Chapter 10: The Profession of Teaching

Chapter 10: The Profession of Teaching
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Slide 1: Tekstslide

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Chapter 10: The Profession of Teaching

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

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What is an American Teacher?

Slide 2 - Open vraag

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The American Teacher
  • The role of the American teacher has changed over time
  • In the 19th century, the development of formal teacher training paralleled the changing social image of teachers
  • The profession experienced a push of feminization as the role of teachers shifted to become the guardians of American morality
  • Female teachers were considered better because they were innately more moral, and also could be paid less and were less likely to seek work elsewhere

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The American Teacher
  • As the U.S. experienced a growth of urban centers and immigration, the role of teachers shifted to include roles as social welfare workers and vocational trainers
  • The classroom became a place to fight urban problems such as crowding, epidemics, drugs, and crime, and to prepare students for the factory workforce
  • During industrialization, teachers began to unionize

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The American Teacher
  • Teacher certification programs began to move to the state government around the turn of the 20th century
  • In 1898 only four states had centralized certification or licensing of teachers at the state level; by 1933, 42 states had centralized licensing that primarily required completion of teacher preparation courses at normal schools 
  • Since 1933, normal schools have become college/university departments and course requirements have gradually increased

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The American Teacher
  • Over the 20th century teaching became more politicized; from the 1920s-1950s teachers were asked to "promote 100% Americanism against fascist and communist ideas" and many states required loyalty oaths from their teachers
  • In the 1960s teachers became part of the War on Poverty, and in the 1970s-80s were expected to prepare students for the labor market
  • Today there is an emphasis on educating workers for the global economy

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No Child Left Behind & Race to the Top: Highly Qualified Teachers
  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) required Highly Qualified Teachers
  • In Title II of NCLB - "Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers" - proposes increasing student achievement through improving teacher and principal quality, and through increasing the number of highly qualified teachers, principals, and assistant principals
  • Race to the Top emphasizes new methods for evaluating teachers and collection of test score data to evaluate teachers preparation programs

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As an educator, how would you rate your overall satisfaction in the classroom?

Slide 8 - Poll

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Rewards of Teaching
  • Rewarding interactions with students
  • Workplace autonomy in the classroom and opportunities for creative decision making
  • Time for extended vacations and travel
  • Consistent income and job security

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A Profession in Crisis?
  • Salary Inconsistency - salaries vary greatly from state to state; in the 2015-16 school year, there was a projected difference of 85.5% between the state with the highest teacher salary and lowest teacher salary
  • In the 2005-06 school year, the gap between highest and lowest salary was $25,116; by 2015-16, the gap was $35,932

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A Profession in Crisis?
  • Disparity between high income and low income schools calls for evaluation of tenure laws
  • Vergara v. California - California ruling against teacher tenure and dismissal laws
  • Plaintiff Students Matter "sought to overturn 5 sections of educational code... [that] make it virtually impossible to fire abysmal teachers and concentrate such weak teachers in schools serving low-income and minority students because of seniority rules" (Spring, 304)

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A Profession in Crisis?
  • High turnover
  • Teachers are experiencing increased pressures from society and the media
  • Attacks on teacher unions
  • Increasing certification requirements
  • Calls for teacher evaluations based on student test scores

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A Profession in Crisis?
  • 2013 MetLife "American Teacher" survey found decreasing job satisfaction in both teachers and principals
  • A majority of teachers reported feeling great stress multiple days a week
  • The survey measured Personal and School Characteristics and Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Instruction
  • Discovered a profile for teachers with lower job satisfaction

Slide 13 - Tekstslide

More than twice as likely to feel under great stress
More likely to be mid-career

2/3+ low-income students
just as likely to teach in urban schools or with 2/3+ minority students
not much changed between school levels

less likely to report students performing at or above grade level in ELA and Math
more likely to say that it is challenging for school leaders to address needs of diverse learners

Teachers' Unions

Slide 14 - Woordweb

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Teacher's Unions and Teacher Politics
  • Two teachers' unions: National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • Both unions actively participate in national elections, creating a split between political parties regarding teacher unions
  • Both unions have full-time lobbyists working to protect the welfare of teachers in federal legislation  

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The National Education Association
  • Founded in 1857
  • Major function has been nationalizing the work of state education associations
  • Contributed to nationalization of the American school system
  • Influenced standardization of teacher training
  • Launched a program for collective negotiations in 1962, changing how unions spoke for teachers
  • Today the NEA is concerned with attacks on teacher testing, tenure laws, and standardized testing

