Building Better Teachers: The State of Education in Nebraska #121


♪ MUSIC ♪ THE TRADITIONAL FUNCTION OF A
SCHOOL IS TO PROVIDE ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL GROWTH. LUISA PALOMO: WE UNDERSTAND THAT KIDS WILL BE
SENT TO US EVERY DAY AND WE WILL TEACH THEM. THAT’S OUR TRADITIONAL MODEL. STUDENTS WILL COME, I WILL
IMPART KNOWLEDGE, THE END. WE KNOW THAT’S NOT GOING TO
CREATE THE STUDENTS THAT WE NEED. INSTEAD, WHAT SCHOOLS NEED TO BE
ABLE TO DO IS TO DEVELOP WELL-ROUNDED, DIVERSE, CREATIVE,
THINKERS. HOW DO WE DO THAT? HOW DO WE FIT IN TIME IN OUR DAY
TO CREATE A CHILD WHO IS SOCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY WELL, WHO
HAS TIME FOR PHYSICAL EXERCISE, WHO IS ALSO MEETING THE BENCH
MARKS ACADEMICALLY. WHEN YOU ARE IN A HIGH POVERTY SCHOOL, THAT
TASK IS ESPECIALLY TOUGH. I NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT I IMPART MY KNOWLEDGE, THAT I TEACH CONTENT,
I NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO EDUCATE THE WHOLE CHILD. IT’S A BIG TASK AND IT’S NOT A
TASK THAT SCHOOLS CAN DO ON THEIR OWN. JOHN BAYLOR: TEACHERS MATTER. RESEARCH SUPPORTS WHAT COMMON
SENSE TELLS US, THAT THE PROFESSIONALS IN CHARGE OF OUR
CHILDREN’S CLASSROOMS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN SHAPING YOUNG
PEOPLE’S ACADEMIC FUTURE. BUT ARE THERE ENOUGH HIGH
QUALITY TEACHERS, TO PROVIDE ALL NEBRASKA YOUTH, WITH STIMULATING
CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS? PEERING OVER THE HORIZON, ARE
THERE ENOUGH CAPABLE COLLEGE STUDENTS TRAINING TO BE
NEBRASKA’S TEACHERS OF TOMORROW? DO NEW TEACHERS GET THE SUPPORT
THEY NEED DURING THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF THEIR PRACTICE, TO
BECOME THE MASTER TEACHERS OF TOMORROW? DO WE HAVE SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO
ENSURE THAT STUDENTS COMING FROM OUR STATE’S MOST CHALLENGING
EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS, HAVE ACCESS TO THE VERY BEST TEACHERS
AVAILABLE? IN BUILDING BETTER TEACHERS,
OCTOBER’S INSTALLMENT OF NET’S CONTINUING SERIES EXAMINING THE
STATE OF EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA; NATIONAL AND STATE LEADERS WILL
CONFRONT THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS AND STEPS THAT
NEBRASKA TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS ARE TAKING TO SUPPORT
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS PREPARING TO LEAD THE SCHOOLS OF
TOMORROW. ♪ MUSIC ♪ HELLO I’M JOHN BAYLOR, THE MODERATOR FOR THE STATE OF
EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA. OUR MONTHLY SERIES THAT
FOCUSES ON EMERGING APPROACHES AND
PROMISING STRATEGIES OUR STATE IS TAKING TO NARROW THE
EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT GAP. IN LAST MONTH’S PROGRAM, IT
TAKES A COMMUNITY, PRODUCED BY NEBRASKA LOVES PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
WE HIGHLIGHTED THE INDISPENSABLE ROLE SCHOOL-COMMUNITY
PARTNERSHIPS PLAY IN PROVIDING ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED
STUDENTS WITH ACCESS TO THE SUPPORTS AND OPPORTUNITIES THEY
NEED TO GROW AND SUCCEED IN THE FACE OF GREAT CHALLENGES. WITH THIS EPISODE OF STATE OF
EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA, WE BEGIN A THREE-PART EXPLORATION FOCUSED
ON THE SINGLE ELEMENT DURING THE TRADITIONAL SCHOOL DAY THAT
RESEARCH SHOWS HAS THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, TEACHERS. NATIONALLY, PROPONENTS DISAGREE
ABOUT WHAT EFFECTIVE TEACHING LOOKS LIKE, AND THE BEST WAY TO
MEASURE IT. SOME OF THESE DEBATES FOCUS ON
THE PERFORMANCES OF THE TEACHER, WHEREAS OTHERS EMPHASIZE STUDENT
OUTCOMES. WHILE STILL OTHERS FOCUS HOW TO
RECRUIT AND RETAIN THE TEACHING FORCE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE ALL
YOUTH WITH A QUALITY EDUCATION. WELL, TO SET UP OUR THREE-PART
SERIES IN THE MOST UP TO DATE RESEARCH AND
FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE AMERICAN TEACHER WE’VE INVITED DR. RICHARD INGERSOLL, A LEADING
CONTRIBUTOR TO THIS NATIONAL DIALOGUE. A FORMER CLASSROOM TEACHER, DR. INGERSOLL EXAMINES TRENDS
SHAPING AMERICA’S MODERN TEACHING FORCE. DR. INGERSOLL, THANKS SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US. DR. RICHARD INGERSOLL:
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME, JOHN. BAYLOR: DR. INGERSOLL YOUR RECENT
RESEARCH IDENTIFIES THE TRENDS AND CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN
SHAPING AMERICA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TEACHING FORCE OVER
THE PAST FEW DECADES. CAN YOU BRIEFLY SHARE YOUR
FINDINGS WITH OUR VIEWERS? DR. INGERSOLL: YES. WE STARTED THIS RESEARCH PROJECT
A COUPLE YEARS AGO AND IT WAS REALLY JUST KIND OF AN
EXPLORATORY THING WHERE WE WANTED TO SEE IF IN WHAT WAYS IF
ANY THE ELEMENTARY SECONDARY FORCE HAD CHANGED IN THE LAST
FEW DECADES. AND WE WERE SURPRISED BY WHAT WE
FOUND. WHAT WE FOUND IS THAT THE
TEACHING FORCES INDEED HAVE BEEN CHANGING AND VERY LARGE DRAMATIC
WAYS AND WITH VERY LARGE IMPLICATIONS. AND YET ALMOST NO ONE HAS BEEN
ON TOP OF THESE, THESE CHANGES, WHETHER IT’S POLICY MAKERS OR
EDUCATION OFFICIALS OR RESEARCHERS WITH THE PUBLIC. SO TODAY, I THOUGHT I WOULD JUST
SUMMARIZE FOUR OF THESE LARGE CHANGES, TO MAYBE SET THE TONE
AND SET THE FRAMING AND THE CONTEXT FOR YOUR TELEVISION
SERIES. SO, TO MOVE AHEAD, THE FIRST
CHANGE WE CALL BALLOONING. HUGE INCREASE IN SIZE. SO ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY
TEACHING IT TURNS OUT, ACCORDING TO THE CENSUS BUREAU IS THE
LARGEST OCCUPATION IN THE U.S. TWICE AS MANY TEACHERS AS
NURSES, 5 TIMES AS MANY TEACHERS AS LAWYERS. IT’S A GIGANTIC WORKFORCE, THE
TEACHING FORCE. AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IT’S
INCREASING IN SIZE AND HAS BEEN OVER THE LAST 2.5 DECADES BY
LEAPS AND BOUNDS. SO IF YOU TURN TO THE FIRST
SLIDE, THE ONE ENTITLED NUMBER OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
SCHOOL TEACHERS AND STUDENTS, YOU WILL SEE IT SHOWS TWO LINES. AND THOSE — THE TOP YELLOW LINE
IS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TEACHERS OVER THE LAST 2.5
DECADES. AND THE BOTTOM, THE BLUE LINE,
IS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS OVER THE LAST 2.5
DECADES. AND THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE
IS THAT THE YELLOW LINE IS STEEPER AND IS GOING UP MUCH
FASTER THAN THE BLUE LINE AND THAT THE GAP BETWEEN THEM IS
INCREASING OVER TIME. IN OTHER WORDS THE TEACHING
FORCE IS GETTING BIGGER, MUCH FASTER THAN THE STUDENT
POPULATION IN THIS COUNTRY. BAYLOR: TWO REACTIONS I HAVE
PROFESSOR IS, A HOW ARE WE GOING TO CONTINUE TO AFFORD THAT
GROWTH AND B, ARE WE SEEING INCREASED ACADEMIC OUTCOMES
BECAUSE OF THE GREATER INCREASE IN TEACHERS WHEN COMPARED TO THE
RATE OF INCREASE IN STUDENTS? DR. INGERSOLL: WE SEE SOME INCREASES IN ACADEMIC
PERFORMANCE OVER ALL AND IN SOME AREAS WE DON’T. AND IT IS HARD TO TIE THAT TO
THE NUMBERS OF TEACHERS BECAUSE FOR INSTANCE, IN ONE OF THE
SOURCES OF THIS LARGE INCREASE HAS BEEN A VAST INCREASE IN THE
NUMBER OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS. AND THEY ARE KIND OF DIFFERENT. YOU MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY SEE
THE INCREASE IN — IN STUDENT SCORES THAT YOU MIGHT SEE IN
OTHER TYPES OF TEACHERS. ANOTHER BIG GROWTH AREA IN THE
TEACHING FORCE HAS BEEN E S L, ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE,
WHICH OF COURSE IS TIED TO OUR IMMIGRATION ISSUE WHERE WE HAVE
