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November 30, 2008

Teacher Qualification and Support

Charlie Rose, a journalist who hosts the nightly PBS news program “Charlie Rose,” hosted a dialogue on issues regarding the quality of teachers in a roundtable discussion on July 10, 2008, which can be viewed on his website, http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9167. During this roundtable, Jason Kamras, the 2005 national teacher of the year, suggested “not tolerat[ing] mediocrity,…[giving] challenges to high performing teachers,…[and paying] teachers more and more smartly” to improve the educational system in the United States (Rose Interview 10 minutes, 40 seconds)*. I strongly believe that many teachers in the workforce currently are providing a disservice to students in their classrooms because they are not qualified enough to be teaching, and at the same time, exceptional teachers do not have the support necessary to make a difference in their students’ academic careers.

I like the idea that Jason Kamras suggests about not accepting mediocrity from teachers. What tends to happen is that qualified teachers accept job offers from the same types of schools, typically those with higher budgets and more resources. Therefore, students coming from low-income families or minority backgrounds (which tend to be related) get stuck with unqualified teachers. These children do not receive the same quality education as a student with a highly qualified teacher. Instead, they have teachers that may not be any more knowledgeable on the subject than the students are. So, how can teachers test the comprehension level of their students if they themselves do not understand what they are teaching? Furthermore, these types of teachers are typically less enthusiastic about what they are teaching and are less likely to motivate their students to be passionate about the topic at hand.

Thanks for reading!

** Quote taken from “An hour on Education with National Teachers of the Year.” Charlie Rose. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9167. July 10, 2008.

Posted by ksackett at November 30, 2008 01:06 PM