What A Teacher Thinks Teachers Need
I'm concerned about education in this country.

Does that sound extremely cliched? Possibly I ought to adjust my statement. I'm thinking about the education of teachers in this country.

Around seven years back, I completed a Master of Arts in Teaching program in which i learned nothing at all. My evening classes were uniformly taught by older individuals (largely males, they all White) and the three hour sessions overwhelmingly contains one teaching method: lecture.

Imagine, if you will, a high school art class where the teacher lectures on strategy, but the students never lift a paintbrush. Or a science class that learns about chemical reactions, but never completes a science lab. That was my education program. I sailed through the program with out read a single "required" textbook. I did not even purchase the majority of them. Because I had already ended up a teaching job, I used the time to mark reports, make lesson plans and when I had no schoolwork to do, I even managed the occasional letter to my grandma. How may a professor training Classroom Administration not notice that I've slipped in my favorite book to read below the table? And why does a class on Curriculum Evaluation and Design hyper-focus on including activities for all those learning styles when the professor didn't do anything but lecture? As is the case for most in the teaching job, I quickly remarked that all my useful teaching techniques would come from experience in the classroom and not more teacher recertification courses, but rather many more experienced colleagues. Psychologically checked out, I went through the movements of my degree and managed to graduate with a 4.0.

"I wish I was permitted hands-on experience from day one," said one coworker when I began surveying course instructors to find out if my experiences were the norm. The other teachers I interviewed echoed her viewpoint. "I needed additional time in the classroom, more effort with veteran teachers, more shadowing of administrators, more work with diverse class room cultures." More.

Teachers need more.

What would education courses appear to be if pre-service teachers were associated with master teachers for the complete course of their training? Think of being in a class room and seeing what you're learning, doing what you are learning from the first day. How much better would you be when you took on your very first solo class? How much simpler would employing be when schools have had the opportunity to determine good quality teachers familiar with their communities and values? How much better would training be for the K-12 students who never have to serve as the learning curve for that first year teacher? It is a significant proposal, but we are due for a major change.

Still, suppose that higher education is not prepared to tackle this type of change. Even if we maintain the existing structure for a degree in education and teacher recertification, the courses shouldn't teach the theory behind greatest practices; they should be our greatest practices. What would a training course on Class room Management look like if students were offered the tasks of "trouble" children to play while another student taught? What if a course on Lesson Plan and Design targeted less on whether the goal comes before the goal and allowed students to experiment with different styles by teaching mini-lessons to their friends? What if the professors in each and every education class eliminated lecture as an acceptable teaching tool? Any good teacher knows that students learn best by doing.

Thus why are not we DOING?

I hope my experiences are not those of each and every educator in this country. I hope that someplace out there exist creative, effective and hands-on degrees which are building the next generation of teachers. I wish that someplace, teachers are walking into their first classrooms with all the experience they require and jumping right in. But I have not seen it yet.

Thus, for now, I offer my thanks to all of the teachers, managers and students who gave me the actual tools necessary to make my class room a better place and I invite folks new to the trade to swing by for a visit at any time. Just don't expect me to talk at you. You'll be too busy learning to listen to me.

Online Teacher Recertification Classes on bullying. Stopping it quickly and effectively.
One of the subjects rising in popularity in news coverage in 2010 is bullying, and of course some of the very first things implicated along with bullying are schools, the classroom, and teachers. Therefore you can expect to see many teacher professional development courses and administrative initiatives designed around exposing teachers to ways to notice, prevent, and stop bullying. Bullying is nothing new, and there are already a number of great options for teacher recertification courses to help teachers with this subject.

Studies have shown that about one in three kids has atleast once been the victim of bullying - which is far too large a quantity to be brushed aside. It has been declared before that being bullied builds character, but studies have shown that the opposite is true. It is more likely that kids who have been bullied but then go on to successfully confront the bullier and stop being harangued are the ones who victoriously gain character and confidence. But so far, these cases are rare. Instead of growing a thicker skin, kids that are bullied, in fact, are at a much higher risk for depression symptoms, anxiety, and other mental disorders than the bullies themselves or kids that are not bullies, (but don't get bullied themselves either). There have even been laws passed in several states to prevent bullying because of the increasing number of bullying incidents and the severe consequences. In fact, in late 2010 there have been numerous reported suicides by children who cite being bullied as the incendiary for their extremely depressed state. Some kids have to change schools, some become depressed, and in the worst cases some commit suicide.

