"If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing, what would it be?"
Joel Klein, a former leader of New York City schools, gets asked this question a lot. In the article Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein, Mr. Klein discusses changes in school systems and professionalizing teaching.
- Better academic training for prospective teachers.
- Teachers need to have stronger educational backgrounds. For example, there are many prospective educators out there who are avoiding jobs as science or math teachers because they don't have a strong background in either of those subjects. We have to make sure through schooling and evaluations that prospective teachers can pave the way for educators after them.
- There has to be a new approach to recruiting teachers. When I first saw the statement in Joel Klein's article, "For decades, we've let virtually anyone with a college degree become a teacher," I had take a second and think about that. I have seen the Coach-and-History teacher combo first hand more than a few times in high school. I was once discouraged to become a history teacher because football coaches usually took those positions. How? I have to agree with Mr. Klein, this illogical situation has been around for years. One solution, according to Mr. Klein, is to pick from the top third of our graduates and to make the requirements much more difficult.
- We have to change our we reward teachers. Seniority shouldn't dictate who loses their job. New teachers that have just entered a school system shouldn't be in danger of losing their job just because they were hired last. Whether you keep your job or not should be based on how you performed in that position.