The debate is great and all pointless at the same time. It evades the issues deep seeded, and unfortunately not in plain sight.
Alternative teacher programs do have their place in this countries current education affairs. Especially when data suggest that alternative licensure programs like TFA are delivering teachers that are equal to or greater in ability than a traditional route teacher. Until this nation starts to appreciate the teacher again, hold even higher standards for them and compensate above and beyond what they are worth this debate will keep going and will never matter truly.
Once this fundamental change happens in appreciating the teacher, a shift in the homes will happen, and thus the children and eventually the parents will be held to fit into the system of high expectations and high achievements that the teachers lay out for them. Because right now, under our current system, why the hell should a teacher first of all want to be a teacher if all they seem to get is flack from administration, the public, children, and parents for a job asserted in the public eye as “half-assed” And second, hold children to high expectations when again, they are attacked for being supportive and critical of student learning (i.e. PASS THOSE KIDS ON TO THE NEXT GRADE, OK?)?
This debate will keep on going infinitum until there is a conscious shift in how a teacher is viewed in the public eye. A teacher CARING can only go so far. We need the parents, public, policy makers, government, corporations, and administrators to care before we can even hope for the children to care and make our jobs worth a damn in this world.
I’ll end with a quote from the article that points to my issue with the debate, oh by the way, this article have the word “parent” in it once:
At the end of the day, students need pencils to learn, and the teacher should take on some of the burden for figuring out how to get those students to have pencils (whether it be a pencil renting system or calling parents), even if it is outside the teacher’s immediate locus of control. Once again, the point isn’t that socioeconomic factors are irrelevant, but that they shouldn’t be used as excuses and that they can be overcome. The model isn’t supposed to be used to blame teachers, it’s supposed to be used to help them help their students.
In response, I care about kids and having their supplies and being prepared for the day. I do so much as to never provide them with the necessary supplies that they need to be successful that day. Is it my job to provide them with supplies when they have in their pocket a nice new smart phone and brand new shoes on their feet? In this effed up model of how a teacher ought to conduct his or her room, yes, yes it is my job. If that is that case and continues to be the case, well, I’m sorry, but I quit.
If we are going to be real about this issue, we have to NOT EVEN THINK about what the teacher is or is not doing in the classroom.