My Solution to a Major Problem in Education

THE PROBLEM

There are two different categories of teacher that are affected by this problem.

Category 1: In my opinion teacher training is ineffective. New teachers don’t get enough practical exposure to the workings of a classroom and do not come fully prepared to deal with the issues that arises when teaching their own class. Because they are new, and yet to earn their stripes they are less comfortable than most to ask for help or seek guidance. They also often begin on trial 1 year contracts, thus pressurising them into showing their worth and instilling confidence in their colleagues. Such a teacher will not want to seem incapable or lacking in proficiency.

Category 2: Many teachers are being roundly criticised at the moment for not performing up to standard. It seems to be in vogue to blame teachers, when in truth there is a lot wrong with education – it isn’t just about the quality of teachers. These teachers do exist and require much more support rather than the threat of being cut and left unemployed.

THE SOLUTION

The solution that I propose is two tiered:

1. Experienced teachers who are deemed to be excelling at a certain standard are offered a mentoring role for higher wages. If accepted to take on that role, these teachers would offer new teachers the chance to spend a few days in their classroom, let them observe their lessons, give them access to the their planning material and be someone out of that teacher’s school environment who can deliver advice and guidance via email and phone. This challenges the mentor teacher to strive in their new position as well as their underling.

2. For the second category of teacher, I recommend that newly retired teachers, who have left the profession with a wealth of knowledge and an eagerness to maintain links with the profession, be paid to mentor and assist teachers who have not been performing at the required benchmarks. Instead of firing teachers in the first instance, I propose that these teachers get the opportunity to improve with a greater deal of support and collaboration.

WHAT THIS SOLUTION ACHIEVES

• Provides the opportunity for excellent teachers to be better paid;

• Allows retired teachers to maintain links with their profession and share their wealth of experience;

• Gives new teachers greater confidence and a non-judgemental mentor who they can approach; and

• Allows teachers currently not working at their premium a second chance that may reinvigorate and refresh them.

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2 Responses to “My Solution to a Major Problem in Education”

  1. Anthony Purcell Says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I agree with you on this point. Too many teachers when they retire are completely done with teaching. We need those mentors. Even current teachers that are mentoring need to really mentor. However, I feel that mentoring is a little two way. Veteran teachers can be learning from the newer teachers just as much as mentoring. Thanks got the great post!

  2. Jumping in Mud Puddles Says:

    Many of our retired teachers are subbing. I had a mentor when I started teaching, and it was a joke. They got paid and she saw me in hall to talk about how things were going. I did much better just asking around.

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