INCREASING NUMBERS OF STUDENTS WHO COME IN TO OUR SCHOOLS WHO
CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL. SO, BUT YOU REALLY RAISE AN
IMPORTANT QUESTION, THE SO WHAT
QUESTION? WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS AND
CONSEQUENCES OF THIS? AND THAT’S WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
FOR US TO TRY TO TIE DOWN THE WHY QUESTION, WHAT ARE THE
SOURCES OF THIS BALLOONING OF THE TEACHING FORCE? BECAUSE, SURELY IT IS HAVING AND
WILL HAVE A HUGE FINANCIAL IMPACT. IF THE NUMBERS OF TEACHERS
CONTINUE TO GO UP AT A COUPLE TIMES THE RATE OF THE NUMBER OF
STUDENTS, THIS IS GOING TO BE FISCALLY UNSUSTAINABLE. IN FACT I DON’T MEAN TO SOUND
LIKE AN OVERLY DRAMATIC, BUT I SEE THIS AS SOMETHING OF A
TICKING TIME BOMB. REMEMBER NOW, A LARGE PERCENTAGE
OF THE REVENUE FOR ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY EDUCATION IN THIS
COUNTRY COMES FROM LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES. AND WHILE THERE IS NO TAXES THAT
ANYONE LIKES, LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES ARE AMONGST THE MOST
DISLIKED OF TAXES. AND TO — YOU KNOW I JUST SEE
THIS AS UNSUSTAINABLE. IN THE FUTURE. BAYLOR: AND ALSO IF THE GROWTH IN
TEACHERS IS PRIMARILY DRIVEN BY SPECIAL ED AND ESL, THAT’S
LARGELY OUT OF OUR CONTROL. THOSE ARE REACTIONS THE FEDERAL
POLICY AND IMMIGRATION, AH IN THIS COUNTRY. SO YOU LOOK AT THOSE
LINES, YOU LOOK AT THAT GRAPH AND THINK GREAT, WE HAVE MORE
CHEMISTRY TEACHERS, WE MORE PHYSICS TEACHERS, BUT
THAT’S NOT REALLY THE REALITY. DR. INGERSOLL: WELL, WE ALSO INTERESTINGLY
ENOUGH, HAVE SEEN A GROWTH IN MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS AND
THAT’S INTERESTING BECAUSE WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT IT BEING A
SHORTAGE OF MATH, SCIENCE TEACHERS BUT IN FACT THOSE ARE
ONE OF THE BALLOONING AREAS TOO. PERHAPS BECAUSE OF ALL THE
CONCERN OVER SHORTAGES. AREAS THAT HAVEN’T BALLOONED AT
ALL, HAVEN’T EVEN KEPT PACE ARE PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ART AND
MUSIC. THOSE HAVE NOT SEEN A
COMMENSURATE INCREASE IN THE NUMBERS OF TEACHERS, SO IT’S
MIXED. IT IS MIXED WHERE THESE
INCREASES HAVE BEEN. BUT THE TRUTH IS, WE DON’T FULLY
UNDERSTAND THE SOURCES. AND AGAIN, WE’LL NEED TO, BECAUSE
OF THE IMPLICATIONS FOR — FOR PAYING FOR ALL THIS. BAYLOR: LET’S LOOK AT THE
EXPERIENCE LEVEL. YOU HAVE DONE SOME GREAT
RESEARCH ON JUST HOW EXPERIENCED OUR CURRENT CORE OF TEACHERS
NATIONALLY AND TRULY ARE. DR. INGERSOLL: YES. SO BECAUSE OF ALL THIS HIRING,
WHAT’S HAPPENED IS WE’VE HAD A HUGE INCREASE IN THE NUMBERS
OF BEGINNING TEACHERS IN THIS COUNTRY AND THE RATIO BETWEEN
BEGINNERS AND VETERANS HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED. AND THE TERM WE HAVE USED TO
DESCRIBE THIS TREND IS GREENING. THERE HAS BEEN THIS VERY LARGE
GREENING IN THE TEACHING FORCE. AND THE NEXT COUPLE OF SLIDES
WILL ILLUSTRATE THAT. SO IF WE LOOK AT THE SLIDE
ENTITLED TEACHING EXPERIENCE OF SCHOOL TEACHERS, ’87,’88, LATE
1980’S, YOU CAN SEE THERE THE YELLOW LINE, THE VERTICAL AXIS
IS IN THE NUMBER OF TEACHERS AND THE HORIZONTAL AXIS IS THE YEARS
OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND YOU CAN SEE THE HIGHEST POINT IN
THAT LINE, THAT IS THE MOST TYPICAL AND FREQUENT EXPERIENCE
OF TEACHERS, IS ABOUT A 15-YEAR VETERAN. IN OTHER WORDS, IN THE LATE
1980’S, THE MOST COMMON TEACHER WAS SOMEONE WHO 15 YEARS’
EXPERIENCE AND THEN THERE WAS
SOME TEACHERS WHO HAD LESS AND SOME TEACHERS
WHO HAD MORE. LET’S FLASH FORWARD 20 YEARS TO
THE NEXT SLIDE, THE ONE THAT IS ENTITLED “HAS ’07-’08.” LOOK AT THE BLUE LINE AND HOW
THAT’S COMPLETELY CHANGED. WHAT WE SEE NOW IS THE HIGHEST
POINT ON THAT BLUE LINE IS SOMEONE AT THE VERY LEFT THAT IS
A FIRST-YEAR TEACHER. SO IN 2007, 2008, THE MOST
COMMON TEACHER IN THIS COUNTRY WAS A RANK
BEGINNER IN THEIR FIRST YEAR. 20 YEARS BEFORE WE HAD SOMETHING
LIKE 60,000 FIRST-YEAR TEACHERS. BY ’07-’08 WE HAD ALMOST 250,000
FIRST-YEAR TEACHERS. GREENING. GREENING. NOW OF COURSE SINCE THE ’08
RECESSION HAPPENED, HIRING HAS SLOWED DOWN, AND THERE HAS BEEN
SOME LAYOFFS ACROSS COUNTRY ON SO IF WE TURN TO THE NEXT SLIDE
THAT BRINGS IN AH THE EXPERIENCE OF TEACHERS IN THE 2011-2012
YEAR, THAT’S THE ORANGE LINE. WE SEE THAT FIRST-YEAR TEACHERS
ARE NO LONGER THE MOST COMMON ONE. THE HIGHEST POINT ON THAT ORANGE LINE IS ABOUT A 5TH YEAR TEACHER. BUT THE LARGER TREND STILL HOLDS. THE TREND WE CALL GREENING. THERE’S JUST
FAR FAR LARGER, MORE NUMBERS
OF BEGINNING TEACHERS IN THIS COUNTRY, THAN THERE ARE VETERANS. AND THAT CHANGES THE
WHOLE RATIO THERE. NOW, YOUR NEXT QUESTION MIGHT BE
WELL IS THAT GOOD OR BAD? WHAT’S WRONG WITH HAVING AH
YOUNGSTERS AND INEXPERIENCED PEOPLE IN THE CLASSROOM AND
THERE IS PROBABLY BOTH GOOD AND BAD TO THIS. I MEAN, ON THE GOOD SIDE, YOU
HAVE FRESH ENERGY COMING IN. ON THE BAD SIDE, WELL THERE IS A
LOT TO BE SAID ABOUT HAVING VETERANS IN THE SCHOOL AND TO
PROVIDE LEADERSHIP, TO PROVIDE MENTTORING. ET CETERA. ONE OF THE FINANCIAL
IMPLICATIONS OF THIS IS THAT IT’S LESS EXPENSIVE. SO THAT FIRST TREND, BALLOONING,
HAD HUGE IMPLICATIONS FOR GREATER COST TO PAY FOR ALL
THOSE TEACHERS. BUT NOW, IN THE GREENING WE SEE
THAT THERE IS A LARGER PORTION OF THIS LARGER — NUMBER OF
TEACHERS THAT ARE PAID ON THE BEGINNING AND THE LESS EXPENSIVE
END OF THE PAY SCALE SO WE HAVE KIND OF MIXED IMPLICATIONS HERE
FROM THESE TWO TRENDS. BAYLOR: PROFESSOR ALSO IT BECOMES
IMPERATIVE THAT WE HAVE WORLD-CLASS TEACHER TRAINING AND
THAT WE ALSO HAVE REGULAR SUSTAINED EXCELLENT TEACHER
MENTORING BECAUSE WE HAVE SUCH A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF OUR TEACHERS
NOW WHO ARE NEW TO THE PROFESSION. DR. INGERSOLL: ABSOLUTELY. AND SOME SCHOOLS IT IS IN FACT
DIFFICULT TO HAVE — TO FIND VETERANS WHO WILL BE MENTORING,
BECAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY. BECAUSE AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE
THIS GREEN ISN’T EQUALLY DISTRIBUTED ACROSS DIFFERENT
TYPES OF SCHOOLS AND SOME SCHOOLS HAVE FAR MORE BEGINNERS
THAN OTHERS. IN SOME POOR URBAN SCHOOLS
SOMEONE IN THEIR 5TH YEAR MIGHT BE CONSIDERED A SENIOR VETERAN. WELL, BELIEVE ME, AFTER 5 YEARS
YOU STILL DON’T KNOW ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE AN EXCELLENT
TEACHER. BAYLOR: THEN IF WE ARE LOOKING
VETERANS WHO CAN SERVE AS MENTORS FOR THESE YOUNG
TEACHERS, THAT PUTS EVEN GREATER IMPORTANCE ON TEACHER TRAINING. IN YOUR OPINION, ARE WE DOING
ENOUGH TO TRAIN OUR TEACHERS SO THAT WHEN THEY ENTER THIS WORK
FORCE, THIS CRITICAL AND WHEN DONE WELL, EXTREMELY CHALLENGING
PROFESSION SO THEY’LL SUCCEED? DR. INGERSOLL: WELL, WHAT I WOULD SAY ABOUT
TEACHER PREPARATION IS THAT IT’S MIXED. WE’RE AN UNUSUAL COUNTRY IN
THAT WE HAVE A VERY VERY LARGE NUMBER OF TEACHER TRAINING,
TEACHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS, DEPARTMENTS, COLLEGES, SPREAD
ACROSS THE COUNTRY. FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER NATION
AND THE QUALITY IS VERY VERY MIXED. ALL THE WAY FROM REALLY
EXCELLENT TO REALLY TERRIBLE. LARGE NUMBERS OF IT AND SO THOSE
COME INTO OUR SCHOOLS HAVE THE QUALITY OF THEIR PREPARATION,
THEIR PRE-EMPLOYMENT PREPARATION AND TRAINING IN EDUCATION,
VARIES DRAMATICALLY. BAYLOR: WHAT CAN BE DONE TO MAKE
SURE ACROSS THE BOARD THERE ARE SYSTEMS IN PLACE SO THAT ANYONE
WHO WANTS IN THE PROFESSION WHEN THEY GET OUT OF THE TRAINING AND
INTO THE PROFESSION, THEY’RE QUALIFIED?
