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Old 06-08-2003, 12:28 AM   #1
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Teach for America

Is anyone familiar with this program? I'm trying to figure out what I want to do after graduation next year, and after reading Teach for America's website (www.teachforamerica.org), I think I've finally hit on something. I have years of experience working with children (babysitting, tutoring, teaching) and three years of experience specifically with disadvantaged urban kids. I'll graduate with a dual degree in English and philosophy and I'm not sure I want to do graduate work in either one.

I love teaching and I would love to move to an inner city (honestly!) and do some real work there. So can anyone give me more info. on Teach for America--have you ever done the program or know anyone who has, or know anything about it beyond what its website says?

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:39 AM   #2
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I've never heard of it before three minutes ago. I looked at a few things on the website, mostly the information about the LA area districts. I also looked at the certification processes for other districts. All the districts I looked at require entry in a certification program while you're teaching. I can only assume that eventually they all will, since the Feds are now requiring all teachers to be "highly qualified" by year X. While I'm sure that this program has been around for a while, and that it's completely on the up and up, why not look into traditional certification programs? I'm automatically suspect of "fast track" teaching programs. They seem to be an attempt to go around state requirements. They also place non-teachers in situations for which they are very poorly prepared. What is the attrition rate for this program? I'd hate to see your new excitement for teaching evaporate if you are placed in a challenging situation with little pedagogical preparation.


I may also be talking out of my ass here. This thing may be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Just because I haven't heard of it before, doesn't mean that it's bogus.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:48 AM   #3
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Ah. Maybe I'm full of shit. Maybe it's fine.

I'm a little tired and overworked tonight.
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Ah. Maybe I'm full of shit. Maybe it's fine.

I'm a little tired and overworked tonight.
End of Year stuff! I can relate.

As to the program I know nothing of it, however I agree with the points that Martha is making. If they are placing people in places where they are least prepared it is going to accelerate the speed at which careers end. At least that is what I think. The Federal Regulations are now becoming so cumbersome, that our new one year old superintendant has resigned because of all of the paperwork involved in NCLB.

Peace
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:37 PM   #5
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It's the real deal. I've known people who have done it, but realize that it isn't going to be easy or necessarily "rewarding" in the self-gratification sense. It's hard work, and I find it sad that we have a government that, over the years, has refused to do anything meaningful about these terrible public schools.

If I can run for President in 2016 (the earliest I can run), that's one of the first things I want to fix.

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Old 06-08-2003, 03:56 PM   #6
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I'll be waiting for your call.
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:41 PM   #7
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Well we all know the *real* problem with teaching is the pay.


Yes it is true Teachers may be overpaid

They get over $30.00 an hour. wow

Quote:
Teachers earn more per hour than architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, statisticians, biological and life scientists, registered nurses, university-level foreign-language teachers, and editors and reporters.
The Hoover Institution (think tank) that provides data for the Administration has reports available.




here ,<---------------------
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:27 PM   #8
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Rather than wade through the bullshit, I'll ask these questions here.

1. Does that study take into account the fact that I have been at school today for seven hours grading and recording and prepping report cards? Off the clock? What about the hours I spend at home doing the same thing? Or is it just looking at contract hours, you know; the 8:15 to 3:10 I'm contrated to work, when I really get here at 7:30 and leave at 6 most evenings?

2. Is it a national average? I do get paid well, but only compared to other teachers. With my education and experience I could make more not teaching.

3. Did they remember that I only get paid for the days I'm contracted to work? I don't get paid holidays and I don't get paid for summer.

It's not only salary issues that keep the best from teaching. It's the lack or repsect we get from policymakers and parents. Don't get me started on parents this year.
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:37 PM   #9
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martha, do teachers in the USA not get paid anything in the summer? My mom used to teach in Canada, and they would collect unemployment during July and August - something like 60% of their usual salary.

Eventually she had enough of being overqualified and underpaid (she has a MEd) and now writes ConEd curriculum instead. Says she'd never go back.
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
martha, do teachers in the USA not get paid anything in the summer? My mom used to teach in Canada, and they would collect unemployment during July and August - something like 60% of their usual salary.

Eventually she had enough of being overqualified and underpaid (she has a MEd) and now writes ConEd curriculum instead. Says she'd never go back.
No we do NOT get paid for the summer. WE are afforded a choice to defer money to last us through the summer, or take it through the year. Our contracts pay us for approximately 185 days if I am not mistaken.
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:42 PM   #11
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Dreadsox,

That's just insane.
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Rather than wade through the bullshit, I'll ask these questions here.

1. Does that study take into account the fact that I have been at school today for seven hours grading and recording and prepping report cards? Off the clock? What about the hours I spend at home doing the same thing? Or is it just looking at contract hours, you know; the 8:15 to 3:10 I'm contrated to work, when I really get here at 7:30 and leave at 6 most evenings?
I spent my entire morning from 7:00 AM-1:00PM closing out grades today.

My wife started hers at 3:30 This afternoon, and is working on hers most likely until 10:00PM tonight.

I would love to see the extra hours spent, averaged in.
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Old 06-08-2003, 06:48 PM   #13
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America used to have plenty of money, but you can see where our nation's priorities are: military spending and tax cuts. As a nation, we are not over-taxed; we are underpaid. However, ask any conservative think-tank and they will make every excuse under the book *except* that people are underpaid.

Federal education assistance was axed in the 1980s, if I remember right. Thus, the burden went to states, which didn't want to do anything about it, and, thus, it has gone down to local communities, which often doesn't have the resources. So, in the end, it goes down to it not being done at all. I find it abhorrent that we have "rich" and "poor" public school districts, and what's the GOP's response to it all? "School vouchers" for private schools. It's pathetic, and these morons keep on getting reelected.

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Old 06-08-2003, 06:53 PM   #14
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From Deep's Article:

Teachers, moreover, enjoy longer vacations and work far fewer days per year than most professional workers. Consider data from the National Compensation Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which computes hourly earnings per worker. The average hourly wage for all workers in the category “professional specialty” was $27.49 in 2000. Meanwhile, elementary-school teachers earned $28.79 per hour; secondary-school teachers earned $29.14 per hour; and special-education teachers earned $29.97 per hour. The average earnings for all three categories of teachers exceeded the average for all professional workers. Indeed, the average hourly wage for teachers even topped that of the highest-paid major category of workers, those whose jobs are described as “executive, administrative, and managerial.” Teachers earned more per hour than architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, statisticians, biological and life scientists, atmospheric and space scientists, registered nurses, physical therapists, university-level foreign-language teachers, librarians, technical writers, musicians, artists, and editors and reporters. Note that a majority of these occupations requires as much or even more educational training as does K–12 teaching.
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:03 PM   #15
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But teachers these days have to do so much more than be teachers in many instances. They have to be substitute parents, therapists, coaches, advisors to student organizations and the like. Many teachers that I remember having in high school came to school around 7:30 a.m. (classes didn't start until 8:45) and stayed on until 5:30 or 6:00--or later if need be. How many architects, for example, work those kind of hours and consistently have to go above and beyond their job descriptions?
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