NON-Amusing News Articles

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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:34 pm

When I read this:"He said a future Labour government would 'ensure all young people study maths and English to 18' and would not allow 'unqualified teachers to teach in our classrooms on a permanent basis'." my first thought was "poopcakes, that's not currently true?"
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:06 pm

Literacy and numeracy just don't seem to be seen as terribly important; they're mostly used as something for politicians to accuse one another of neglecting. The general culture, as far as I can tell, is that reading (or, in fact, learning of any kind) is for school, and when you leave school, you stop doing it.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:10 pm

Well things aren't exactly perfect here, we're struggling with the balance of helping young students use technology as a tool while still emphasizing the importance of knowing things other than how to get stuff from the internet or a machine. It's hard, because new initiatives are suggesting that if a kid can't read, but can understand what is read to him when a book is near him, that it is functionally the same as reading and can pass as a reading mark. I don't even have a problem at all with reading aids, but it should be noted somewhere that this is not actually reading, and that even if it's unreasonable to expect a certain child to read from written materials, you still can't pretend that isn't the case because they can listen.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:39 pm

I've deleted my previous post because I made quite a few factual errors that needed to be eliminated. I believe that the rule now is that between 16 and 18 you have to either be doing further studies or on some sort of work scheme.

Anyway, the basic premise of getting unqualified staff to teach the age group is that there's nobody else to do it, and that's about it really.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:18 pm

That had never occurred to me... here we have between 5500 and 7000 new teachers qualified each year in Ontario, all fighting with whoever is left from the 5500 teachers last year and the year before over the 1200 available jobs produced from retirement or people leaving the profession. Also, few of those jobs are permanent positions, and if they are it's likely in a town not connected to the rest of the country by roads, or a very specific set of skills is required.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:48 pm

chrismachine wrote:That had never occurred to me... here we have between 5500 and 7000 new teachers qualified each year in Ontario, all fighting with whoever is left from the 5500 teachers last year and the year before over the 1200 available jobs produced from retirement or people leaving the profession. Also, few of those jobs are permanent positions, and if they are it's likely in a town not connected to the rest of the country by roads, or a very specific set of skills is required.


It's amazing really because teaching seems to be the absolute cop out job amongst graduates (of the people I know who graduated with me, there are very few who aren't either in postgraduate study, finalising their teaching qualifications or unemployed) but there seems to be a big demand for half decent teachers all the time.

There was even a scheme a few years ago to throw incompetent bankers into teaching via a minimal training course. I don't know if that ever actually went through, though.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby ntw3001 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:33 pm

I think teaching just isn't a very sexy job here. Lots of work, lots of responsibility, not much money, not much authority. And you have to deal with teenagers. People would rather become lawyers. Teaching doesn't impress girls!
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:12 pm

Hey, I work a cop-out job... neat! No, but really I know what you mean and being in the profession I see people (though not as many as folks seem to think) who got into it for lack of a better option. If there's one thing the crippling shortage of teaching work has accomplished it's that most casual teachers, that is to say those who are in it for less than genuine reasons, tend to be weeded out in more cases as the time spent working your way in to permanent employment stretches on and on. The average career length of an Ontario teacher is 7 years, and seeing as we are actually paid reasonably well once you get in, I assume that is heavily tilted by people doing 4 years solid of supply work and short-term leave coverage before moving on. Of course any who got into it 15 years ago before this was as bad as it has become... Well we will just have to wait for them to retire and start draining the pension.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby sum yun gai » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:43 am

ntw3001 wrote:I think teaching just isn't a very sexy job here. Lots of work, lots of responsibility, not much money, not much authority. And you have to deal with teenagers. People would rather become lawyers. Teaching doesn't impress girls!


and in the US, you get to be called "moochers off society" and denigrated as having no societal value whatsoever!
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby IanC » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:35 pm

sum yun gai wrote:
ntw3001 wrote:I think teaching just isn't a very sexy job here. Lots of work, lots of responsibility, not much money, not much authority. And you have to deal with teenagers. People would rather become lawyers. Teaching doesn't impress girls!


and in the US, you get to be called "moochers off society" and denigrated as having no societal value whatsoever!

Some people think that in the UK too. Going on about how much holidays they get... they forget that teachers work a ridiculous amount of hours when they are at work, so they deserve the time off.

(and frankly, having to deal with bratty kids every day is another good reason for the time off...)
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:05 pm

chrismachine wrote:Hey, I work a cop-out job... neat! No, but really I know what you mean and being in the profession I see people (though not as many as folks seem to think) who got into it for lack of a better option. If there's one thing the crippling shortage of teaching work has accomplished it's that most casual teachers, that is to say those who are in it for less than genuine reasons, tend to be weeded out in more cases as the time spent working your way in to permanent employment stretches on and on. The average career length of an Ontario teacher is 7 years, and seeing as we are actually paid reasonably well once you get in, I assume that is heavily tilted by people doing 4 years solid of supply work and short-term leave coverage before moving on. Of course any who got into it 15 years ago before this was as bad as it has become... Well we will just have to wait for them to retire and start draining the pension.


