn’t teaching the first job choice for so many people?

Because it is a thankless profession, filled with teachers who have to deal with children whose own parents do not want to parent them. Teachers are underpaid, but I do not think that is the main reason that 50% of teachers quit the profession after only three years. I believe it has more to do with lack of preparation and continuing professional development. Teachers, in general, are wonderful people deserving of our respect and the very best resources to be successful in their jobs.