Friday, December 12, 2008

Applicants flock to teacher corps for needy areas

This article was about how the non-profit organization "Teach for America" has had a record number of applicants to teach in needy areas. The article states that people are looking for jobs in low-paying areas the way that people used to look for jobs in Wallstreet. What is causing this humanitarian approach? The article posits that it's the new generation of teachers, inspired in part by Barack Obama's message of change.
Whatever the reason, some people say that it's not such a good thing. "Placing the least-experienced teachers with the highest-risk children is a potentially harmful combination."
That was my main concern with this formula. It seems to me that putting in Green Teachers into the worst school systems into the nation is a bad idea. People who are new at a job make mistakes. In a school system that is already fragile, it is in the student's best interests to have veteran teachers providing some sort of stability for them.
Not only that, some of these teachers may not be ready for the reality of these school systems. Having a sense of social duty is a great and all, that might quickly run out the longer the teacher stays there.
Another issue that the article raises is the lack of high paying entry positions that Wallstreet used to offer to college graduates. Because of the stock market collapse a few months ago, there simply isn't the growth to allow every business major that graduates to get a six-figure entry position.
Further criticism of the organization is that many applicants go the two-year route, teaching for 2 years on their way to grad-school. Is this high-turnover rate bad for the kids in the long run?

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