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Dedication To The Middle Years


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Qualitative mini-pilot study of junior high world language teachers

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Dedication To The Middle Years

  1. 1. Dedication to the Middle Years: The Travels and Trials of Two World Language Teachers Lili E. Carrasco
  2. 2. To all those who persevere and stay at their schools regardless of lack of supplies, cramped facilities, stressful atmospheres, low salary, and long hours, because they know the most important concern is their students.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Individuals are dissatisfied if they are not justly compensated for their efforts and accomplishments. </li></ul>However do we truly understand the psychological basis for equity? Equity is the balance of what the worker puts in and the rewards they receive as compared with what others receive. Inequity causes dissatisfaction and occurs when workers see others who invest less into their jobs receive the same rewards and one who put more time and effort.
  4. 4. Specialized instructors like world language teachers are more likely to leave teaching than teachers in core academics subjects such as mathematics, science, English, and social studies (Boe, Bobbitt, Cook, Whitener & Weber, 1997; Schrier, 1994; Strunk & Robinson, 2006). Approximately 30% of new teachers depart teaching within three years and 40 to 50% depart within five years (Ingersoll, 2002; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003).
  5. 5. 29% of those beginning teachers who leave is due to dissatisfaction (Ingersoll, 2000). What are they dissatisfied with? student discipline and the school environment (Boser, 2000) Let’s see what two junior high world language teachers have to say.
  6. 6. The District <ul><li>Approximately 69,700 students </li></ul><ul><li>87 schools, including 58 elementaries, 13 junior highs, 7 high schools, 9 focus schools and 13 choice programs and schools </li></ul><ul><li>The free and reduced-price lunch rate, an indicator of poverty, is 52% </li></ul>
  7. 7. Demographics Of The Student Body <ul><li>The District As A Whole </li></ul><ul><li>Junior High Schools Within The District </li></ul><ul><li>50.5% White </li></ul><ul><li>4.6% African American </li></ul><ul><li>38.2% Hispanic </li></ul><ul><li>4.3% Native American </li></ul><ul><li>2.4% Asian </li></ul><ul><li>52.3% White </li></ul><ul><li>4.7% African American </li></ul><ul><li>36% Hispanic </li></ul><ul><li>4.4% Native American </li></ul><ul><li>2.6% Asian </li></ul>
  8. 8. Two Junior High Schools <ul><li>Blackwell Junior High* </li></ul><ul><li>Newman Junior High* </li></ul><ul><li>1,249 students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>61.2% White </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4.2% African American </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3o.6% Hispanic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.4% Native American </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.6% Asian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>19.9% ELL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff reduced by 9% </li></ul><ul><li>World Language Department size was reduced by 50% </li></ul><ul><li>1,266 students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>77.1% White </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2% African American </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9.7% Hispanic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8.8% Native American </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.4% Asian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6.1% ELL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff reduced by 9% </li></ul><ul><li>World Language Department did NOT reduce in size </li></ul>
  9. 9. Tale of Two World Language Teachers <ul><li>Blackwell Junior High* </li></ul><ul><li>Bauer* </li></ul><ul><li>Newman Junior High* </li></ul><ul><li>Maddie* </li></ul><ul><li>First year </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary education major </li></ul><ul><li>Minor in Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>Currently earning foreign language endorsement </li></ul><ul><li>Shared between two junior highs </li></ul><ul><li>Was a long term substitute teacher in the district </li></ul><ul><li>13 th year of teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Department chair </li></ul><ul><li>BA French & MA in secondary education </li></ul><ul><li>K-12 foreign language endorsement in Spanish and French </li></ul><ul><li>Spent last 9 years at current site </li></ul>
  10. 10. Expectations about Administration & Colleagues <ul><li>Bauer </li></ul><ul><li>Treated professionally and with respect </li></ul><ul><li>Maddie </li></ul><ul><li>Make enough money to live reasonably well by using her foreign language abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Support from colleagues and administration </li></ul><ul><li>To enjoy herself and her students </li></ul>
  11. 11. Bauer & Meeting of Expectations <ul><li>Treated with respect by colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Never felt administration respects him </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have yet to feel that she cares that I have to travel and share a room. I have a spot in the world language office but I have to cart my things to other rooms, I don’t even have my own bulletin board. She told me that if I didn’t like it then I need to look for another job.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Maddie & Meeting of Expectations “ My first principal and my current principal have both recognized that as a working mom that emergencies will happen. I have had a principal in the past that told me that if my son is sick why doesn’t his dad stay home to take care of him. He did even bother to know me enough to realize that I was divorced and my ex lived in another state. The most pathetic part was that he was principal there for three years. Good thing he left or I would have. Now I have a wonderful principal who knows me and supports all of his teachers.”
  13. 13. Compensation, Recognition, Benefits & Opportunities to Grow <ul><li>Bauer </li></ul><ul><li>Put in extra time without compensation </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a new teacher the only recognition you get is that you are new” </li></ul><ul><li>District offers class but not within my field </li></ul><ul><li>In-services are “a waste of my time and the district’s money” </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Maddie </li></ul><ul><li>“ My district has become stingy in its praise” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I show my appreciation for my colleagues” </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a district, it hasn’t been that nurturing for my department; we don’t have a high stakes test, so we are put on the back burner. This year we were do rewrite the curriculum and get new textbooks but that has been allocated for later since we need to concern ourselves with raising AIMS scores.” </li></ul>Compensation, Recognition, Benefits & Opportunities to Grow
  15. 15. Community Support <ul><li>Both agree that in general the public is not that supportive of teachers and that the lack of respect for teaching as a profession is spilling into the classroom via students. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Bauer & Parental Support <ul><li>“ I would like to see more parent support in the area of discipline. So many kids are permitted to get away with things because either the parents are not at home or they just don’t have the time or energy to deal with their kids. Then it spills over into school. Parents question everything. I have parents asking me why I teach Spanish the way that I do. I feel like I get little credit for being a professional.” </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“ Our parents spend time with their kids. Some parents do call to complain, usually at progress report and report card time but over the years I have had my compliments as well. This week I got a thank you note from a parent that I stayed after school to talk with. I love praise and having fun just like the kids do.” </li></ul>Maddie & Parental Support
  18. 18. Summation <ul><li>What occurs early in teachers’ careers plays a key role in decisions to leave or stay in teaching. </li></ul>Teachers want and need strong support and respect from administrators, parents, students, and the community at large. Teachers expect to be treated and valued as the professionals that they are.
  19. 19. Dworkin's Model of Turnover Maddie Bauer ENGAGED IN JOB Expectations are not met Expectations are met Feelings of inequity Job opportunities No job opportunities ENTRAPPED Likely to leave LEAVE Feelings of equity STAYS
  20. 20. The District spend $413,800 on student drop out programs. <ul><li>The District spend $41,729 on programs to help retain teacher (mentoring, workshops, in-services, etc.) </li></ul>
  21. 21. You might be a junior high teacher if . . . <ul><li>You can tell it's a full moon without ever looking outside. </li></ul><ul><li>You believe &quot;extremely annoying&quot; should have its own box on the report card. </li></ul><ul><li>When you are out in public you snap your fingers at kids who are misbehaving. </li></ul><ul><li>You give your spouse &quot;the look&quot; when they &quot;misbehave.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce, earned by having worked in a junior high school for 5 years. </li></ul><ul><li>You encourage a parent to check into homeschooling. </li></ul><ul><li>You don't want children of your own because there isn't a name you can hear that wouldn't elevate your blood pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>You think that IV caffeine should be available in staff rooms. </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting a child's parent instantly answers: &quot;Why is this kid like that?&quot; </li></ul>