DR. INGERSOLL: WE CERTAINLY HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF EXPERIMENTATION NOW TO
REFORM AND IMPROVE THE PREPARATION, THE EDUCATION OF
TEACHERS. I CAN’T SPEAK, SPEAK FOR
NEBRASKA BUT WE HAVE, WE HAVE
EXPERIMENTS AND WE HAVE DIFFERENT MODELS AND DIFFERENT
WAYS OF DOING IT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. AND WHAT WE NEED TO SEE IS VERY
RIGOROUS EVALUATION AND FIGURE OUT WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO
MAKE A GOOD TEACHER AND THEN INSTITUTE THOSE AND THIS IS
WHERE THE STATES HAVE A ROLE TO SORT OF SEE THAT; YOU KNOW
HISTORICALLY THERE WAS — THERE WAS THIS SAYING, THAT YOU KNOW
ALMOST ANYONE WHO WANTED TO, COULD BECOME A TEACHER. NOW THAT IS A LITTLE BIT
EXAGGERATED BUT NOT EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO CAN, CAN BECOME A
LAWYER OR A PROFESSOR OR A
DOCTOR. IT’S, THERE IS A HIGHER BAR,
THERE IS A NARROWER GATE. AND SO ONE THING WE NEED TO DO
IN TEACHING IS RAISE THAT BAR AND NARROW THAT GATE A LITTLE
BIT. AND THIS WHERE THE TRAINING AND
MORE RIGOROUS PREPARATION AND TRAINING COULD COME IN. BAYLOR: LET’S MOVE NOW TO YOUR THIRD
TREND AS — ACCORDING TO YOUR RESEARCH, WE HAVE MANY MORE
WOMEN NOW, WHO ARE SERVING IN THIS PROFESSION. DR. INGERSOLL: YES. YES NOW THIS MIGHT SEEM SOMETHING OF
AN ODD FINDING. OVER THE LAST 30, 40 YEARS WE
HAVE HAD DOZENS AND DOZENS OF WHAT WERE ONCE MALE DOMINATED
OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS OPEN UP TO WOMEN. AND SO THERE WAS THIS FEAR OUT
THERE THAT TEACHING WOULDN’T KIND OF HAVE THE CAPTIVE FEMALE
WORK FORCE THAT COULD RELY ON. THERE WAS SOME FEAR OUT THERE
BUT THE NUMBERS OF WOMEN GOING INTO TEACHING WOULD DECREASE. BUT WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND THIS IS SHOWN IN THIS
SLIDE HERE IS THAT THE OPPOSITE HAS HAPPENED. THAT PROPORTION OF TEACHERS WHO
ARE WOMEN HAS CONTINUED TO GO UP. REALLY SINCE THE EARLY 1980’S. IT IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE
FEMALE AND IT EVEN CONTINUED TO GO UP IN THE LAST FEW YEARS
DURING THE RECESSION WHEN THERE WAS VERY LITTLE HIRING. SO, TEACHING WAS ALWAYS
CONSIDERED WOMEN’S WORK FOR GOOD OR BAD FROM THE BEGINNING WHEN
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WAS INVENTED. AND IT IS BECOMING EVEN MORE SO. NOW I KNOW YOUR NEXT QUESTION IS
GOING TO BE THE WHY QUESTION? AND THE TRUTH IS, NO ONE REALLY
KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THAT. WHY IS IT THAT TEACHING IS
BECOMING MORE AND MORE FEMALE DOMINATED? I MEAN YOU CAN SEE IF THIS TREND
CONTINUES, AS ILLUSTRATED IN THAT SLIDE, WITHIN A FEW YEARS 8
OUT OF 10 OF ALL ELEMENTARY SECONDARY TEACHERS IN THIS
COUNTRY WILL BE FEMALE. OF COURSE THERE IS NOTHING WRONG
WITH HAVING FEMALE TEACHERS. BUT THERE IS A CONCERN HERE,
PARTICULARLY WITH THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL WHERE
MALE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS ARE BECOME BEING SORT OF A RARE
COMMODITY. INDEED WE ARE TRYING TO NOW
QUANTIFY THIS, THE THOUSANDS OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN THIS
COUNTRY IN WHICH THERE IS NOT A SINGLE MALE TEACHER. THAT’S A CONCERN. THERE IS THE ROLE MODELS ISSUES,
PARTICULARLY WITH SINGLE PARENTHOOD. I MEAN, LOTS OF, LOTS OF THE PUBLIC ARE
VERY CONCERNED, THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEIR CHILDREN EXPOSED TO
MALE TEACHERS. BAYLOR: DO YOU THINK HIGHER PAY WOULD
CONTRIBUTE SIGNIFICANTLY TO A BIG INCREASE IN MORE MEN GETTING
INTO THE PROFESSION? DR. iNGERSOLL: IT MIGHT. IT MIGHT. BECAUSE WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IS IN
REAL DOLLARS ONCE YOU ADJUST FOR INFLATION, NATIONALLY TEACHERS
SALARIES HAVE NOT GONE UP VERY MUCH OVER THE LAST COUPLE
DECADES. THAT COULD BE AN ISSUE. IT’S STILL A PUZZLE, THOUGH. STILL A PUZZLE WHY TEACHING IS
BECOMING — I MEAN IT IS NOT THAT MEN AREN’T GOING IN. I MEAN, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
BALLOONING THERE’S BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF
WOMEN, ERR OF MEN GOING INTO
TEACHING BUT THE INCREASE OF WOMEN HAS COMPLETELY
SWAMPED THE INCREASE IN MEN. BAYLOR: ALL RIGHT. YOUR FOURTH TREND YOU WANTED TO
POINT OUT IS, THAT UH, TEACHER TURNOVER IS HIGHER THAN THE
TURNOVER IS IN OTHER PROFESSIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. DR. INGERSOLL: YES. TEACHERS LEAVING, DEPARTING,
ATTRITION. EXITING, QUITTING, HAS ALWAYS
BEEN A BIG PROBLEM FOR THE TEACHING OCCUPATION. RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING. IT HAS BEEN IN THERE. IN FACT I WAS SOMEWHAT SORT OF
BUILT INTO THE DESIGN ORIGINALLY WHEN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
WAS INVENTED, TEACHING WAS QUITE EXPLICITLY MADE WOMEN’S WORK, AND THE IDEA WAS THAT IT WAS A
PRELUDE TO WOMEN’S REAL JOB, WHICH IS RAISING THE NEXT
GENERATION AND SO HENCE WHEN WOMEN GOT MARRIED, THEY ACTUALLY
HAD TO, THEY HAD TO QUIT TEACHING. AND SO THIS IDEA THAT IT WAS A
TEMPORARY LINE OF WORK, BEFORE YOU GOT YOUR REAL JOB, IS SORT
OF A HISTORICAL THING WE HAVE BEEN STUCK WITH. AND INDEED SO IT IS ALWAYS BEEN
A HIGH TURNOVER OCCUPATION. PARTICULARLY IN THE FIRST FEW
YEARS. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND THE NEW
TREND IS, IS THAT, THE HIGH RATES OF ATTRITION AND QUITTING BY
BEGINNING TEACHERS, HAS BEEN GOING UP SLOWLY BUT SURELY OVER
THE LAST COUPLE DECADES. SO IT WAS ALWAYS HIGH. IT’S GETTING EVEN HIGHER. AND THAT’S A CONCERN. AND YOU CAN SEE FROM THIS NEXT
SLIDE THAT THERE HAS BEEN THIS — IT SEEMS LIKE A MORE GRADUAL
INCREASE THESE ARE THE ANNUAL ATTRITION
RATES. SO WE SEE IN THE LATE 1980’S
JUST UNDER 10 PERCENT OF THOSE IN THEIR FIRST YEAR QUIT AND DID
NOT RETURN TO A SECOND YEAR OF TEACHING. AND THEN WE SEE A COUPLE DECADES
LATER THAT IT WAS SLIGHTLY HIGHER. JUST OVER 13% QUIT AFTER ONE
YEAR. BUT REMEMBER NOW, IT IS A SMALL
PERCENTAGE INCREASE OF A MUCH MUCH LARGER NUMBER. BECAUSE OF THE FIRST TREND, THE
BALLOONING. SO THERE IS REALLY NOW ABOUT 5,
6 TIMES AS MANY FIRST-YEAR TEACHERS QUITTING AFTER ONE YEAR
AS THERE WERE 2.5 DECADES AGO. AND THIS A REAL CONCERN. BAYLOR: PROFESSOR, IN ONE YOUR
ARTICLES, YOU POINTED OUT THIS NOT JUST A FINANCIAL QUESTION. IF WE JUST RAISE SALARIES THAT
ALONE WILL NOT NECESSARILY HELP THE RETENTION ISSUE. THERE WAS AN EFFORT IN
CHATTANOOGA TO GUIDE TEACHERS AND GIVE THEM INCENTIVES TO GO
TO LOWER PERFORMING SCHOOLS FOR MUCH HIGHER PAY AND VERY FEW
TOOK ADVANTAGE OF OF THAT. THIS IS REALLY ABOUT IN-SERVICE
AND AT-SCHOOL SUPPORT BEING PROVIDED TO TEACHERS, ISN’T IT? DR. INGERSOLL: YES. YES. SALARIES MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AS DO BENEFITS. BUT AS YOU SAY, IN THE — AND
THE DATA ARE CLEAR ON THIS, THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY, NOR THE
MAIN FACTOR BEHIND THE HIGH LEVELS OF TURNOVER AND QUITTING
BY TEACHERS AND IN THIS CASE BY BEGINNING TEACHERS. THERE’S ALL KINDS OF OTHER
FACTORS INVOLVED, SOME OF WHICH
WOULD NOT COST MONEY TO FIX. THAT’S IMPORTANT. BECAUSE REMEMBER THIS IS THE
LARGE OCCUPATION. I MEAN, INCREASING ALL THE TEACHERS IN
THE COUNTRY; IF YOU INCREASED ALL THE TEACHER SALARIES BY JUST
A THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR, YOU COULD RUN THE NUMBERS. I MEAN THERE IS ALMOST 4 MILLION
TEACHERS IN THIS COUNTRY. IT IS A BIG TICKET ITEM. BAYLOR: YEAH. DR. INGERSOLL: BUT WHAT THE DATA TELLS US, THERE
IS ALL KINDS IF THINGS — LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS THAT LEADS PARTICULARLY
THESE BEGINNING TEACHERS TO QUIT IS HAVING A LACK OF FACULTY
INPUT AND VOICE IN THE KEY DECISIONS IN THE SCHOOL THAT
AFFECT THEIR JOBS. AND QUITE OFTEN
TEACHERS HAVE LITTLE SAY. IT IS NOT TREATED AS A
PROFESSION WHERE THE EXPERTS
HAVE INPUT INTO KEY
DECISIONS. SCHOOLS VARY, BUT IN GENERAL TEACHERS DON’T HAVE A LOT OF SAY WELL IT TURNS OUT THIS ONE OF
THE MAIN FACTORS BEHIND THE QUIT — HIGH QUIT RATES. THAT’S AN ISSUE OF MANAGEMENT. THAT’S AN ISSUE OF, OF ALLOWING
MECHANISMS FOR MORE TEACHER VOICE AND INPUT. IT’S DEMOCRACY. BAYLOR: GIVE MORE INPUT. IT DOESN’T SEEM TOO
COMPLICATED. GIVE THEM MORE INPUT BUT
ALSO GIVE THEM MENTORING. I MEAN IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, FOR EXAMPLE
MANDATES FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS THE TEACHER IS ON THE JOB THAT,
HE OR SHE RECEIVES A MENTOR ON A VERY REGULAR BASIS AND MY
UNDERSTANDING THAT IS PRETTY HIGH FOR MOST STATES. THEY MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS FOR
TWO FULL YEARS. IS IT A LOT MORE COMPLICATED
THAN THAT? AND OTHER ISSUE I HEAR FROM
TEACHERS ALL THE TIME, IS THAT THEY GET OUT OF THE PROFESSION BECAUSE THE ADMINISTRATION DOESN’T SUPPORT THEM ON STUDENT DISCIPLINE QUESTIONS? THAT THERE’S NOT SUFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF STUDENT BEHAVIOR WITHIN THESE BUILDINGS. DR. INGERSOLL: YOU’VE JUST HIT TWO OF THE ISSUES THAT THE NATIONAL DATA SHOW ARE HIGHLY CORRELATED WITH TEACHERS QUIT DECISIONS. SO SUPPORT FOR BEGINNING TEACHERS. PROVIDING A MENTOR, THE TERM OFTEN USED IS INDUCTION. WE’VE HAD A NUMBER OF STUDIES– I’VE DONE SOME OF THESE MYSELF, THAT SHOW THAT IF YOU PROVIDE A YEAR OR TWO OF SUPPORT FOR BEGINNING TEACHERS, HAVE A VETERAN
SERVE AS A MENTOR, HAVE STRUCTURE, SOME
COLLABORATION TIME BETWEEN THAT BEGINNER AND OTHER TEACHERS IN THERE SAME GRADE LEVEL OR FIELD, ALL THOSE KINDS OF THINGS HAVE A, HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE RETENTION OF TEACHERS ON HOW WELL THEY PERFORM IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. SO YES, YOU ARE RIGHT, IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. I’M A FORMER HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, WHEN I TAUGHT, WE HAD WHAT WAS CALLED THE SINK OR SWIM SYSTEM, YOU GOT THE JOB, THE PRINCIPAL HANDED YOU THE KEYS TO YOUR CLASSROOM, GAVE YOU A PAT ON THE BACK AND THAT WAS IT. YOU WERE ON YOUR OWN. BAYLOR: YOU’RE ON AN ISLAND FOR THE NEXT 9 MONTHS. DR. INGERSOLL: DURING; YOU KNOW YOU GOT 25 MINUTES FOR LUNCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, OTHERWISE YOU DIDN’T SEE OTHER TEACHERS, YOU WERE ON YOUR OWN AND SUNK -SWAM AND A LOT SANK. SO, WE HAVE A GROWING RECOGNITION NOW, THAT PROVIDING SOME KIND OF ORIENTATION SUPPORT, MENTORING INDUCTION FOR TEACHERS IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS IS VERY BENEFICIAL, IT’S NOT COST FREE, BUT IT RECOUPS ITS’ MONEY BECAUSE IF TEACHERS CAN GET BETTER, YOU SEE IMPROVEMENTS IN STUDENTS SCORES, YOU SEE IMPROVEMENTS IN RETENTION AND HENCE YOU
DON’T CONSTANTLY HAVE TO SPEND
