Monday, June 04, 2007

Blogger burnout and what I would change

The end of the school year came, and did I ever get hit with a case of blogger burnout. Last week I didn't even want to look at my own blog or anybody else's. Finally, today, I took a glance around, and the Portable Princess has inspired me with her post, "You're the Education God." The Portable Princess asks us what changes we would make if we had the power to do so. If you've been reading my blog, you probably have a pretty good idea of what my responses to that are, but here they are anyway. Since I've been blabbing away for the last year, this is probably a great way to wrap up the school year.

1. Give teachers the authority to remove disruptive and blatantly apathetic students from their classrooms. (In other words, give classrooms teachers the same power that coaches of high school athletic teams have.)

2. Give principals the authority to keep their best teachers, regardless of years of experience, when cuts have to be made. And also give them real power to get rid of teachers who aren't doing their jobs. (I don't think there are nearly as many of these as our critics say, but there shouldn't be any at all.)

3. Get colleges of education to quit focusing exclusively on "student centered" theories and methods (multiple intelligences, cooperative learning, etc.), and begin giving close to equal time to more "teacher centered" methods like Direct Instruction.

So there you are. If you agree, great! If not, as Pat Benatar would say, "Hit me with your best shot!"


Anonymous Roger Sweeny said...

In the United States, you cannot sell a drug unless you have proved that it is both safe and effective in a series of scientific studies. And those studies have to be good, with control groups, a reasonable length of time, etc.

Number threee could be strengthened to require schools of education to only teach techniques and procedures that have been proven to be both safe and effective.

Alas, that would leave them so little that most would have to shut down. But then some would consider that a feature rather than a bug.

6/04/2007 4:28 PM  
Blogger Strausser said...

Boy I hear you about getting blog burn out...I was so swamped under that I have not even logged into mine since March!!

As for your points, I would have to totally high five you on the getting rid of bad teachers part (less than the critics think but a lot more than there should be).

The two things that I would add are: First, cut down the number of hoops we have to jump through to prove that we know what we are doing in our classroom. And secondly, stop all the insanity of staff development meeting trying to teach us the latest and greatest education theories!

6/05/2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger Law and Order Teacher said...

To bring about #2 the unions are going to have to be reined in. The unions are all about protecting their turf and increasing their membership rolls. Ol Reg makes in excess of $400,000 a year. Good work if you can get it. As far as #3 goes, I don't think we'll ever get away from the "latest and greatest." America is addicted to seminars, focus groups, and consultants. What a great way to make money rather than getting into the classroom where you are needed. Interesting post.

6/05/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not want admin to have more power to hire/fire. I want teachers, like lawyers and doctors, to be in charge of our own profession. My admin had hired some of the worst, laziest, crudest teachers into my department in the last few years and we, in the department, have no veto power. I find that appalling. I have no power in my own profession to decide who makes it in or not adn now it has been lessened and cheapened by these people.

6/07/2007 3:56 PM  
Blogger Dennis Fermoyle said...

Anonymous, you think that I should get rid of my second change, but I think I should add a fourth: Do something to make it more likely that the people who end up in administration are the best and brightest in our field. That is too seldom the case today, and you're right--that's a problem.

6/07/2007 5:52 PM  
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8/06/2016 7:14 PM  

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