Copie from an actual teacher:
I decided to research everyone Greg Abbott picked to be on this so called “task force” to help better understand the mass teacher shortage we are currently facing in Texas. Only TWO are labeled as teachers but only ONE is currently teaching in the classroom everyday.
When doing the math, the average length that these administrators have been out of the classroom is around 15 years. Some of these administrators have never taught… ever.
The shortest time out of the classroom is 2 years, but the longest is over 20 years.
The average pay for the positions that I could find is $171,000 a year. The average teacher salary in Texas is $58,000.
I hate to say it, but THIS should answer why teachers are frustrated & are leaving. Gov Abbott can’t even let teachers talk for themselves. How about he asks actual teachers what the issues are that they’re facing instead? How about he puts 28 teachers on the task force instead?
Teaching 10, 15, 20+ years ago was SO different than what teachers are feeling now in the classroom everyday.
Signed… an actual teacher.
Abbott and his party are a catastrophe for the state of Texas education wise hence economically. If you can’t properly educate or prepare the states future workforce. It just a matter of time before it catches up to the state in economics terms. It takes time. About time you realize it, it’s too late. People vote with their feet. Texas is a loser as many teachers see it.
Why the angst? Most of his team members are now Superintendents but were Teachers. Are you writing to us that Texas Superintendents no longer speak to their School’s Teachers? Are you writing that there is absolutely no communication between the two? Are you writing that Superintendents hates their own Teachers? I always thought that a Superintendent is only as strong as his/her Teacher’s.
Your not too far off as for the reason. Gosh, I hear about it almost every day from my wife. After 25 years, my wife will be leaving the teaching profession at the end of the school year, and her reasons are varied.
The lack or leadership all the way up to the superintendent is part of the reason, and yes, the more removed they are from the classroom they are the more they have lost touch with what is happening in a school every day. If she saw the pay scale for those on the committee she would find it comical, not even close to what she has made.
In her words, the task force will roll out the latest initiative from some consultants, chalk it up as a win and a year later be shocked it has not fixed a thing nor improved retention rates.
Did she think about running for Superintendent? What about teaching for a charter school?
She has been a teacher of the year three times and her post grad credentials are really good. She has been approached to go into administration but it is not where her interests, she enjoys the classroom. Charter schools? I can’t even begin to do her opinions on charter schools justice.
One thing she said is very different now with the youngest kids is how connected they are to their media and they live in a state of constant entertainment on their devices that they can control and they look at a classroom as just another form of entertainment and not education/learning and they do not like not being in control and it doesn’t hold their attention.
J V you are 100% correct. I have two girls, a 10 and a 13 years old. We went to School and used textbooks. Children use google or Teachers use pdf’s. I understand why Schools are doing it but here is MHO.
A textbook is tactile. You can pick it up at any times. You can highlight it. It becomes part of your “circle” I have discovered that children have no “connection” what so ever when it comes to google or pdf. They “treat” it like another app. It is meaningless to them. I am all for using technology but I believe 100% that Schools have made a huge mistake from getting away from text books. Both should be utilized for their full purpose.
My only classroom experience is as a student. I agree on books. They have a beginning and end. They have heft, they are substantial. You know they contain something important. I love my Kindle, but I always have a couple library books on my nightstand. Putting books in kids hands is worth the expense.
Technology only in the classroom is often not the best option. Agreed about books but there should be a happy medium it is not enough to get their attention it is to keep them engaged.
There is a whole issue in how prepared teachers are coming out of school. They are simply not prepared, not that they don’t have the understanding of how to teach but they have no real mentorship and they start to struggle and just get deeper in the weeds, and add on top of that they are not prepared for all the administrative documentation and tracking they have to do (most of it with the intent to make things better but just adds more work).
The amount of hours after school spent preparing lesson plans and grading. Most good teachers work a few hours every night and on the weekends to simply keep up.
Administrators who look away and just keep bad teachers on staff, these are teachers who are poor teachers and have poor classroom management skills.
Lack of funding, for day to day operations, like running out of substitute funds and they have to combine classes. Now you have a teacher trying to manage 40+ kids for the day.
Parents who take no accountability for their children, and blame the teachers when they simply refuse to consider it might be their child that is at the root of the problem.
Kids who struggle in the first few grades and can’t read just get promoted via no child left behind instead of being held back. If they can’t read, why would promoting them fix it? It makes it worse.
I by no means claim to be an expert and these issues are more complex, and other educators here can chime in but I am just sharing what has stuck with me. Alone some of those issues might not have a teacher leave but in combination year after year, it can break the drive and love of teaching for many.