MONEY TO HIRE REPLACEMENT TEACHERS. BAYLOR: PROFESSOR, IN ABOUT 60 MORE SECONDS. WE’RE DOING A BETTER JOB AS A NATION UH MAKING SURE OUR TEACHING STAFF IS MUCH MORE RACIALLY DIVERSE THEN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST, AREN’T WE? DR. INGERSOLL: YES. AND THAT IS ANOTHER INTERESTING
FINDING, THAT IS ANOTHER INTERESTING TREND. YOU KNOW WE HAD THIS — OVER THE
LAST COUPLE DECADES WE HAVE HAD THIS FEAR OF A MINORITY TEACHER
SHORTAGE, THAT THE ARGUMENT IS THAT THE TEACHING FORCE DOESN’T
LOOK LIKE AMERICA. THAT AMERICA HAS GOT MORE
RACIALLY ETHNICALLY DIVERSE AND THE TEACHING FORCE HASN’T
KEPT PACE AND IT IS TRUE. THAT THE PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS
ARE MINORITY, IS MUCH HIGHER THAN THE PERCENTAGE OF TEACHERS
ARE MINORITY. BUT THE TRUTH IS, AND THE DATA SHOWED US CLEARLY, THERE’S BEEN SOMETHING OF AN UNHERALDED SUCCESS, WE’VE HAD A, WE’VE HAD A OVER 100
PERCENT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF MINORITY TEACHERS THIS
COUNTRY AND MINORITY TEACHERS HAVE BEEN GOING UP FASTER THAN
NON-MINORITY TEACHERS. THEIR RATE INCREASE IS FASTER
THAN MINORITY STUDENTS AND SO THERE’S ACTUALLY BEEN A VICTORY HERE. TURNS OUT 2/3 OF THE STATES HAVE
MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT EFFORTS. I’M NOT QUITE SURE ABOUT
NEBRASKA AND, AND THEY’VE WORKED. THEY’VE PAID OFF, IT’S A SUCCESS STORY THAT SHOULD BE
CONTINUED. BAYLOR: ALL RIGHT PROFESSOR, FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THIS
TOPIC, HOW DO WE BUILD BETTER TEACHERS, GIVE US LIKE THE BIG
3, 3 THINGS THAT YOU ARE THE CZAR OF EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA. YOU’D WANT TO IMPLEMENT? DR. INGERSOLL: WELL, I THINK IT IS REALLY
VERY SIMPLE. BUT PERHAPS ALSO COMPLEX. IF WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE
GROWTH, THE LEARNING, THE ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS, THEN WE
NEED TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF TEACHERS AND TEACHING. AND THE WAY TO DO THAT IS TO
IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE TEACHING JOB. I DON’T THINK THERE IS ANY
ROCKET SCIENCE HERE. WELL RESPECTED, WELL PAID
OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS THAT YOU KNOW HAVE GOOD WORKING
CONDITIONS, THEY DO NOT HAVE PROBLEMS OF RECRUITMENT AND
RETENTION. THERE IS WAITING LISTS, MILES
LONG WHERE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME LAWYERS. WELL, WE HAVE ENOUGH LAWYERS. SO, TO ME THIS IS WHAT WE NEED
TO DO. IT IS NOT COST FREE OF COURSE BUT
THINK BACK TO SOME OF OUR EARLIER DISCUSSION. WE COULD IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF
THE TEACHING JOB IN SOME WAYS WITHOUT SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY. BAYLOR: PROFESSOR INGERSOLL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THIS STATE OF
EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA. DR. INGERSOLL: THANKS FOR HAVING ME, JOHN. JOHN BAYLOR: THE TRENDS THAT DR. INGERSOLL
HIGHLIGHTED HAVE SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF
OUR SCHOOLS. HOW DO THESE
TRENDS PLAY OUT IN NEBRASKA? WHAT CHALLENGES FACING NEBRASKA SCHOOLS ARE REFLECTED BY CHANGING NATIONAL LANDSCAPES? AND TO HELP US GRAPPLE WITH THESE QUESTIONS,
WE’RE FORTUNATE TO BE JOINED BY THREE OF NEBRASKA’S OWN
LEADERS IN EDUCATION WHO ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN EFFORTS TO
ENSURE THAT ALL NEBRASKA YOUTH HAVE ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY
TEACHERS. TAKING PART IN OUR PANEL ARE,
CHRIS PROULX, PRESIDENT OF THE OMAHA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, FERIAL PEARSON, INSTRUCTOR OF EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA OMAHA AND KYLE McGOWAN, HE’S THE
SUPERINTENDENT OF CRETE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THANK YOU THREE FOR JOINING US. YOUR INITIAL REACTIONS TO ANYTHING YOU JUST HEARD FROM DR. INGERSOLL? CHRIS PROULX: I THINK WHERE HE LEFT OFF,
TALKING ABOUT THE LACK OF AUTONOMY IN SCHOOLS IS BEING A
KEY CAUSE OF SOME OF THE TEACHER ATTRITION. SOMETHING THAT I HAVE HEARD A
LOT FROM TEACHERS AND WHEN YOU COMPARE THAT TO THE MEDICAL
PROFESSION AN EXAMPLE, AH, YOU KNOW AS A DOCTOR WE TRUST THEM TO GO IN
AND WORKING WITH A PATIENT, TO MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS AND TO
DETERMINE ON THEIR OWN WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR PATIENT. BUT THAT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT
WE SEE TAKE PLACE IN SCHOOLS THAT AS A TEACHER I DON’T HAVE
THE ABILITY TO COME IN AND JUST SAY THIS IS WHAT I NEED TO DO IN
MY CLASSROOM. THIS WHAT I NEED TO DO FOR MY
STUDENTS. AH, THOSE DECISIONS ARE OFTEN MADE BY PEOPLE
ABOVE THEM, WHETHER IT’S THE PRINCIPAL OR AT THE DISTRICT
OFFICE AND SO WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF GIVING SOME MORE
OWNERSHIP OF DECISION-MAKING AT THE TEACHER LEVEL. NOT JUST A SPOT AT THAT TABLE
PER SE BUT A SEAT AT THE TABLE AND TO ENSURE THAT THE DECISIONS
THAT GET MADE AT THAT TABLE THAT, THERE IS A GENUINE OUTCOME
THAT HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY THE INPUT THAT TEACHERS HAVE GIVEN. BAYLOR: THIS FEELING THAT BIG DECISIONS ARE MADE IN A
TOP-DOWN FASHION? CHRIS PROULX: TOO OFTEN I THINK THAT IS TRUE. KYLE McGOWAN: I DON’T THINK THAT’S TRUE VERY OFTEN. I THINK GOOD SCHOOLS AH,INCLUDE
TEACHERS, AH IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT
TEACHERS HAVE GREAT INPUT AND KNOW THEIR CHILDREN THE BEST. I, I THINK PRINCIPALS ARE OFTEN
TAKEN, FROM THE TEACHER RANKS FROM THE TEACHERS WHO ARE BEING
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SO I THINK THAT AH, GOOD PRINCIPALS
UNDERSTAND THAT. IF YOU INVOLVE TEACHERS
SINCERELY AH, WITH DECISIONS THAT THEIR INPUT IS VALUED. BAYLOR: HOW ABOUT MENTORING? IS THAT SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE
SUFFICIENT AMOUNTS OF, FOR OUR NEW TEACHERS? WE’RE GOING HAVE THIS GREENING OF
AMERICA’S TEACHING PROFESSION AND SO MANY OF THEM ARE SO YOUNG
AND IN THEIR FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD YEAR. WE HAVE GOT TO HAVE REGULAR
MENTORING. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT GOALS ON
IN THE SUSTAINED WAY IN THE EARLY YEARS IN NEBRASKA? McGOWAN: [SIGH} IT DOES IN CRETE. WE DO HAVE A AH, YEARLY ORGANIZED
PLANNED MENTORSHIP FOR NEW TEACHERS. I DO THINK ALONG WITH THAT AND — IF
WE CONTINUE TO YOU KNOW USE THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AS AN EXAMPLE
WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME AS AN INTERNSHIP AS AN APPRENTICESHIP. BUT DO I THINK THAT TEACHERS TOO
OFTEN ARE THROWN INTO THE FIRE AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO SUSTAIN
GOOD TEACHERS AND MAINTAIN THEM IN YOUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, YOU
REALLY HAVE NO TO NURTURE THAT AND SUPPORT THEM. FERIAL PEARSON: I KNOW THAT AT OPS, I WAS A MENTOR FOR A
FEW YEARS TO NEW TEACHERS BUT THEY ARE STEPPING THAT UP A
LITTLE BIT WITH INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING NOW AS WELL. SO COACHES ARE VERY DIFFERENT
FROM A MENTOR. A MENTOR IS HELPING YOU WITH
YOUR WELL-BEING, MAKING SURE YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF
YOURSELF, THAT THEY’RE HELPING YOU WITH THINGS THAT YOU MIGHT ASK FOR HELP WITH. BUT INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES, ACTUALLY GO INTO THE
CLASSROOM, OBSERVE WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING, SIT DOWN WITH THEM
AND REFLECT ON WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN A NON EVALUATIVE WAY. SO IT IS NOT LIKE YOUR PRINCIPAL
COMING IN AND YOU HAVE KIND OF GOT YOUR GUARD UP AND NOT REALLY
SHOWING THEM WHO YOU REALLY ARE BUT IT’S A COLLEAGUE WHO COMES
IN AND SAYS OH MY GOODNESS YOU DID THIS REALLY REALLY WELL. HOW DO YOU THINK THE LESSON WENT
AND THEN YOU WOULD TELL THEM AND SAY WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD DO
DIFFERENTLY AND WHAT WOULD STUDENTS DO DIFFERENTLY TO MAKE
THIS LESSON EVEN BETTER. AND YOU KIND OF COME UP WITH A
GOAL TOGETHER AND THEN UM YOUR COACH WOULD HELP YOU FIND
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT TO HELP YOU GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GET
DO. BAYLOR: YOU’RE NOT BEING JUDGED, YOU’RE BEING SUPPORTED. PEARSON: EXACTLY. AND YOU’RE GETTING FEEDBACK FROM SOMEBODY
WHO IS IN THE CLASSROOM CURRENTLY AND UNDERSTANDS
THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU ARE FACING. BAYLOR: FERIAL, DOES IT HAPPEN ENOUGH? MY DAUGHTER’S IN HIGH SCHOOL. THERE’S ONE TEACHER THAT’S FAIRLY NEW, SOME OF THE STUDENTS NOT CRAZY
ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN THAT CLASSROOM. SHE HAS YET TO SEE ANOTHER ADULT
COME IN AND JUST WATCH. PEARSON: IT’S A TREND THAT’S COMING
UP NOW. AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE
DOING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA IS REALLY GOING TO
HELP, IS INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING. IT’S WHY I WAS HIRED THERE. FRESH OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND
SO WE WORK WITH PRE SERVICE TEACHERS. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE,
AND AS FAR AS WE KNOW, IT’S NOT HAPPENING ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY. WHERE TEACHERS ARE GOING INTO
CLASSROOMS RIGHT AWAY, RIGHT WHEN THEY JUST GET ACCEPTED INTO
THE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM. SO IT IS JUST THE FIRST CLASS
I’M LEARNING HOW TO WRITE LESSON PLANS, BUT THEY ARE BEING PUT
INTO A CLASSROOM WITH AN INSTRUCTIONAL COACH FOR
SUSTAINED AMOUNT OF TIME. IT’S VERY INTENTIONAL AND MEANINGFUL. AND I GO IN AS THEIR COACH, YOU
KNOW THE FIRST. THE FIRST PRACTICUM IS 60 HOURS. THE SAME TEACHER, SAME BLOCK OF
TIME, SAME STUDENTS EVERY DAY FOR 5 WEEKS. AND WE VIDEOTAPE THEM, AND WE GO
THROUGH THE VIDEO WITH THEM. AND WE TALK ABOUT YOU KNOW WHAT
WENT WELL, WHAT DIDN’T. HOW CAN I HELP YOU. I PROVIDE THEM WITH
RESEARCH-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES AND WHEN I FIRST
COACH PEOPLE, AT FIRST THEY ARE A LITTLE NERVOUS WHEN I COME
BUT BY THE SECOND OR THIRD TIME, THEY ARE ASKING ME TO COME IN
MORE OFTEN. THEY ARE ASKING FOR FEEDBACK. THEY ARE USED TO REFLECTING ON
THEIR TEACHING. THEY ARE USED TO COLLABORATING
WITH PEOPLE. AND THAT’S PART OF THE PROBLEM
I THINK WITH TEACHER ATTRITION IS YOU ARE JUST ON THIS ISLAND
AND YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP. AND YOU FEEL TOO PROUD AND I
HAVE TO DO THIS BY MYSELF BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE DID, BUT
OUR STUDENTS ARE GOING TO COME OUT HAVING HAD 3 YEARS OF COACHING
RIGHT BEFORE STUDENT TEACHING. SO, THEY’RE USED TO FEEDBACK.
