Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Gazing into my crystal ball

It's time to blog for school again. What fun!

Blog Response #3: What is your 2020 Education Vision?

Looking into the near future, I think the event that will have the most significant event on the whole compulsory education complex will be the retirement of the baby boomer teachers. Looking at the teachers I know from that generation, specifically my mom and step-mom, I can tell they are definitely excited at the prospect, no matter how much they love teaching.

After the baby boomers retire, schools find themselves missing a large chunk of their returning teachers. New teachers will come into the profession, much as they have, but continued high rates of attrition (made worse by the retirement of mentor teachers and school leaders) will lead to teacher shortages. I imagine that 2020 will probably be a turning point for education, though the field will go in one of two opposing directions.

The first direction, the ideal one, would be for schools to reduce teacher hours and institute formal mentoring programs. During an extra free period, novice teachers would meet with more experienced colleagues for advice, planning tips, and even (hopefully) to share materials. By giving teachers a little more time to plan, network, grade, and contact parents, attrition rates will decrease. School curricula will be refined, while at the same time becoming more inventive, thanks again to the increased planning time.

The second direction, the non-ideal but more probable one, is that the prerequisites for going into teaching will be lowered in an attempt to shovel more bodies into classrooms as fast as possible. The constant influx of new inexperienced teachers will hinder any attempt to institute school programs and policies, as participants will change from year to year. Staff development will also suffer, as many new teachers leave prior to or immediately after completing induction. In an attempt to counteract the inexperience of the majority of the teaching staff, more schools will adopt prescribed curricula, decreasing educational flexibility and experimentation.

Wow, that was depressing. Time for a gratuitous cat picture!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with your more negative vision of the future for education. Unfortunately, between the NCLB act, the further restriction put on us at the state level, some really great teachers are running as fast as they can to get out. Why teach, when you are told what to, when to , and how to. Our district has even gone so far as demanding that everyone is on the same pages of the reading series on the same days! How insane must it get! Sorry to be nagative, but one goes into teaching because they have a passion. The really sad thing is that the passion is being beaten out of us due to the every increasing requirements, class sizes, restrictions, and on and on. Yet, I still go to work every day, filled with love and passion for what I do, put my head down, and keep on trucking', hoping to make that small difference in my students lives:)