I had a very strict school upbringing in France. Even in elementary school we had at least an hour of home work every night. Teachers were all about fundamentals. We learned our grammar, tables and learned to remember speeches. The accountability was always there and no we did not have multiple choices. We had to learn, learn by heart and make damn sure we knew the answer. I did not learn multiple languages just like that. I had to “earn it” work for it. All of it was helped by studying our books. That was our point of reference. This was our internet. Used books was huge business back then and was still when I went to U of H. Using the internet is fine but like you wrote J V it has to be a happy medium. Like everywhere in life you have good and bad employees. In this case we are writing about teachers. To teach is a god given gift. You either have a vocation for it or you do not. Teachers do not get paid enough but at the same time many are teaching and frankly should not be teaching. This happens in every profession but teaching is paramount for any society.
I bring up the PUF to Moncoog because education is fundamental. I view it as a tremendous injustice. It should never have happened. It makes Texas look highly corrupted and mainly stupid to the world.
Well, it seems we have found something we align on.
There are many things I am sure we align on. I just do not like and never have liked professional politicians. Especially d.c. politicians. That goes for both sides.
Professional politicians should be banned and their pay go to teachers.
The sad part about education is that it is bending to the idea that students need to be entertained in the classroom. There are some very helpful technology devices for the classroom, but catering to the issues caused by social media and technology instead of fixing them is not the answer.
Many new teachers now are learning how to have these fun games and things in the classrooms using the students phones and things. Sounds good, but from what I have seen they do not encourage deep thought only surface fun, but that is just my perspective.
It carries over to the students leaving high school and are not prepared for college rigors.
When I was at UH its was textbooks and the teacher wrote on the blackboard/Dry erase board then I graduated and went to dental school and things shifted, literally in less than a year. We were given a laptop and all our textbooks were loaded onto it. The Teachers moved from the blackboard, it was still in the class room but never used, to power point presentations. I didn’t mind the power points b/c it made taking notes a lot easier but I hated not having the textbook. I was a read and highlight/write notes on the side kind of student. I failed my first legit dental school exam (never failed an exam before that). I ended up purchasing hard copies of all the text books, went back to pen and paper (printed out the power points) and never used that laptop again, never failed another exam. I grew up learning in a different time/way and was caught in the transition. I personally preferer the old way even to this day. That said these kids are used to this stuff so maybe it works for them.
Textbooks are the way to go and I used to highlight items also.
They need to speed up alternative certification.
You want to eliminate professional politicians? Ban corporate money from elections. Limit “soft money” donations to $50 per person. Where do you think the money for the attack ads not directly coordinated with candidates comes from? PACs which don’t have official connections to campaigns. Limit the amount a rich individual can spend or lend their own campaign. Pass laws that forfeit all leftover campaign contributions to the Federal Elections Commission instead of obscene “war chests” which almost guarantee incumbents win. Sounds good, right?
But know what? You can’t do any of that because the Citizens United case was settled in 2010 on a 5-4 SCOTUS vote so almost anything is perfectly legal regarding financing political campaigns. This is what has given us the campaign hellscape we see nearly all the time, as the next campaigns begin the day the election is over.
I’ve never subscribed to an “eat the rich” ethos, but I’m getting there. When corporations are legal persons more powerful than flesh-and-blood people, we get the most compliant government they can buy, little of it to our benefit.
I am convinced of the eye, hand correlation versus a laptop screen is IMO is detrimental to full comprehension. On any search engine that we use how many pages do we have open?
People truly want to understand there government need to understand the foundation of the founding of the country , it was based on landowning rich whiteman who could vote period… Not common man, not women, not blacks ( considered 3/5 of a human being written in our Constitution for political purposes so the South wouldn’t be out numbered by the more populist north) not indigenous people only good Injun I know is a dead one ( General Sherman quote) or anyone in between. Citizens united just a continuation of this, rich white guys who own these or control these corporation’s. Reason McConnell and Republicans wouldn’t let Obama confirm a Supreme Court Justice in his last year as Prez. So they could stack the court and get the results they wanted.
Our nation was founded in the midst of a revolution against greater odds than a generous God would have given. The only way it could succeed in our war against England was if all the colonies stood together and that required making concessions
to the slave holding states. Later when we drafted a Constitution steps were taken to emasculate the slave importation industry. In the war to set slaves free many white men gave their lives. Eighty years later white (and black) men died putting down two governments whose foundations were that they were racially superior. We began our move to racial equality by integrating our military and later with political and judicial action. America will always be a work in progress as are all of us.