To Teach is to Serve

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.   “Chinese proverb”

Education is one of the most important factors in life. If the basic necessities of life come first in the pyramid of life, education would definitely come right after it. In fact, we have come to a day and age where education might be one of the only ways to be able to seek those basic necessities of life. But, better than that, the whole realm of education since elementary level means making a difference in the lives of each child. The educator that every student faces is inspiring them and impacting a great deal. Yet, it is a sad story of this country that the K-12 educators take teaching as a Peace-Corps experience, or as a line to add in their resume.

Study shows that while in countries like Singapore, Korea and others, people take teaching career as a beginning of an elite career. Here in the United States, it is just a mere job to carry them by to a different job perhaps. Educators here are supposedly the least paid professions. Why is that one that should be most important professions should have such a pathetic picture here in this country? It just seems that a teacher is just looked as a mediocre or lowly profession in this country. A person who wears that glasses to see like mentioned does not think for a second that his life has somehow largely been affected by the teachers he had in life. Hence, getting the right people in this profession is very important.

There was a special coverage in the Time magazine about recruiting better teachers. There are some programs like TFA and TNTP that are preparing individuals to start with the right foot in the profession of teaching. These programs are drastically reforming the publics schools in Memphis and other places. Schools that are willing to adopt their reforms are also receiving huge grants through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others. There are steps being taken to improve, but they have not spread out in the entire country yet. While these programs look promising, I believe that they will eventually end up just competing against the traditional method of recruiting teachers. The TFA or the TNTP projects do not require that the educators have a degree in education. And, they only need to commit for a year or two years term. But, they do go through a six weeks long boot camp training.

Teaching is a very important profession and reforms have to made to make it just that. Perhaps, the federal government needs to come with a larger budget or perhaps the recruitment process for educators should go though some tough competition and should be evaluated quite frequently. Perhaps, private and the corporate world need to starting funding public schools for educators. But, something has to be done. The recruitment team must identify passionate people. They must see into it that the educator will just not use the profession as a medium to get by in life. They must see to it that educators are evaluated and challenged. And if raising their pay is going to bring the real and passionate teachers into this profession, that should be considered first thing.

I again am concerned that projects like TNT and TNTP will only be another PEACE-CORP program that college graduates will just try it out before getting a real job. These program will probably help a city or two, for the real change to come the change really has to be applied on a national level. Teaching has to be presented in such a away that it is a lucrative profession. A smart individual who could make big bucks would rather go get a degree in law and medicine than in education. So, what are the ways that they would get attracted to teaching. Would short terms programs like TNT and TNTP entice them? They smart men probably would not even consider it unless the changes are made on a national level.

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