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Entries in teacher (1)

Wednesday
May092012

Isn’t Education #1?

In this guest post, author Karen Ocean shares some thoughts about education, and her own career choices.  In the end, she is looking for feedback.  Please share your perspectives.

As you might remember I’m a mom of a 20yr old live at college student, 10 yr old with neurological needs, 8 yr old who just tickles my every day.  So I’ve stayed at home for 10 years and now am dabbing in different work choices where I feel I could make a difference.  Keep in mind my last job was in corporate America working in technology.  One new work field I thought I’d try was education.  Luckily, I’ve been substitute teaching in K-6 public schools.  JOY!  EXCITEMENT!  Yesterday when I went in from the playground with the 1st graders pretending I was a seagull, I think they related to me – do you?  I always wanted a teacher I could relate to, who connected with me and others.

Well, this has been my first experience being in a classroom for any long stretch of time.  I had volunteered in the past, yet less than one full day.  This, my readers, is another story, when you are there for a whole day.  It’s a challenge getting to know the kids in such a short amount of time.  You don’t get a list that says, “help so and so a little more”, “don’t let this one go to the bathroom too many times”, etc.  You don’t get a note that says this is what we worked on yesterday.  Its jump in and run with these 20 kids and keep them learning.

Well, here’s my note to all the people in politics, people who have children of their own, people who want to keep America the strongest in education. 

We need to focus on what goes on each day in schools. 

It’s why we are all here – to get better to improve.  My overwhelming feeling after doing this substitute teaching in an elementary environment is there is TOO MUCH BEHAVIOR instruction going on here and not enough RESPECT for students, parents and teachers. 

Some of the things these kids do just makes me wonder.  Some of the things the school asks the kids to do makes me wonder.  Some of the things the parent mention makes me think.  There are all the rules the children have to follow placed on them by the school.  Like:

  1. Stop in the hallway at a certain spot. 
  2. The obvious to us adults – don’t run, except at the playground or gym. 
  3. Put your backpack away 
  4. What are you having for lunch? 
  5. Did you pass in your homework? 
  6. Sit at your chair and do your work. 
  7. Eyes on me. 
  8. No talking in the hallways. 

Doesn’t this sound like your first time in a new work environment?  Didn’t you have to learn the lingo, the acronyms, and the culture?  I did and it was an adjustment.  Just imagine doing that each year with a new teacher, each time a new person comes into your classroom to substitute teach!  Now, I’m going to touch on the financial piece. 

What’s up with the education investment?! 

Why are we paying a substitute teacher less money to watch and teach a classroom of 20 children than a person who watches our children when we are out in the afternoon or out for the evening and that person is watching less than 20 children?!!  Remember, it’s about the education.

I wonder if the next field of work I choose to dabble in will be as thought provoking.  Should I choose Real Estate, Retail, Hospital work or something else all together?  What would you choose if you came from corporate America and wanted to try something that made you feel more worthwhile and make enough money to pay the childcare cost?  Or do I get back into corporate America?!