In a recent article, the Obama administration is proposing new regulations that require teacher training programs to track the success of their graduates. Director of the Association of Colleges, Deborah Koolbeck, believe that the new initiative goes far beyond federal powers and will become a problem for most programs. Former president of Teachers College at Columbia University, Author Levine believes the regulations would allow programs to become more transparent. Some teachers believe that transparency would provide the opportunity to help teachers choose the best teacher training program.
One of the initiatives that the Obama administration may consider is the selection process for perspective teachers. As a former electronics engineer, I was bored with the industry and wanted to change my profession. However, before I choose teaching as a profession, I had to make sure that I liked children. I decided to become a volunteer basketball coach. After wining several championships, I knew that I liked children and with my love for mathematics became a very successful mathematics teacher.
Many teachers do not have the same benefit. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, the attrition rate for teachers is 20%. While some teachers left the profession to retire, for better pay, or for family reasons, the main reason was dissatisfaction with working conditions. Teacher attrition is costing school districts in the neighborhood of $2.2 billion annually.
Many teachers enter the profession only for the perks. Those perks include a six hour work day with every evening off, every weekend off, and every summer off. This is especially beneficial for woman who intend to have a family. It provides them an opportunity to raise a family and contribute monetarily to their family.
The problem is that most teachers realize that they do not like children until it is to late. Most people finish a teacher training program in dept. Then the purchase a car and maybe a home. They get married and realize that they do not like children. Now it is to late because they need the job to pay off their debt.
The teachers who realize that they do not like children become stressed with the job and children that bring them stress. In many cases, children who do not embrace the same values as they teacher become victimized by the disgruntled teacher.
I believe that this is the major reason why we have racism in education. White females take on the teaching profession as a way to provide for their family and have the time to spend with their family because they will have every evening off, every weekend off, and every summer off. They get into the classroom with Black children and realize that they do not like the children because the Black children have different verbal and nonverbal behaviors.
We find this trend in the number of suspensions for Black preschool children. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, “Black children represent 18% of preschool enrollment, but 48% of preschool children receiving more than one out-of school suspension; in comparison, white students represent 43% of preschool enrollment but 26% of preschool children receiving more than one out of school suspension. Boys represent 79% of preschool children suspended once and 82% of preschool children suspended multiple times, although boys represent 54% of preschool enrollment”. The survival for the White female teacher results in racism against minority children.
Before the Obama administration recommends policies for teacher training programs, they should provide teachers with qualifying criteria. The criteria should involve teachers volunteering coaching children to make sure that they will enjoy teaching Black children. In this way, they will become indoctrinated to the Black culture and make an informed decision before they enter into a teacher training program.
Ed Dept. seek to improve teacher prep programs
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
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