Is that seven years in a single school, or seven years before dropping out of the profession forever? I don't think I remember that many teachers just completely giving up, maybe one or two.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:43 pm

It is 7 years as a career length total. You likely wouldn't have noticed, it would be that rotary second-language teacher you never had, that resource teacher you didn't need, that nice supply that came 7 times in the first 4 months of the year but that you didn't see again after (maybe she got a job for the rest of that year somewhere, then supplied at that school for a year after then moved on to a job as a bank teller). Really though, if you were taught by established teachers, the amount of those leaving who do so for reasons other than job scarcity is less. There are things like burnout from stress (I've seen 3 at my school in my 6 years, and one more that was related to an illness in equal part, so I don't really count it) that start as indefinite leave under a mandatory insurance plan for exactly that thing because it's reasonably common. Really stress and lack of permanent job are the two main killers. Also we don't get paid for our summers "off", so if we earned them, we're not being compensated for them. That said, at least here in Canada we make decent money, so that's less of a frustration as a knock against us than, say, Florida teachers who make less than half of what someone in my board who has been working for 12 years makes. In Florida you also have "merit pay" where principals and even a fellow teacher can influence your pay by up to 20% based on what they think of your teaching. That said, you also get what you pay for, I likely couldn't afford to do what I love in the states, and I feel like it's where I've being my best self.

Edit: A prominent US study apparently found that something like 12-13% of teachers in the states leave the profession entirely every year (Boeet al., 2008, pg. 23), so there's also that. Also, 20% of full-time Ontario teachers, where we have it pretty good (even better in 2008 when this study was done than now) who quit weren't retiring, counting only permanent ones. Another 15% left their school board looking for greener pastures. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=ca
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby sum yun gai » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:59 am

i was a teacher for 6 weeks --yes, weeks! -- because it was nigh impossible for me to get the certifications required to teach in a public school so i ended up in an alternate school. the alternate schools are typically run by a dictatorial administrator who shapes the place in their image and i unfortunately didn't fit that image for them. i still hold that i had just as much influence on the kids as they were asking of me, i just didn't resort to psychologically suppressing them as the admin wanted.

still, when i was fired from that job i didn't have anywhere else to go because with a degree in physics and math, i was being told i had to take even yet more math just to be certified to teach it, and there was no demand for physics at the public school level. and even if i had been able to get certified to teach, i would have been required to take a year's time working for free (i.e. "student teaching") before i would be considered a full-fledged teacher. it amazes me that the process doesn't turn more people away from teaching as a career.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:50 pm

So today, on a similar note, this news story has come about:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24604199

Now I could say an awful lot of things about Nick Clegg, who is easily in my five least favourite politicians, but I can't see why he's under fire for saying that only qualified teachers should be employed and that free schools ought to adhere to the national curriculum. In fact, there's one particular comment in the article that stands out, 'Last week, the head teacher of a free primary school in London, who was still studying for her postgraduate certificate in education, stood down following criticism from Labour councillors'. Unqualified teaching staff is one thing, but having a whole school run by somebody still in education just seems badly wrong.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:27 am

I assume head teacher over there means principal, as in the school's administrator? We have even more rules for that, such as the completion of courses that you can't even take until you have 5 years of teaching. Now, exceptions are made on a temporary basis for geographical reasons in the northern-most parts of our country, such as someone from my B.Ed. program who was a principal after 2 years in a remote area where you actually get a living expense stipend attached to your salary because it's so expensive to bring food in that things like bread costing $8 is common. Qualified people simply don't go there much, by rule. It's still illegal to teach in a school without being a member of the college of teachers, whose job it is to monitor, administer and help police the profession. There are exceptions to some education rules (you can teach shop class with, say, 20 years of experience as a mechanic, but if you don't have a degree you're paid like 65% of what someone would make if they did), but at least those are administered by the college.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby ntw3001 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:12 pm

I'm not entirely sure what free schools are. Are they just schools that don't have to do school stuff?
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:37 pm

chrismachine wrote:I assume head teacher over there means principal, as in the school's administrator? We have even more rules for that, such as the completion of courses that you can't even take until you have 5 years of teaching. Now, exceptions are made on a temporary basis for geographical reasons in the northern-most parts of our country, such as someone from my B.Ed. program who was a principal after 2 years in a remote area where you actually get a living expense stipend attached to your salary because it's so expensive to bring food in that things like bread costing $8 is common. Qualified people simply don't go there much, by rule. It's still illegal to teach in a school without being a member of the college of teachers, whose job it is to monitor, administer and help police the profession. There are exceptions to some education rules (you can teach shop class with, say, 20 years of experience as a mechanic, but if you don't have a degree you're paid like 65% of what someone would make if they did), but at least those are administered by the college.


Yes, the headteacher is essentially the boss. As I understand it, in an ordinary school you have to have your teaching qualifications and then you have to have further qualifications to become a part of the senior team running the school and then further qualifications again (plus all manner of other things including lots of experience) to become a headteacher. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but they're the basics of it anyway, I think there's a bit more to it than that. It's just these free schools, which are a fairly new thing, that appear to have absolutely no rules whatsoever. They can have unqualified staff, no curriculum, but apparently there are zany figures saying that those schools are absolutely super. I'm not sure precisely what the motivation behind them is, but I'm sure that 'cost' comes into it somewhere.
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby chrismachine » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:19 pm

Interestingly enough, I was sent this article today.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/ar ... lp00000008
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Re: NON-Amusing News Articles

Postby MysticalDescent » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:34 pm

chrismachine wrote:Interestingly enough, I was sent this article today.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/ar ... lp00000008


That was very interesting. I know a few people who went in to schools towards the end of their degree to see if they liked the idea of teaching. They thought they'd be getting Sixth Form groups of A-Level students (16-18) who they could have a reasoned discussion with and who wanted to be there, but then they tried putting some lessons together and got dumped working with a bottom set Year 9 group. After that they never wanted to set foot in a school again.
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