THEY’RE USED TO ASKING FOR HELP. THEY’RE USED TO COLLABORATING. THEY’RE USED TO HAVING SOMEBODY
COME IN AND WATCH THEM AND GIVE THEM CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. BAYLOR: WITHIN OUR EDUCATOR TRAINING PROGRAMS, DO WE
HELP OUR FUTURE TEACHERS PREPARE FOR LIFE AS
A TEACHER IN THE RURAL AREA
VERSUS LIFE AS A TEACHER IN THE URBAN AREA AND ARE THERE
MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCES? McGOWAN: WELL, I GUESS I’M REPRESENTING THE RURAL BUT JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, JOHN, SALINE,
CRETE IN SALINE COUNTY IS THE URBAN SCHOOL. OKAY WE’RE THE METRO SCHOOL, SO IT’S
REALLY RELATIVE. BAYLOR: EVERYTHING ELSE IS A SUBURB. McGOWAN: RIGHT. RIGHT, WILBUR IS A SUBURB. YOU’RE RIGHT. UM, AND THERE ARE DIFFERENCES. BUT I WILL TELL YOU, IN MY
OPINION, NEBRASKA IS — HAS SOME REAL CHALLENGES. SO CRETE IS GROWING BECAUSE OUR
MINORITY POPULATION IS GROWING. CRETE IS GROWING BECAUSE OUR
POVERTY NUMBERS ARE GROWING. SO 60% OF OUR ELEMENTARY KIDS
ARE ON FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH. 55% OF OUR ENTIRE STUDENT BODY
IS — WOULD BE CONSIDERED MINORITIES, SO THAT’S LOOKING
MORE LIKE OMAHA THAN IT IS LOOKING — YOU KNOW, UM, LIKE
WESTERN NEBRASKA. SO — BUT IF — IF THE
POPULATION OF NEBRASKA IS GROWING, ITS NUMBERS ARE GROWING
WITH MORE MINORITY STUDENTS. AND THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES
BUT WHEN WE — WHEN WE LUMP ALL OF POVERTY TOGETHER, FOR
INSTANCE CRETE WOULD NOT HAVE GENERATIONAL POVERTY. THEY HAVE NEW FAMILIES THAT ARE
NEW TO THE UNITED STATES, THAT ARE WORKING 16 HOURS A DAY. AND THE NEXT GENERATION WILL
MOST LIKELY NOT BE IN POVERTY. THAT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN
URBAN I BELIEVE. PROULX: RIGHT. I WOULD SAY THERE IS
DEFINITELY SOME DIFFERENCES, I, I WOULD I HAVE TO SAY THERE’S
MUCH MORE SIMILAR THAN DIFFERENT IN THE URBAN AND THE RURAL
SETTING. I MEAN TEACHING MATH IS TEACHING
MATH BUT I, I LIKE — BUT I’VE HEARD SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT, AND I WOULD AGREE, TEACHING IS NOT ABOUT TEACHING THE CONTENT. AS MUCH AS IT IS ABOUT TEACHING
THE CHILD THE CONTENT AND I THINK IN THE URBAN SETTING, THE
CHALLENGES OF REACHING THE CHILDREN WHO COME FROM
GENERATIONAL POVERTY AH,
ITS, IT’S DIFFERENT CHALLENGE THAN — LIKE HE (McGOWAN) WAS DESCRIBING
NON GENERATIONAL POVERTY. THAT WHEN YOU HAVE PARENTS WHOSE
PARENTS AND WHOSE PARENTS PARENTS WHO ALL LIVED IN THIS
WORLD OF BEING POOR, AND A CHILD DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING DIFFERENT,
DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU KNOW RISE UP AND BE
SUCCESSFUL, YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH KIDS WHO SEE EARLY ON
THIRD AND FOURTH GRADE THAT THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ME
TO QUIT SCHOOL AND MAKE MORE MONEY DOING SOMETHING ILLICIT AND AND YOU’RE
TRYING TO REACH THAT CHILD WHO IS — WHOSE OLDER BROTHERS ARE
DOING THE SAME THING OR WHAT HAVE YOU. IT IS — OF I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU
TEACH THAT IN COLLEGE, HOW TO REACH THAT CHILD AND THAT FAMILY
AND A LOT OF THAT IS — COMES BACK DOWN TO A GOOD MENTORSHIP
PROGRAM. SO THAT THOSE,
THOSE EARLY TEACHERS WHEN THERE
IN THEIR FIRST YEAR, HAVE A MENTOR IN THE BUILDING WHO CAN
REALLY HELP THEM NAVIGATE THROUGH THOSE DIFFICULT
CONVERSATIONS WITH PARENTS. AND THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. BAYLOR: SOUNDS LIKE YOU ALL AGREE
THAT TEACHING IS A MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT PROFESSION EVEN THIS
THAN IT WAS 10, 15, 20 YEARS AGO BECAUSE OUR STUDENTS COME IN
WITH WITH MORE ISSUES THAN, THEIR PARENTS POSSIBLY DID. PEARSON : THAT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. I’VE TAUGHT KIDS IN POVERTY MY ENTIRE CAREER YEAR AND I’VE HAD GREAT
SUCCESS WITH THEM AND SOME OF THE THINGS — THE MOST CRUCIAL
THING FOR A TEACHER I THING NOWADAYS WHETHER YOU WANT TO
TEACH IN URBAN AREAS, IN SUBURBAN AREAS AND RURAL AREAS,
IS TO BE CULTURALLY COMPETENT IN YOUR TEACHING. WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT YOU
UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY STUDENT COMES TO YOU FROM WITHIN A
CONTEXT. AND YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT
THAT CONTEXT IS AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THEIR LANGUAGE IS AND
WHAT THEIR VALUES ARE AND WHO THEY KNOW AND WHAT THEY KNOW AND
DRAW FROM THAT NOT AS A DEFICIT BUT AS — WHERE I CALL
CULTURAL CAPITAL, SO
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING IS ABOUT KNOWING
YOURSELF AND WHAT YOUR CULTURAL LENSES ARE AND HOW YOUR VALUES
AND YOUR BELIEFS AND EXPECTATIONS ARE GOING TO AFFECT
THE WAY THAT YOU TEACH. AND SO UNDERSTANDING THAT, I
NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHO MY STUDENT IS, BEFORE I CAN
UNDERSTAND HOW TO REACH THAT STUDENT. SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’VE
DONE AT THE UNIVERSITY FOR A FEW YEARS
NOW IS WE DO UM, CULTURE WALKS. SO RIGHT BEFORE
THAT PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE,
IF I KNOW THAT UM THE STUDENTS I’M COACHING ARE GOING
TO BE DOING THEIR PRACTICUM IN NORTH OMAHA WE TAKE THEM THERE
WHERE THEY MEET COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM NORTH OMAHA. WE GO ON A LITERAL WALK AROUND
NORTH OMAHA AND WE REFLECT ON THAT. WHAT DID YOU SEE? SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THAT
THEIR PERCEPTIONS AND THEIR MISPERCEPTIONS, HOW THEY
ACTUALLY EXIST IN REALITY. AND THEN WHEN THEY GO INTO THE
SCHOOL WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT. WHAT WE’RE FINDING IS THAT
A LOT OF STUDENTS WHO ARE AFRAID OF TEACHING IN PARTS
OF TOWN THAT THEY’VE NEVER BEEN TO. OR THAT THEY DON’T ANYTHING
ABOUT AND THAT LEADS TO HUGE MISUNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN
TEACHER AND STUDENT AND THAT
LEADS TO TEACHERS DROPPING OUT OF
TEACHING, SO WHEN THEY GET TO THOSE, UM THOSE PERCEPTIONS AND
THOSE COMPETENCIES AND WE ALLOW THEM TO EXPLORE THAT AHEAD
OF TIME BEFORE THEY GET INTO THE TEACHING FORCE, WHEN THEY HAVE
THE SAFETY NET OF A COACH, THEN THEY ARE ABLE TO REALLY BE
CONFIDENT AND COMPETENT WITH HOW THEY DEAL WITH STUDENTS. BAYLOR: I WAS READING FERIAL, I’LL ADDRESS YOU ON THIS ONE BECAUSE
YOU ARE AN INSTRUCTOR AT UNO, SCHOOL OF EDUCATION. I WAS READING THE NATIONAL
COUNCIL ON TEACHER QUALITY, TEACHER PREPARATION REVIEW. IT’S A REVIEW THE ANNUAL TEACHER
PREPARATION PROGRAMS AND THEY — THEY WROTE THIS: “JUST OVER A QUARTER OF PROGRAMS
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD,UH EXCUSE ME, JUST OVER A QUARTER
PROGRAMS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE STRICT ADMISSIONS TO STUDENTS IN THE TOP HALF OF THEIR CLASS IN OUR EDUCATION PREPARATION PROGRAMS, COMPARED WITH THE HIGHEST
PERFORMING COUNTRIES WHICH LIMIT ENTRY TO JUST THE TOP THIRD
OF STUDENTS.” SHOULD WE HAVE — COMPETITIVE
ADMISSIONS FOR ENTRY INTO THIS PROFESSION? PEARSON: THEY ARE STILL PRETTY
