This article can be found under the "Philosophy" page listed under pedagogy. It deals with the idea of teaching.
I have been mulling over the idea of what it takes to be a teacher. In my mind I have always believed that you could either teach or you could not teach. There is little progress in teaching someone how to teach.
Thus I have always believed that college education for teachers was a little silly. Allow me to explain my thought process on the matter.
To be able to teach someone else you first have to first know the content or information that you are attempting to share. In public education we need to ensure that our teachers are capable of teaching. So, we require they at least have bachelors degree and can pass a certification test.
We as a society believe in our educational system enough that people who have gone through a 4-year program and successfully completed it are capable and qualified to teach. Then to prove it we give a State exam (in Georgia it is the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators or GACE).
Then you can have your own classroom. You are able to teach. This problematic for me. If your 4-yr degree is not good enough you have to also pass a test to be allowed a classroom, then why do we need a bachelors anyway?
If I can pass a test that says I know how to teach a subject why must I endure and pay for four years of college?
We do not value education we value degrees. We believe that if you have a degree then you have an education. Is it possible that to obtain an education without obtaining a degree? Of course it is but it is too hard to validate those cases. So we have a system set up that will ensure all of our teachers are qualified.
A couple of days ago, a local news company wrote an article that showed how Georgia Teachers failed the State exam several times but finally passed it.
Is it necessary to teach people how to teach and are teaching programs effective in producing quality teachers?
If you have a heart for teaching and you get it, then you get it. You inherently know how to teach and you do not need 4 yrs of college to be a good teacher. That is not to say that you can't benefit from it. I have learned a lot from my time in college, but I had I not attended, I still feel like I would be a successful educator.
In conclusion, there is something about teaching that is inside of you. However, you may want to be a quality teacher but struggle. If that is you do not let anything stop you from that. You can learn to be a good teacher. There is a lot of quality material on the subject, search it out and LEARN.
Teachers (good or bad) need to be proactive in their professional development. Do not count on your school or university or Professional Development Trainings to mold you into a quality teacher. Be proactive! Read blogs on the Internet, pick up a novel at the library or Barnes & Noble. Read magazines. Even if you have the gift of teaching, you can still learn.
That is what this blog is all about! I do not have all the answers, but I am trying to learn more and more and more. I have always been able to relate to people and connect with them, which has given me an edge in my teaching career, but I have still learned so much from reading, watching, and listening to others.
The true validation in your education does not come from a national or state certification agency, or the university that give you a degree. The validates you as an educator or an educated person is you!
You are the key to whether or not you are educated!