Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Opposite of recruiting?
Jonathan over at JD2718 is asking how we retain teachers. Although a very good question (I think he probably means how we retain good teachers) to which I would love to get an answer, I have a slightly different question: how do we prevent some people from going into the teaching profession? Some of the students I see who are studying to be teachers are mysteriously passing their courses and will get a degree, but from what I can tell though they are not ready mathematically to teach, and I am not convinced that they enjoy mathematics. I have had conversations about this and the argument I most often hear is that we need to let them pass if they are not totally bad. Because if we don't then we will have such a shortage of teachers that the people who will end up in the classroom will have even less training (read: they'll be much worse) than the ones I'm worried about. However, this problem feeds into the one Jonathan is talking about (well one version of it anyway, the one that encompasses all teachers). If people who come out of our teachers' programs are not ready to be teachers or should not be teachers at all, then they are likely to quit pretty quickly. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, once again, I do not have a solution.