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American Federation of Teachers
  • Grew out of female grade-school teachers pushing for adequate pension law in Illinois 
  • Began as the Chicago Teachers Federation in 1897; joined the Chicago Federation of Labor in 1902
  • Placed teacher issues such as teacher welfare and public education improvements into the context of the labor movement within the U.S.
  • Built a relationship between teachers and organized labor
  • Officially anti-strike until 1960, with the formation of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City

Slide 17 - Tekstslide

Mutually beneficial roles between teachers and organized labor: 
teachers work for interests of workers by fighting for better schools and working to remove antilabor material from classrooms
organized labor would provide the resources of its organization to support the teachers' struggle for improved working conditions and greater financial support

AFT members who favored no-strike policy argued that teachers were a public service profession and work stoppage was a violation of public trust
strike deprived children of an education and was counter to a child's right to education
1947 Buffalo NY strike - model for action by other teachers around the country
Nov 7, 1960 UFT Strike - against NYC school system
Unions and Performance-Based Pay
  • Traditional teacher salaries are based on a democratic pay scale - everyone receives the same salary based on qualifications and seniority, with increases based on years of service and level of education 
  • Both unions agree that any change in the traditional salary scale should be a result of collective bargaining between local union and school district
  • AFT locals have developed differentiated pay based on a combination of academic indicators, including standardized test scores, students' classroom work, dropout rates, and disciplinary incidents

Slide 18 - Tekstslide

Systems must be locally negotiated, voluntary, school wide, and must promote a collaborative work environment

Collective-Bargaining Rights
  • 2011 political movement sought to curb collective-bargaining rights to control education costs
  • Goal was to restrict or eliminate the collective-bargaining rights of teachers and other public employees
  • Others wanted to restrict unions' ability to bargain over working conditions, evaluations, and other non-wage issues

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Should teachers strike?

Slide 20 - Poll

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Should Teachers Strike? 
  • Strikes occur when a local union is unable to reach an agreement with the board of education regarding salary and working conditions
  • The local teachers' union organizes picket lines around schools, where union members are assigned times and places for picketing, with the purpose of keeping members of other unions from entering the school
  • Teachers who cross picket lines are referred to as "scabs" and conflict between strikers and scabs can last for years after the strike is over
  • Some argue that strikes are necessary and that teacher welfare is directly related to student welfare; others argue that strikes only benefit teachers

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Teachers' Rights
  • Three major types of rights that directly concern teachers: 
  1. Rights and limitations of speech and conduct in relation to administrators and school boards
  2. Rights and limitations of speech and conduct of teachers in the classroom
  3. Rights of teachers outside of school

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Teachers' Rights
School Boards and Administrators: 
  • Pickering v. Board of Education of Township High School  (1967)
  • Involved an Illinois schoolteacher who was fired for writing a letter to the school board criticizing the superintendent and board for school fundraising methods
  • U.S. Supreme court ruled that teachers could not be dismissed for public criticism of their school system
  • Placed limitations on a teacher's right to publicly criticize their immediate superiors 

Slide 23 - Tekstslide

If a formal grievance procedure exists, teachers should not complain publicly about the operation of the school system - no formal court decision 
Teachers' Rights
Freedom of speech in the classroom: 
  • Three main limitations recognized by the courts:
  1. Appropriate for the age of the students
  2. Related to the curriculum for the course
  3. Approved by other members of the profession 
  • Can be limited by officially stated school policies , ie requiring the principal's approval before using controversial materials

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Teachers' Rights
Freedom of conscience: 
  • Teachers can abstain from flag ceremonies if it goes against their conscience
  • Cannot refuse to follow school curriculum due to personal or religious beliefs

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Teachers' Liabilities
Teachers can be held liable for student injuries under the following conditions: 
  • Teachers injure the student or do not protect the student from injury
  • Teachers do not use due care
  • Teachers' carelessness results in student injury
  • Students sustained provable injuries 

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Teachers' Liabilities
  • Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1998) stated that school officials are only liable for a teacher's sexual harassment of a student if they have knowledge of the abuse and fail adequately to respond
  •  Teachers cannot be fired for revealing sexual orientation to their students

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Teachers' Private Lives
  • The major concern of the courts is whether teachers' private lives interfere with their professional conduct as teachers
  • Teachers' and students' actions cannot interfere with normal school activities 

Slide 28 - Tekstslide

Board of Education v. James (1972), teacher could not be dismissed for wearing armband to protest the Vietnam War because armband did not disrupt classroom activities