This problem does have a fairly simple solution - studies show that if just one bystander stands up to the bully, the bully will almost always stop within seconds. Not only that, but the bully stops for good. It is so important for faculty in schools to learn how to empower their students to stand up for each other and this is where professional teacher development comes in. Teacher classes are crucial in giving teachers the tools they need to prevent bullying and to pass those tools onto their students.

One way that teachers can help students contend with bullying is to ask them what makes them proud. Instilling self-confidence can help someone who has been bullied, but it can also make a student more likely to advocate his or her peers. Again, the best solution to a bullying problem is for the bystanders to take action and confront the bully. When a group voices its disapproval, the bully is much less likely to continue. Effective teacher professional development courses will cover many other different methods and resources as well.

Interestingly enough, bullying is not unique to people. Many other animal groups exhibit bullying, especially other primates. Unfortunately in the animal kingdom the bully is often the leader of the pack; the bullies are rewarded for their bad behavior. We have a chance as compassionate people to realize that bullying is not right, and to stop it when it starts (or ideally create an environment in which all students tacitly are aware that any such behavior will be immediately shut-down). Our teachers should participate in professional teacher development that will give them applicable skills to deal with this problem in the classroom.

In summary, bullying is a major problem, but the solution starts with awareness and preparedness. Teacher recertification in the context of professional development courses can give teachers the capacity to help their students prevent it. Empowering students is the most central skill gained in the best professional teacher development programs. Teaching students to stand up for their peers is helpful in school and in the classroom, but it is also helpful later on in life. These skills can help students prepare to make a difference in the world. This is why it is so important for teachers in the classroom to enlist all the other students in this effort.

Basic Info Regarding Teacher Recertification Classes
A number of options exist for teachers searching for online graduate courses. Online graduate courses can be used for continuing education (CEUs), in-service credit, or graduate credit. Teacher professional development by way of these online graduate courses can be applied towards a salary increase, license recertification, or other forms of job advancement. Many universities offer online classes for teachers either directly through the university itself, or through adjunct/affiliate professors who are authorized to offer classes and serve as a channel for accreditation.

There are a number of benefits to approaching teacher professional development through online courses. For the teachers, these courses can certainly help them meet state requirements, they can get raises, and (most importantly!) they can learn skills and practices of teaching that they can use immediately in the classroom.

Correspondence courses for teacher professional development allows teachers to spend less time driving to classes and more time preparing and working in the classroom. Often online options are less costly as well. In this case, whether the district or the teacher themselves is paying, money is saved.

Online graduate courses for teachers enable school districts to help their educators develop the skills necessary to excel and provide the students with the best education and learning environment possible. These courses lend themselves to a variety of ways to measure and evaluate competence as well. Since these courses can be offered for all teachers at a school, they can even discuss the materials learned in a discussion environment. By working together teachers still get an interactive education from online teacher professional development.

Some of the most common challenges that schools face in terms of teacher professional development are:
1) developing a unified framework for how to teach,
2) communication between teachers and administration about what exactly the teachers need,
3) teaching ESL students, and
4) effectively teaching students that are not the norm - underachievers, gifted students, and special education.
Note: Many teacher professional development courses actually address these topics.

Other topics that are often the subject of teacher professional development have to do with technology - especially the concept of integrating technology in the classroom, using technology to simplify grading and creating assignments, making websites for classes so that students have up to date information, and learning how to reach and relate to these young students that are so immersed in technology constantly.

It shouldn't go unsaid that in addition to professional development, teachers can also get other graduate credit online as well as completing entire Master's of Education programs online . Many online programs also have arrangements with local schools so that teachers have access to materials and technology that they might not already have.

If a school district is looking for a large-scale solution to teacher professional development, these sorts of online classes for teachers may be a good opportunity to take advantage of. As previously mentioned, teachers can meet state specifications and enrich their skillsets; they can also interact with other teachers in their district who are taking the same programs.


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