SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 24CHAPTER 11–CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCHOOLINGA. OVERVIEWChapter 11 presents information on teaching as a career. The idea of whetheror not teaching is considered a career or simply a job is discussed, as well assome recent trends in education that have made teaching difficult. Also dis-cussed are characteristics of good teachers. The current status of teaching, in-cluding supply and demand and salaries is examined. Finally, shortcomings ofthe teaching field are presented.B. KEY TERMS–DEFINITIONSAMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (AFT) - a national teachers’organization second only to the NEA in membership. More than 825,000 mem-bers.BURNOUT - losing the edge, losing the desire to be the best, losing the abilityto reap rewards, greater stress.CERTIFICATION - teacher licensing.EFFECTIVE TEACHING - demonstrated competency.LEVELS OF JOB - basically three levels of jobs in the U.S. labor market: pro-fessions, semi-professions, and nonprofessions.NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NEA) - largest teachers’ organi-zation in the U.S. More than 2.2 million members.PITFALLS - some pitfalls are burnout, low job status, low salaries, and someof the results of the current reform movement.PROFESSION - many people still argue that teaching is more of a craft than aprofession.REFORMS - two of the reforms viewed negatively by teachers are: a. Merit pay: in education, the term has come to mean extra pay for out- standing or meritorious performance in teaching, paying teachers not merely on years of experience and levels of training. The problem for many is not the concept, but how it is implemented. b. Teacher testing: testing teachers and weeding out the incompetent teachers: will a pencil and paper test tell you whether the teacher is ef- fective?STRESS – pressure or strain on individuals.
CHAPTER 11–CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCHOOLING PAGE 25SUPPLY AND DEMAND - comparison between the number of teacherstrained and the number needed for the open positions.TEACHERS BENEFITS - in addition to salaries, teachers usually receive apackage of other benefits from the school board including: a. participation in a teacher retirement plan–health and dental insurance; b. disability insurance and sick leave; c. professional liability insurance and personal days; d. professional development; e. professional association membership; f. time away from teaching, extended vacations as compared to other workers.C. SOME PRECEDING THOUGHTS1. What was the nature of teaching in Colonial America? Teaching during the early years of this country was not a profession at all; rather, it was a job held by individuals with various backgrounds and with various purposes–some were individuals who taught while receiving train- ing for more respected professions, while others were women who taught because they needed extra money. Most of the teachers in early America had no training in teaching and limited basic academic training and abilities.2. How many teachers are currently employed in public schools? Approximately 2.2 million, with an additional 400,000 in private schools.3. What benefits do teacher organizations provide? a. a sense of belonging to a professional group; b. group insurance benefits; c. group liability insurance; d. cut-rate tours and excursions; e. the enhancement of the profession.4. What are some characteristics of good teachers? a. love children; b. set proper examples for children; c. provide knowledge to children;
SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 26 d. have community acceptable morals; e. motivate children to learn; f. know they are not in it for financial rewards; g. work well with parents; h. keep children under control; i. flexible–works within the changing school structure and environment; j. teach individuals rather than classes; k. allows for individual differences.5. What is the supply and demand for teachers? In the 1960s and 1970s, the number of teaching positions declined as pub- lic school enrollments dropped. As the number of job opportunities de- clined, fewer students chose to enter teacher education programs. This re- sulted in a sharp reduction of the number of graduates with teaching cre- dentials, which in turn created teacher shortages in many different fields. It is difficult to predict if teacher shortages will be widespread in the fu- ture. Shortages will continue to exist in “special needs” areas such as spe- cial education, computer science, foreign languages, science and mathe- matics, remedial education, and bilingual education.6. What are some potential shortcomings of teaching? Burnout, low job status, and low salaries. Some of this results from reform movements.7. What other professional opportunities are there in public education? Educational Administration, School Counseling, Social Work, School Health, and other Professional Support Personnel are just a few of the op- portunities that exist in public education.D. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES1. What are some reasons for entering the teaching profession? Teaching is a noble profession; it requires an ability to impart knowledge, provide leadership, instill values, and help prepare young individuals for the future. Teachers possess great power; they affect students not only dur- ing short periods of instruction in the classrooms, but beyond. Many dif- ferent professional opportunities exist in education, including classroom instruction, administration, and a host of support positions such as coun- selors, therapists, social workers, dietitians, and health personnel.
CHAPTER 11–CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCHOOLING PAGE 272. What are some characteristics of teachers? a. good teachers love children; b. good teachers set proper examples for children; c. good teachers provide knowledge to children; d. good teachers have community acceptable morals; e. good teachers motivate children to learn; f. good teachers know they are not in it for financial rewards; g. good teachers work well with parents; h. good teachers keep children under control. Teachers represent all types of Americans–male and female; majority and minority cultures; all ages; new and experienced. A general composite of today’s teachers in the public schools would be white, female, 35-39 years old, elementary teacher, with a bachelor’s degree and 11-15 years of expe- rience.3. What are some effective classroom practices? a. making sure that students know what the teacher expects; b. letting students know how to obtain help; c. following through with reminders and rewards to enforce the rules; d. providing a smooth transition between activities; e. giving students assignments of sufficient variety to maintain interest; f. monitoring the class for signs of confusion or inattention; g. being careful to avoid embarrassing students in front of their class- mates; h. responding with flexibility to unexpected developments; i. designing tasks that draw on students’ prior knowledge and experi- ence; j. helping students develop self-management skills; k. ensuring that all students are part of a classroom learning community. Source: Brophy, J. (1986 February). Classroom management techniques. Education and Urban Soci- ety, pp. 182-195; Reynolds, A. (Spring 1992). What is competent beginning teaching? A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, pp. 1-36; Brophy, J., & Alleman, J. (1998 January). Classroom management. Social Education, pp. 56-58. Adapted with permission.
SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 284. What are some effective teaching steps? a. begin lesson with a review of relevant previous learning and a preview and goal statement; b. present new material in small steps, with clear and detailed explana- tions and active student practice after each step; c. guide students in initial practice; ask questions and check for under- standing; d. provide systematic feedback and corrections; e. supervise independent practice; monitor and assist seatwork; f. provide weekly and monthly review and testing. Several other prominent advocates of explicit teaching, such as Jere Bro- phy, Thomas Good, Madeline Hunter, and Jane Stallings, have outlined similar components of direct instruction. Source: Brophy, J., & Good, T.I. (1986). Teacher behavior and student achievement. In M.C. Wittrock, (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan; Stahl, S.A., & Hayes, D.A. (Eds.). (1996). Instructional models in reading. Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum; Cooper, J.M. (Ed.). (1999). Classroom teaching skills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Adapted with per- mission.5. What are some important aspects of the effective school movement for improving schools? a. strong emphasis on educational objectives; b. well defined role of the administrator; c. strong emphasis on the school as a place for learning; d. curricular goals are well defined and supported; e. positive teacher behaviors exhibited to all students; f. the total staff is actively involved in maintaining an orderly learning environment; g. instructional time is protected, emphasized, and deemed important; h. low level of employee turnover and relatively high employee morale; i. administrators use their power in a positive manner; j. administrators establish, support, and reinforce the overall sense of in- volvement in the school; k. administrators focus on the quality of instruction; l. self reinforcing cycle of normative behavior in the school.
CHAPTER 11–CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCHOOLING PAGE 29 E. REVIEW ITEMS True-False 1. The launching of a Russian satellite named Sputnik in 1957 caused a panic regarding public education in the U.S. 2. Teaching, along with law and medicine, is almost universally acknowl- edged to be a profession. 3. Among colonial public schools, the Latin Grammar School had the best qualified teachers. 4. Public education is the largest single employer in the U.S. 5. Long periods of training are one characteristic of a profession. 6. Teaching is one of the most heavily unorganized occupations in the U.S. 7. Teacher organizations, unlike the professional organizations of doctors and lawyers, engage in collective bargaining. 8. The mean number of years taught by public teachers rose between 1996 and 2002. 9. The profile of the average teacher includes: bachelor’s degree, white, fe- male.10. In general, most Americans are highly dissatisfied with the quality of our public school teachers.11. Many teachers view merit pay with great suspicion.12. The teacher’s primary role is information dissemination.13. Excellent knowledge of subject matter is an important characteristic of good teachers.14. The recent sharp reductions in the number of college graduates with teach- ing credentials has created teacher shortages in many “special needs” dif- ferent fields.15. The number of education majors in science and math have increased sub- stantially in recent years.16. The first state to enact a teacher competency test was Arkansas. Multiple Choice 1. According to the text, the cornerstones of education are _______. a. administrators b. counselors c. teachers d. all of the above
SCHOOLING (2002) PAGE 30 2. In colonial America, teachers were sometimes _______. a. poorly educated b. bond servants c. religious fanatics d. all of the above 3. The Latin Grammar School’s goal was _______. a. preparation of students in Greek and Latin b. preparation of students in Latin and English grammar c. preparation of students to be teachers d. all of the above 4. The typical teacher of the 19th century was _______. a. female b. lazy c. slovenly d. all of the above 5. In conclusion, education is probably _______. a. an art b. a craft c. a profession d. all of the above 6. The majority of teachers feel their contribution to society _______. a. is negligible b. is insignificant c. is significant d. the majority have no opinion 7. Assessment of education and psychological needs of students is generally performed by school _______. a. social workers b. health personnel c. counselors d. none of the above 8. Over the past 40 years, the number of school districts in the United States _______. a. has increased significantly b. has decreased significantly c. has been relatively stable d. has increased slightly 9. In 1983-84 the mean salary for classroom teachers was around _______. a. $14,000 b. $17,000 c. $22,000 d. $26,00010. Reasons that make teaching an attractive career are _______. a. long and frequent vacations b. high salaries c. light workload d. none of the above11. Among the reasons teaching is an attractive career is _______. a. short work days b. good fringe benefits c. good job security in tenured districts d. all of the above
CHAPTER 11–CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCHOOLING PAGE 3112. Which is not a method for reducing teacher “burnout.” a. eliminate unpopular classes b. reduce class size c. reduce paperwork to a bare minimum d. provide rewards other than financial13. The educational reform movements that were initiated in the late 1970s and early 1980s were viewed by most teachers _______. a. with great skepticism b. somewhat positively c. very positively d. somewhat negatively14. In 2002, the mean salary for classroom teachers was around _______. a. $28,000 b. $32,000 c. $36,000 d. $39,000