COMPETITIVE I KNOW THAT MOST PROGRAMS YOU HAVE TO HAVE A 3.0 G.P.A. OR 3.75 IN SOME PLACES TO GET INTO THE TEACHING PROGRAM. UM, BUT WITH OUR NEW WAY OF
TEACHING, EDUCATION, AT UNO FOR EXAMPLE, THE PRACTICUM
EXPERIENCE IS TIED TO THE GRADE. SO IT’S 30% OF YOUR GRADE. IT USED TO BE YOU COULD LEARN
ALL THE THEORY, YOU COULD GET AN A IN THE
CLASS, UM AND THEN YOU WOULD
GET TO THE STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND COMPLETELY FAIL
THE STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE OR REALIZE YOU DON’T LIKE
TEACHING BUT THEN YOU’VE WASTED 4 YEARS OF TIME AND 4
YEARS OF TUITION AND NOW YOU ARE JUST INTO TEACHING BECAUSE YOWL
CAN’T AFFORD ANOTHER DEGREE. WHEREAS THIS ALLOWS YOU TO
FIGURE OUT EARLIER AND EARLIER OKAY, I DO LIKE THIS OR NO I
DON’T LIKE THIS. AND I STILL HAVE TIME AND
TUITION TO GET A DIFFERENT
DEGREE. BAYLOR: YOU’RE IN THE CLASSROOM MUCH EARLIER, IN YOUR EDUCATION CAREER. PEARSON: RIGHT. AND BECAUSE THE PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE
IS SO RIGOROUS; YOU HAVE TO VIDEOTAPE YOURSELF TEACHING, YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE STUDENT SAMPLES OF WORK YOU HAVE TO REFLECT ON IT, YOU
HAVE TO, YOU HAVE TO WRITE YOUR OBSERVATIONS DOWN, MEET
WITH A COACH AND PROFESSOR, IF YOU DON’T PASS THAT PRACTICUM
NOW, THE ACTUAL PRACTICE PART OF IT, NOT JUST THE THEORY BUT THE
PRACTICE TIED TO THE THEORY. IF YOU DO NOT PASS THAT FOR THAT CLASS, YOU ARE NOT
PASSING THE CLASS AT ALL. PROULX: I THINK WHAT YOU JUST BROUGHT
UP TOO, IT IS TOO LIMITED TO SAY SHOULD WE HAVE A HIGHER BAR FOR
ENTRY WHEN YOU LOOK AT A COUNTRY LIKE FINLAND WHO — THEIR BAR
FOR ENTRY IS THAT TOP 10%. TO GET IN. BUT THEY ALSO HAVE — WITHIN
THAT A HIGHER PAY STRUCTURE FOR THEIR TEACHERS. THEY HAVE HIGHER
AUTONOMY AND RESPECT FOR THE PROFESSION FOR TEACHERS. BAYLOR: SO IT’S RELATED? PROULX: I THINK IT IS — IT IS ALL OF
THAT COMBINED, IS WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE FOR THEM IF YOU WERE
TO PULL ONE PIECE OUT THAT — THAT ALONE ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE
THE GAME BUT WHEN YOU HAVE ALL OF THOSE PIECES TOGETHER, I
THINK THAT’S WHY YOU SEE SOME OF THESE BIG
DIFFERENCES IN OTHER COUNTRIES. BAYLOR: YOU THINK THEY MIGHT BE RELATED. YOU’RE RIGHT FINLAND DOES PAY A LITTLE BIT
MORE TO AH,TO ITS TEACHERS
THAN THE UNITED STATES DOES. BUT LET’S SAY WE HAD MINIMUM ACT
SCORES FOR EXAMPLE. TO GET INTO
THESE EDUCATION PROGRAMS. DO YOU THINK THEN THE RESPECT
WOULD COME WITH IT EVENTUALLY BECAUSE YOU’RE RIGHT. TEACHERS DESERVE A LOT MORE RESPECT. THIS IS THE MOST CRITICAL
PROFESSION IN THE COUNTRY. AND IN FINLAND THEY RECEIVE THAT
RESPECT. IN SOUTH KOREA THEY RECEIVE THAT
RESPECT, IN SINGAPORE THEY RECEIVE THAT RESPECT. BUT TO GET INTO THESE TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS, IT’S EFFECTIVELY THE EQUIVALENT OF GETTING INTO LIKE A GEORGETOWN. OR AN M.I.T. HERE WE HAVE A LOT OF TEACHER
TRAINING PROGRAMS WHERE IT IS OPEN-ENDED ADMISSIONS. IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP? McGOWAN: WELL I THINK THE SMALLER YOU MAKE THE
GATE OR THE HIGHER YOU PUT THE BAR, THEN I THINK IT LIMITS THE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT CAN PARTICIPATE. SO WHATEVER THE PROFESSION IS. I THINK UM, IT’S AH, YOU KNOW
THE RESEARCH WE JUST HEARD WAS MONEY WAS A FACTOR. BUT IT REALLY WASN’T THE NUMBER
ONE FACTOR IN TERMS OF JOB SATISFACTION. AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT TRYING TO
LIMIT THE — OR RAISE THE ACT SCORES IS NOT GOING TO RESULT IN
HIGHER STUDENT SCORES. UM, I THINK THAT THERE IS AN A
RELATIONSHIP, AN ART BUILDING PROCESS FOR TEACHERS THAT IS —
IS DIFFERENT, DIFFICULT TO DEFINE BUT WE ALL KNOW IT
EXISTS. AND SO WHEN YOU TALK CHRIS,
ABOUT, TEACHING TO THE STUDENT, OR YOU TALK ABOUT CULTURAL
CAPITAL, THAT’S THE ART OF A TEACHER DEVELOPING A
RELATIONSHIP THAT KNOWS HOW TO MOTIVATE AND GET THROUGH. BAYLOR: SO KYLE WHEN TRYING TO HIRE
SOMEONE IN THE CRETE PUBLIC SCHOOLS YOU’RE NOT INTERESTED
IN WHAT THEIR A.C.T. SCORES WAS GOING INTO COLLEGE? McGOWAN: I’M NOT. I’M NOT. NOW THEY HAVE GOT A DEGREE. AND JUST BY APPLICATION PROCESS,
WE LOOK AT THE GPA. AND WOULD I HAVE TO TELL YOU
THAT IT WOULD BE RARE FOR US TO HIRE SOMEONE THAT HAS A GPA
BELOW 3.5. JUST — THE CREAM SORT OF COMES
TO THE TOP AND IN THE FINALISTS, YOU USUALLY SEE HIGH GPA’S. I DON’T LOOK AT THE ACT’S AT ALL
BUT IN TERMS OF THEIR GPA. PEARSON: I COMPLETELY AGREE BECAUSE TEACHING IS AN ART. IT REALLY IS AN ART. AND SO YOU MIGHT HAVE SOMEBODY
WHO HAS MAJOR TEST ANXIETY AND DOES NOT SCORE WELL ON THE ACT,
BUT THIS PERSON CAN REACH CHILDREN LIKE NOBODY ELSE CAN. THEY KNOW THEIR CONTENT LIKE NOBODY ELSE CAN. THEY ARE ABLE TO EXPLAIN IT. YOU CAN HAVE — WE HAVE ALL HAD
PROFESSORS WHO KNOW THEIR STUFF, HERE IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST WHO
WORKED FOR NASA AND THEY KNOW PHYSICS LIKE
YOU CAN’T BELIEVE BUT THEN
YOU PUT THEM IN FRONT OF A CLASSROOM OF CHILDREN AND THEY
HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW TO GET THAT ACROSS TO CHILDREN. AND THAT’S WHEN IT BECOMES MORE
OF AN ART. BAYLOR: AND FERIAL WE’D ALL AGREE THAT THERE’S
JUST NOT ENOUGH WOMEN IN STEM FIELDS; SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY,
ENGINEERING, MATH. A 2010 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO STUDY FOUND THAT FEMALE
TEACHERS CAN TRANSFER THEIR FEAR OF MATH TO THEIR STUDENTS
AND THAT ONE REASON WE DON’T HAVE AS MANY GIRLS GOING INTO
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY OR MATH THAT’S IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHEN
THEY ARE TAUGHT PRIMARILY BY FEMALE TEACHERS, THE FEMALE
TEACHERS ARE SHOWING AN ANXIETY REGARDING MATH AND SCIENCE AND
FOR SOME REASON THOSE LITTLE GIRLS ARE INTERNALIZING THAT. AND YOU ARE SUGGESTING THOUGH
THAT IT — THAT THAT KIND OF MATH ACUMEN, IF WE ARE NOT GOING
TO LOOK AT ACT SCORES AND LET ANYONE GET INTO IT, MAY NOT BE
ADDRESSED. ARE YOU — DO WE NEED MORE MATH RIGOR
IN OUR TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM? PEARSON: I THINK WE NEED RIGOR IN ALL ASPECTS OF TEACHER TRAINING AND
AND THE SAME GOES FOR OUR CLASSROOMS. WE HAVE TO HAVE HIGH
EXPECTATIONS FOR OUR STUDENTS. IF WE DON’T RAISE OUR
EXPECTATIONS THEY WON’T REACH THEM. UM, BUT WE WANT OUR TEACHER
CANDIDATES TO HAVE THE RIGHT DISPOSITIONS, TO TEACH. SO WE NEED TO LOOK AT, IS THIS
ASKING THEY REALLY WANT TO DO, IS THIS SOMETHING THAT THEY SEE
AS A VOCATION? UM, A LOT OF THE STUDENTS THAT I
COACH I ASK THEM, WHY ARE YOU — WHY DO YOU WANT TO TEACH MATH? AND IF THEY TELL ME IT IS
BECAUSE I LOVE MATH, I HAVE TO PROBE A LITTLE BIT AND SAY AND? AND IF THEY DON’T TELL ME I LOVE
WORKING WITH CHILDREN, THEN I KNOW THERE IS SOMETHING — THERE
IS SOMETHING TO BE DONE HERE AND WE NEED TO HAVE MORE
CONVERSATIONS. SO IT’S ABOUT RIGOR, IT’S
ABOUT RELEVANCE, IT’S ABOUT DISPOSITION, IT’S ABOUT UM.
