Legacy Statement: Status of the Profession

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STATUS OF THE PROFESSION
Dr. Flynn enters the room of a patient who was recently
admitted to University Hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain. Several interns follow Dr. Flynn to the patient’s
bedside. Dr. Flynn begins to ask the patient a
series of questions. After the patient responds, Dr. Flynn
turns to one of the interns and asks for a diagnosis. The
intern gives a diagnosis. Dr. Flynn follows with a series of questions related to the basis for the diagnosis and possible treatment.
The ABC Corporation has just initiated a new data
management plan. All middle managers have been told
to report to the conference room at 8:30 A.M. on Monday.
Upon arrival, the director of human resources introduces
Ms. Dominguez from Data Resources, the
retailer of the software supporting the new data management
plan. Ms. Dominguez distributes a packet of
materials and spends the remainder of the day with the
managers, reviewing the materials in the packet, presenting
additional information using a computer presentation
platform, and showing a video related to the data
management plan.
Mr. Pell stops at Amy Black’s desk and answers a
question. He moves to the desk of another student, observes
the student writing in a workbook, points to something
the student has written, and then, in a low voice,
tells the student that the response is not correct and explains why. He continues around the room, stopping at
almost every desk to make some remark. After about
10 minutes he goes to the front of the room and says,
“Class, it appears that several people are having problems with this assignment. Let’s review how to divide one
fraction by another fraction.” Mr. Pell walks to the blackboard and begins to speak.
Which of these individuals—Dr. Flynn, Ms. Dominguez,
or Mr. Pell—is a teacher? Why? What defines the act of
teaching?
T eaching has been considered by some to be the most noble of professions. H. G.Wells went so far as to say,“The teacher, whether mother, priest, or schoolmaster, is the real maker of history.” Perhaps you are asking yourself “What is a teacher?”“What is this profession of teaching all about?”And,perhaps most important,“ Should I become a teacher?” This chapter presents an overview of the teaching profession.After studying the chapter, you should be able to: • Provide a demographic overview of America’s teaching force. • Evaluate your motives for becoming a teacher.

• Identify the most commonly cited satisfactions and dissatisfactions of teaching. • Describe a typical teacher preparation program.
• Identify the most common strategies being used to recruit minorities into teaching. • Discuss current issues related to teacher certification, including testing for certification, emergency certification, and interstate certification.

• Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of providing alternative routes for teacher certification.
• Compare projected data related to teacher supply with that projected for demand, and explore the factors contributing to supply and demand for teachers. • Identify the major elements of teacher compensation, including supplemental pay and performance-based pay.

ISBN 0-558-40540-1
Foundations of American Education, Sixth Edition, by L. Dean Webb, Arlene Metha, and K. Forbis Jordan. Published by Merrill. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc. 4 PART ONE The Teaching Profession

The Teacher and Teaching: Definitions
Put most simply, a teacher is one who instructs another.A more formal definition from the Encyclopedia of Education describes teachers as “intellectual leaders who create opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and what they know how to do” (Waid & McNergney, 2003, p. 2435). Teaching is defined in another work as “the process of helping pupils acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or appreciations by means of a systematic method of instruction” (Shafritz, Koeppe, & Soper, 1988, p. 468). B. O.Smith (1987),a...
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