Addressing the Problems in Our Schools
MBA 533—Human Resource in Management
October 17, 2010
Addressing the Problems in Our Schools2
The general public views teachers as those who spend their days doing arts and crafts, singing and dancing, enjoying extended winter and summer breaks, and collecting apple paraphernalia. People do not always recognize the enormous responsibility that is placed on teachers. They also endure a massive amount of blame when children do not succeed as expected.
Schools all over the United States are looking for new ways to attract, reward and retain good teachers. Degrees and certifications are required to begin a career in teaching but achieving these do not always result in the best teachers. There is no magic formula for what makes a good teacher but most would agree that they must have a strong belief in all children’s ability to learn.
It is said that a beginning teacher will not master classroom management until they have taught for two years and it will take approximately six to seven years for them to become fully proficient. The distressing truth is that new teachers are increasingly leaving the profession within their first five years of teaching. The top three complaints are poor salary, poor student motivation, and poor administrative support. As a former teacher, I can honestly say that these were my top three reasons for leaving, after only having taught for three and one- half years. It is disheartening to place all of your efforts into something that offers so little in return.
America scored sixteenth in reading and twenty-fifth in mathematics in a comparison of thirty countries. We are loosing ground in relationship to the rest Addressing the Problems in Our Schools3
of the world and with the tough economic times we are facing, this is unacceptable. It is time for American schools to address the problems hindering our children. A famous quote by Ignacio Estrada says “if a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” (ThinkExist.com Quotations) We must identify our schools’ weaknesses and strive to improve them at all costs. It is up to a teacher to provide instruction and opportunities to children equally but there are many other aspects of teaching that must also be considered. Job design.
I believe that the overall job design of teachers should be re-evaluated using a motivational approach. Schools assign new tasks to teachers without considering their needs. Teachers need to be provided with job enrichment so that they are motivated to inspire their students. States are placing more and more demands on schools which usually rest on the teacher. The decline in teachers’ commitment to the profession, along with my own experience, leads me to believe that satisfaction and motivation levels have decreased. Training activities.
Students attending universities to attain degrees in education receive lecture-discussion and case-method training approaches in the classroom. The final internship provides for additional approaches including behavioral modeling and coaching and counseling. Interns are usually transferred and rotated to different grade levels at the end of their internship to gain exposure to various Addressing the Problems in Our Schools4
areas. But, once employed, a gap in training exists. Schools send teachers to the required training but teacher’s individual needs are rarely addressed and specific training offered. School systems seem to forget about the ongoing training needed for areas other than certification renewals. Recruitment activities.
Recruiting a teacher is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly. Currently, states are addressing both the recruitment and retention of teachers by offering perks like scholarship programs, loan and loan-forgiveness programs, etc. It is up to each...