TREATING YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL AND SOMEBODY WHO IS
ALWAYS LEARNING, SEEKING OUT UM, HELP AND FEEDBACK AND
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF AND FOR
STUDENTS. SO THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT
FACTORS THAT COME INTO BEING. BEING A GOOD TEACHER AND PREPARING A TEACHER. McGOWAN: THE HIGH PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN
TEACHING IS REALLY INTERESTING BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE IT’S
EVEN GROWING MORE AND I TOOK A LOOK AT CRETE AND SAW THAT
REALLY ONLY 11% OF OUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS WERE MALE. 30 PERCENT AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
WERE MALE. AND ABOUT 50 PERCENT OF OUR HIGH
SCHOOL TEACHERS WERE MALE. SO, I UM, THINK THERE IS A LOT
OF FACTORS THAT GO INTO THAT. IT IS INTERESTING. I, I, SINCE YOU BROUGHT IT UP JOHN, OF OUR 4 SCIENCE TEACHERS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL, AH TWO OF THEM ARE FEMALE AND TWO
ARE MALE. SO- PROULX: TO YOUR POINT– I THINK AS WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THIS 21ST CENTURY
EDUCATION FOR KIDS, ANECDOTALLY YOU TALK TO ELEMENTARY TEACHERS
YOU, YOU WILL FIND THAT A LOT OF THEM GOT INTO ELEMENTARY
AS THEIR SPECIALTY
AREA BECAUSE MATH WAS NOT THEIR STRENGTH. AND I THINK WHEN YOU KNOW WE LOOK AT HOW — OR TALK
ABOUT HOW WE RAISE THE ACHIEVEMENT IN MATH AND SCIENCE AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL AND KNOWING
IT BEGINS AT THE KINDERGARTEN LEVEL, WHAT — WHAT SHOULD WE BE
DOING AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL TO PREP TEACHERS WHO MAY BE —
MAYBE WHOSE MATH WASN’T THEIR STRONG SUIT COMING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. BUT WHAT DO WE DO AT THE UNIVERSITY
LEVEL NO GET THEM TO BE VERY VERY CONFIDENT IN
THEIR MATHEMATICAL
ABILITY SO IT MAY NOT BE THEIR ULTIMATE FORTE, BUT WE
— I WANT TO MAKE SURE AS A PARENT, OF 3 KIDS, THAT IN FIRST
GRADE I WANT THEM ALL TO BE IN FRONT OF A TEACHER WHO IS VERY
CONFIDENT IN HIS OR HER ABILITY TO TEACH MATH. OR ANY SUBJECT AREA FOR THAT
MATTER. SO- BAYLOR:
WELL, PANEL WE HEAR THE TERM 21ST CENTURY EDUCATOR A LOT IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT EDUCATION. YET ONE OF THE SEVEN TRENDS THAT
DR. INGERSOLL TALKS ABOUT IS THAT THE TEACHING FORCE HAS BEEN
GETTING OLDER. OUR STUDENTS ARE DIGITAL NATIVES
AND LIVE IN A MEDIA SATURATED WORLD, WHICH MEANS TEACHERS
PERHAPS NEED DIGITAL SKILLS THAT WERE NOT
REQUIRED PREVIOUSLY. SO MAYBE THE QUESTION IS NOT HOW
WE BUILD BETTER TEACHERS, BUT HOW DO WE ENSURE THAT CURRENT
TEACHERS CAN ADAPT THEIR TEACHING PRACTICES TO THE LEARNING NEEDS
OF TODAY’S STUDENTS? DO YOU THINK THERE IS
GENERATIONAL GAP CHALLENGES THAT WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB WITH? KYLE McGOWAN: I THINK THERE IS DEFINITELY
GAPS BUT TEACHERS TODAY WILL NOT SURVIVE, BECAUSE STUDENTS WON’T
PUT UP WITH NOT BEING ABLE TO USE OR ACCESS THE TECHNOLOGY
THAT WILL HELP THEM LEARN. AND THAT — THAT’S AN ISSUE AND
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TEACHER TRAINING, UM, THERE’S SUCH A
PLETHORA OF TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE. SO HOW DOES A TEACHER
INCORPORATE THAT INTO THEIR EVERY DAY LESSONS TO ENHANCE WHAT
THEY’RE ALREADY DOING? AND I — I THINK THAT IS —
SHOULD BE A REAL FOCUS FOR OUR TEACHER PREP SCHOOLS AND AS WELL
AS JUST IN SERVICES FOR CURRENT SCHOOLS. FERIAL PEARSON: I COMPLETELY AGREE AND THE
KEY WORD THERE IS ENHANCE. BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES YOU HAVE
THE INITIATIVES IN SCHOOLS WHERE THEY SAY OKAY, WE’VE GOT I-PADS. YOU HAVE TO USE I-PADS. AND SO IT BECOMES ALL ABOUT THE
TECHNOLOGY AND NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO TEACH. SO IT IS ABOUT USING THE I-PAD TO
ENHANCE YOUR TEACHING OR IT IS ABOUT USING CELL PHONES TO
ENHANCE YOUR TEACHING. AND I KNOW THAT WHEN I COACH MY
STUDENTS, SOME OF THEM STILL COME IN WITH THAT IDEA OF CELL
PHONES AWAY, NOBODY CAN HAVE A CELL PHONE OUT EVER AND NOT
GOING TO SEE IT AND WILL TAKE IT AWAY IF WE SEE IT BUT I WILL
SUGGEST SOMETHING LIKE WHY DON’T WE USE– EVERYWHERE? IF EVERYBODY HAS A CELL
PHONE, IT IS FREE, IT IS ON THE INTERNET, YOU JUST THROW IT UP
ON THE PROJECTOR. YOU ASK THE STUDENTS A QUESTION
AND THEY TEXT THE ANSWER AND THEY LOVE IT AND
YOU’VE GOT A FORM OF ASSESSMENT
RIGHT THERE. UM SO IT’S SLOWLY CHANGING THOSE MINDS THAT USE,
AGAIN IT IS BEING CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE. WE ARE BEING RESPONSIVE TO
CULTURE OF TECHNOLOGY. TO THE CULTURE OF INSTANT
GRATIFICATION ALMOST AND SHORTER ATTENTION SPANS AND REALLY
TAILORING OUR TEACHING SO THAT WE ARE REACHING THOSE STUDENTS. JOHN BAYLOR: CHRIS, DR. INGERSOLL TALKED
ABOUT 5 REASONS THAT PEOPLE, TEACHERS LEAVE THE PROFESSION. ONE A LACK OF MENTORING, LACK OF POSITIVE INTERACTION WITH ADMINISTRATION. AH, ALSO LACK IF STUDENT BEHAVIOR
MANAGEMENT. IN OUR STUDENT — IN OUR
BUILDINGS. OR TEACHERS FELL LIKE THEY ARE
UNSUPPORTED WHEN IT COMES TO DISCIPLINE CHALLENGES. THEIR INPUT ISN’T VALUED
AND FIVE IS MONEY. IS MONEY NEAR THE TOP OR ARE
THESE OTHER ISSUES MORE IMPORTANT THAN HIGHER PAY?
BECAUSE HIGHER PAY WITH ALL THE TEACHERS WE HAVE, IT’S A BIG
TICKET ITEM. CHRIS PROULX: I, I WOULD SAY WITHOUT A DOUBT
THAT MONEY IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT. BUT I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT MONEY
IS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE THAT WOULD DRIVE OR MOTIVATE
TEACHERS. IT DOESN’T HURT TO TALK ABOUT
HOW MIGHT YOU USE MONEY AS AN INCENTIVE TO DO SOMETHING. BUT, AT THE END OF THE DAY,
WHAT’S GOING TO REALLY MOTIVATE TEACHERS TO WANT TO BE BETTER —
AND TO WANT TO STAY IN THE CLASSROOM, IS THOSE OTHER
NON MONETARY FACTORS TO HAVE GREATER OWNERSHIP OR SENSE OF
OWNERSHIP OF HOW I TEACH AND WHAT I TEACH, TO BE BETTER
SUPPORTED BY MY ADMINISTRATOR TO HAVE A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH
AN ADMINISTRATOR WHO IS REALLY GOOD AT, AT WHAT FERIAL WAS DESCRIBING, BUT WITH COACHING . AND BEING SUPPORTIVE IN THAT WAY
IF THAT EXISTS, YOU, YOU WOULD SEE
TEACHERS STRIVE TO GO AND TEACH AT THOSE HARD TO TEACH SCHOOLS. IF WE COULD ADEQUATELY ADDRESS
SOME OF THOSE THINGS, MORE SO THAN IF YOU DANGLE A CARROT
AND THERE’S AMPLE RESEARCH OUT THERE TO SHOW THERE IS A BIG STUDY IN NEW
YORK WHERE THEY MOTIVATED PEOPLE OR TRIED TO MOTIVATE THEM WITH $10,000 TO
GO AND TEACH AT SOME OF THESE SCHOOLS AND THEY FOUND THAT
NOTHING CHANGED IN THE SCHOOL. JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE WILLING
TO GIVE THESE BIG BONUSES FOR — TO GET PEOPLE TO GO TO THESE
HARD TO FILL SCHOOLS. AT THE END OF THE DAY IT REALLY
— YOU HAVE TO APPEAL TO WHAT MATTERS MOST TO TEACHERS AND
THAT IS, WE ARE HERE BECAUSE WE WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ARE IN
LIVES OF KIDS AND WE BELIEVE IN OUR ABILITY TO DO OUR JOB WELL. SO ADDRESS THAT. DON’T, DON’T TRY TO TEASE ME
WITH A COUPLE DOLLARS. BAYLOR: TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUILD
BETTER TEACHERS IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO A TEACHER
WHO HAS HAS A BUILDING SITE MANAGER OR ADMINISTRATOR WHO
REALLY SUPPORTS THAT TEACHER. SUPPORTS THE TEACHER, IN THE FACE OF
PARENTS, WHO MIGHT BE DEMANDING HIGHER GRADES, WHO MIGHT BE DEMANDING PREFERENTIAL
TREATMENT, WHO SUPPORTS THAT TEACHER WHEN THERE’S A
DISRUPTIVE FORCE IN THAT CLASSROOM. WHO REALLY TAKES CHARGE AND
ALLOWS THE TEACHER TO TEACH? PROULX: I THINK WHAT THAT REALLY GETS
DOWN TO IS, YOU HAVE AN ADMINISTRATOR WHO IS ABLE TO
TAKE THE TIME TO TALK WITH THE TEACHER AND UNDERSTAND WHAT’S
GOING ON WITH THAT TEACHER. THE SAME WAY THE TEACHER NEEDS
TO DEAL WITH THEIR STUDENTS, THE PRINCIPAL NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO DO
WITH THE TEACHERS AND WHEN YOU HAVE A PRINCIPAL OR ANY OTHER
ADMINISTRATOR WHO IS REALLY COMPETENT AT BUILDING THOSE
POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH STAFF, AND IS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT IS GOING ON, WHAT THE NEEDS OF THE TEACHER ARE, WHAT THEIR
STRENGTHS, WHAT THEIR DEFICITS ARE AND HOW TO HELP THEM GROW AND BECOME A
BETTER PROFESSIONAL, THAT’S WHERE YOU HAVE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE
SCHOOLS AND THAT IS WHAT I THINK WHAT TEACHERS REALLY WANT TO SEE
FROM THEIR ADMINISTRATION, THAT’S HOW WE WOULD DEFINE BEING
SUPPORTED. IS WHEN YOU HAVE A PRINCIPAL WHO
TAKES THE TIME AND CAN DO THAT. McGOWAN: AND THERE’S, THERE’S LOTS OF RESEARCH
ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF A BUILDING PRINCIPAL
AND LEADERSHIP. AND SO THAT’S CRITICAL
IN TERMS OF BEING A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU’LL–A
GREAT LEADER WILL GET THE MOST OUT OF THEIR STAFF. AND INVOLVE PEOPLE. SO — BUT AS WE TALK ABOUT
TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND WHAT’S NEEDED AND SATISFACTION,
THE — WHAT I’M INTERESTED IN HEARING MORE ABOUT IS WHY ISN’T
THERE A MOVEMENT TO HAVE TEACHING BE A 12-MONTH JOB. WHEN I TALK TO OUR TEACHERS,
THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME. AND THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME. AH. BECAUSE WE HAVE INVOLVED THEM IN
THINGS TO DO AFTER SCHOOL, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS, OR THEY’RE
COACHING AND THEY ARE GETTING HOME LATE, AND THEN THEY ARE —
WITH KIDS 178 DAYS. AND THEY HAVE 186-DAY CONTRACT. SO WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT A
12-MONTH CONTRACT FOR TEACHERS. TEACHERS ARE IN NEBRASKA I
BELIEVE ARE GETTING TO BE EXPERTS IN LOOKING AT DATA. WHEN DO THEY HAVE TIME TO LOOK
AT DATA? PEARSON;
I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THAT. BAYLOR: YOUR TEACHERS WOULD WANT TO
WORK 12 MONTHS AS LONG AS THEY WERE PAID FOR IT? McGOWAN: I BELIEVE THEY WOULD. ABSOLUTELY. PEARSON: I THINK TIME IS A HUGE ISSUE. AS A, AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER VERY VERY
RECENTLY, IF YOU WERE TO ASK ME DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM SCHOOL TO
TEACH IN. I WOULD TELL YOU THAT I WOULD
WANT A PRINCIPAL WHO HAS MY BACK, WHO UNDERSTANDS WHO I AM
AND WHAT MY NEEDS ARE, WHO KNOWS WHAT MY STRENGTHS ARE AND
UTILIZES THOSE STRENGTHS, I WOULD WANT A PRINCIPAL WHO GAVE
ME TIME TO COLLABORATE WITH MY CO-WORKERS BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN
THE BEST IDEAS COME UP AND WE BEG, BORROW AND STEAL FROM EACH
OTHER ALL THE TIME AND TWEAK IT TO FIT OUR OWN TEACHING STYLE. UM,I WOULD WANT ENOUGH
RESOURCES TO TEACH THE WAY I
WANT TO TEACH. I WOULD WANT SOME LEEWAY TO BE
CREATIVE IN MY CLASSROOM SO IF I DECIDE I WANT TO HAVE BIG
TABLES INSTEAD OF ROWS OF DESKS, YES, WE WILL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO
TO GET THAT DONE. UM, AND ALSO ACCESS TO
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE JUST LIKE ANY OTHER PROFESSION, TEACHING
IS CHANGING. EXPONENTIALLY. IF YOU ARE TEACHING THE SAME WAY
TODAY AS YOU DID 100 YEARS AGO, BUT OUR WORK FORCE IS EXTREMELY
DIFFERENT, THEN THERE IS A PROBLEM. BAYLOR: IT DOESN’T SOUND THAT COMPLICATED. WILL REQUIRE A LITTLE BUTT OF
MONEY. BUT KYLE ARE OUR TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS RIGOROUS
ENOUGH AND PRODUCING ENOUGH TALENT YEAR ONE, YEAR TWO,
ARE THEY STILL VERY MUCH A
WORK IN PROGRESS? McGOWAN: THE PEOPLE APPLYING FOR JOBS
AT OUR SCHOOL ARE TALENTED. SO I THINK NOW WORK KIND OF —
WE ARE CONSIDERED WESTERN NEBRASKA. YOU KNOW AND WE ARE 20 MILES
AWAY FROM LINCOLN. AND, I AH, MEET WITH OTHER
SUPERINTENDENTS THAT GET ZERO APPLICATIONS FOR A HIGH SCHOOL
SCIENCE TEACHER. ZERO APPLICATIONS FOR A SPANISH
TEACHER. SO WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE IN A
TOWN WITH A GREAT SCHOOL LIKE DOANE. WE’RE CLOSE TO UNL. AH, ACTUALLY WE GET A LOT OF
TEACHERS FROM KEARNEY STATE AS WELL. SO, UM, I THINK THAT UH, THE TEACHER PREPARATION SCHOOLS
UM, ARE UH, DOING A GOOD JOB. UM AGAIN I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME
IMPROVEMENT IN INCREASE OF BEING CULTURALLY AWARE. ALSO IN TERMS OF SKILLS WITH TECHNOLOGY,
BUT I THINK IN ALMOST ANY PROFESSION, AGAIN THE
MEDICAL PROFESSION YOU GO IN FOR AN INTERNSHIP. AND ONE SEMESTER IS NOT ENOUGH
FOR A TEACHER TO LEARN WHAT THEY NEED TO BE, PUT BY THEMSELVES. PEARSON: EXACTLY. AND THAT’S WHY WE WE’RE HAVING THEM
OUT REPEATEDLY 25, 20, THEY HAVE TO TEACH A 10-MINUTE PIECE OF A LESSON. 35, 50 THEY HAVE TO TEACH A LONGER PART OF A LESSON. BY 4000, THEY’RE TEACHING ENTIRE
LESSONS AND THAT’S BEFORE THEY EVEN GO INTO STUDENT TEACHING
AND WE TAKE THEM ON THE CULTURE WALKS AND LEARNING THAT CULTURAL
RESPONSIVENESS. THEY HAVE TO TEACH
A SMART BOARD LESSON, THEY
HAVE TO USE TECHNOLOGY IN DIFFERENT WAYS, SO IT’S COMING. I PROMISE. PROULX: I WANT TO TOUCH JUST REAL QUICK ON, BUT ON WHAT MR. McGOWAN WAS SAYING HERE A LITTLE
BIT AGO ABOUT THIS YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL CONCEPT AND I
— WE HAVE A SCHOOL IN OPS THAT IS ON AN EXTENDED-YEAR SCHEDULE. IT’S NOT QUITE 12 MONTHS BUT THEY HAVE A, I WANT TO SAY
ABOUT 200-DAY CONTRACT FOR TEACHERS.
AH, AND THE KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL AN ADDITIONAL
LIKE 14, 15 DAYS A YEAR AS WELL. THEIR BREAKS ARE DIVIED UP A
LOT DIFFERENTLY. IT’S A VERY NON-TRADITIONAL SCHOOL CALENDER. AND I THINK THAT IS
WE, WE HAVE THE HIGHEST APPLICATION RATE FOR OPENINGS AT
THAT SCHOOL. YOU WILL SEE 50 TO 60 APPLICANTS
APPLY TO GO THERE FOR THE LONGEST SCHOOL YEAR. AH, YOUR PAY IS THE SAME IN TERMS OF
YOUR, YOUR PAY WOULD BE COMMENSURATE WITH THE NUMBER OF DAYS WORKED. BUT BAYLOR: BREAKS ARE TIMED. McGOWAN: ONE OF THE BEST PRINCIPALS IN
OUR DISTRICT SO YOU HAVE A GREAT RESPECT, GREAT SUPPORT. YOU PUT ALL THOSE PIECES IN AND
THAT IS WHAT YOU GET AS AN OUTCOME IS A SCHOOL THAT
EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO. THE ACHIEVEMENT RATES ARE ONE OF
THE TOPS IN THE DISTRICT. YEP, THERE YOU GO. BAYLOR: EXPERTS FINALLY WE WANT NO
KNOW WHAT SUPPORTS NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES AND OUR NET VIEWERS
CAN PROVIDE, THAT CAN THEN HELP WITH THIS, IF YOU’VE GOT ONE
SENTENCE TO SAY WHAT YOU NEED,
AH, IN THIS AREA TO HELP BUILD BETTER TEACHERS WHAT
MIGHT IT BE? McGOWAN: WELL, I THINK IT’S AGAIN, INVOLVEMENT WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THAT STARTS FIRST IN YOUR
SCHOOL, SO AS A TEACHER, ARE YOU INVOLVED IN YOUR SCHOOL. ARE YOU TAKING ADVANTAGE OF
THOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED IN CURRICULUM
DECISIONS. DISCIPLINE DECISIONS. BECAUSE THEY’RE OUT THERE. BUT, UM, AH THEN I THINK
IF TEACHERS WANT THAT RESPECT. THEY NEED TO GO AND EARN IT AND
DESERVE IT AND WE TALK ABOUT UM, HAVING TEACHERS BACK. WELL I WAS A LONG-TIME
ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL AND THE FIRST BACK I COVERED WERE KIDS. AND I THINK WE’RE
ALL THERE TOGETHER. AH, BUT A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL WORKS
COOPERATIVELY WITH EVERYBODY FROM ADMINISTRATORS TO TEACHERS
TO PARENTS. BAYLOR: FERIAL ABOUT 90 SECONDS, GIVE US LIKE 10 SECONDS, WILL YOU? PEARSON: I WOULD I AGREE WITH EXACTLY WHAT
YOU SAID. UM, JUST HELP
US DO WHAT’S BEST FOR KIDS. MY BEST PRINCIPALS HAVE ALWAYS
SAID, IS IT BEST FOR KIDS? OKAY. THEN WE’LL DO IT. UM, BUT ALSO TO ASK THE PUBLIC TO
GET TO KNOW US AND UNDERSTAND OUR POINT OF VIEW
AS TEACHERS. AND AS TEACHER EDUCATORS AND
JUST GIVE US YOUR TIME AND YOUR ENERGY AND YOUR EXPERTISE. BAYLOR: FERIAL THANKS. CHRIS? PROULX: I’D SAY THERE, THERE IS AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS TO HELP BUILD BETTER TEACHERS. IF PARENTS WOULD AH, GET MORE
INVOLVED IN SCHOOLS OR STAY HIGHLY INVOLVED IF THEY ALREADY
ARE AND NOT JUST AT THE ELEMENTARY PRE-K LEVEL BUT K-12
TO GET IN THERE, GET INVOLVED,
GET ENGAGED. AH, TALK WITH TEACHERS AND
HOLD TEACHERS ACCOUNTABLE
AND YOU WILL SEE THAT TEACHERS
WILL ENGAGE YOU BACK. THE PARENTS PLAY AN INTEGRAL
ROLE IN HELPING DEVELOP STRONG TEACHERS AT THE SCHOOLS. BAYLOR: CHRIS, FERIAL, KYLE, THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING US AND IN CLOSING KEEP THE CONVERSATION
GOING. AND YOUR VOICE TO YOUR COMMUNITY
AND STATE LEVEL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHAT WE SHOULD DO TO
ATTRACT AND RETAIN THE HIGHEST QUALITY TEACHERS THAT WILL HELP
LEAD EFFORTS TO PROVIDE ALL NEBRASKA YOUTH WITH ACCESS TO
THE BEST EDUCATION POSSIBLE. DO YOUR PART TO INSURE THAT YOUR
COMMUNITY HAS THE SUPPORT AVAILABLE THAT CAN HELP ADDRESS
THE NEEDS OF THE MOST NEEDY NEBRASKA YOUTH, SO THAT THEY TOO
CAN BENEFIT FROM OUR STATE’S HIGH QUALITY AND FROM OUR
STATE’S HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION SYSTEM. THE STATE OF EDUCATION NEBRASKA DEPENDS ON ALL OF US, LEARNING,
GROWING, LEADING. DO YOU PART AND MAKE A
DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD. THANK YOU. WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME, ON
THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN
NEBRASKA. ♪ MUSIC ♪ CAPTIONS BY VER/REN/NET ♪ MUSIC ♪

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