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What is the most respectable career?

by physicscrap
Tags: career, respectable
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turbo
#55
Nov28-07, 06:58 PM
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Teachers should come from the best of the best. They often don't (or at least they didn't when I attended college). I decided to ditch engineering and follow a liberal arts major, but that meant that I had to carry heavy course loads in order to catch up with required courses. I had already signed up for 18 hours of classes, when my academic adviser asked what I would fall back on if I couldn't make a career out of my major(s), and I said "well, I think I'd be a good teacher". He immediately added 3 Education courses on the theory of education to my next semester's schedule. I protested that I was already carrying the maximum course-load that could be be allowed without the Dean's approval, and he said "I'll talk to the Dean. Just show up for classes and be yourself." I aced all three of them and apart from consuming a few hours a week, they did not add to my work-load. All I had to do to obtain a teacher's certificate after those three courses was to complete a semester of student teaching.

After that catch-up semester, I carried a full, aggressive double-major schedule in English literature and Philosophy.

As for the "best of the best" argument, I had a wonderful, caring mathematics teacher in HS. He put together a rudimentary pre-calculus course for the handful of us kids who planned on attending college, but he had a hell of a time staying ahead of us. He was qualified to teach algebra, geometry, and trig. He was not qualified to teach calculus or even to guide us toward an understanding of that field. Why was he certified as a teacher in a field in which he could not surpass the performance of moderately-talented HS kids?
Chi Meson
#56
Nov28-07, 07:13 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
Teachers should come from the best of the best. They often don't ...
no, they don't. The best of the best should be able to get 6-figure salaries, shouldn't they? Seriously, has anyone isolated the "teacher's gene"? An excellent teacher is someone with high intelligence, with passion and drive and willpower, and the ability to get along with (and lead) lots of people (different kinds of people) at the same time.

Come on. Any sensible person with all those excellent characteristics can do almost anything else, right? Why are there so few excellent teachers? Because they get paid better elsewhere.

"But teachers are supposed to do it for the love of their profession"

*Smack*

Who says that teachers are a class of pseudo-humans who are born into a specific vocation where they are supposed to teach and do it for average pay? Anyone with the talents I mentioned is gonna look at their abilities, look at the possibilities, and look at the pay. Some also look at the summer vacations.
scorpa
#57
Nov28-07, 07:14 PM
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When it comes to the teacher thing I will fully admit I am biased. I went to a school where of my 13 years there I can only recall 1 possibly 2 teachers that I absolutely loved. The rest were awful and were only at our school because they were not good enough to teach in the city. So essentially we got the left overs. I know there are amazing teachers out there and they do deserve to be paid well, unfortunately I just have never seen enough amazing teachers to think they should as a profession be getting more money. I think teachers should be paid on merit, if you are good at what you do then you get paid well.

The thing that probably makes me lose my respect the most for the teaching profession is the constant complaining you hear from those in it. It seems like every year there is a teacher's strike, and every year because of that they get another pay increase. And while they are on strike they blatantly lie and say it is "for the kids". It is not for the kids, it is for their own benefit. You going on strike so you can get paid more is not helping your students. I especially love how they always seem to go on strike when the grade 12 students are within a month or two or writing their diploma exams....that is hardly helping them.

You have to deal with crap in every profession that is just life. When I graduate I will be working in a hospital lab, I will get probably be paid less (or about the same) than teachers but I don't care because I will love my job, I am not going into it for the money. I'll get to take crap from doctors and nurses that do not understand what I do, and never get any recognition from anyone because most people don't even realize people in the lab exist (even though that is where their diagnosis comes from). That is just life. Teachers know exactly what they are getting into when they decide to be teachers and if they don't there is a wonderful thing they have to do in university called "student teaching" so they should figure it out there. They have lots of time to decide to step away from the profession.

Sorry about my rant on this it is just one of those things that really bother me. I feel teachers are well paid and don't appreciate what they have at all. It is true I wouldn't want to do their job but I doubt they would want to do mine either.
Chi Meson
#58
Nov28-07, 07:48 PM
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Quote Quote by scorpa View Post
When it comes to the teacher thing I will fully admit I am biased. I went to a school where of my 13 years there I can only recall 1 possibly 2 teachers that I absolutely loved. The rest were awful and were only at our school because they were not good enough to teach in the city. So essentially we got the left overs. I know there are amazing teachers out there and they do deserve to be paid well, unfortunately I just have never seen enough amazing teachers to think they should as a profession be getting more money. I think teachers should be paid on merit, if you are good at what you do then you get paid well.

The thing that probably makes me lose my respect the most for the teaching profession is the constant complaining you hear from those in it. It seems like every year there is a teacher's strike, and every year because of that they get another pay increase. And while they are on strike they blatantly lie and say it is "for the kids". It is not for the kids, it is for their own benefit. You going on strike so you can get paid more is not helping your students. I especially love how they always seem to go on strike when the grade 12 students are within a month or two or writing their diploma exams....that is hardly helping them.

You have to deal with crap in every profession that is just life. When I graduate I will be working in a hospital lab, I will get probably be paid less (or about the same) than teachers but I don't care because I will love my job, I am not going into it for the money. I'll get to take crap from doctors and nurses that do not understand what I do, and never get any recognition from anyone because most people don't even realize people in the lab exist (even though that is where their diagnosis comes from). That is just life. Teachers know exactly what they are getting into when they decide to be teachers and if they don't there is a wonderful thing they have to do in university called "student teaching" so they should figure it out there. They have lots of time to decide to step away from the profession.

Sorry about my rant on this it is just one of those things that really bother me. I feel teachers are well paid and don't appreciate what they have at all. It is true I wouldn't want to do their job but I doubt they would want to do mine either.
Biased, yes.
scorpa
#59
Nov28-07, 07:58 PM
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Quote Quote by Chi Meson View Post
Biased, yes.
Biased perhaps but still based on true experiences.


I have no problem with and greatly respect those teachers that are good and truly want to be there, I just think there are to few of them. They provide a necessary and very important service. It is just discouraging to see how many people go into education because they could not get into anything else. Everyone I know that could not make it in their chosen field (physics, math, premed, biology, law) ended up deciding to go into education because it is the easiest faculty to get into that will actually land you a job when you graduate. They need to make that faculty harder to get into so the only people who actually want and deserve to be there are.
DaveC426913
#60
Nov28-07, 09:02 PM
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Quote Quote by jimmysnyder View Post
My mother respects me.
No ,your mother loves you. Very different.
Chi Meson
#61
Nov28-07, 09:04 PM
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Quote Quote by scorpa View Post
Biased perhaps but still based on true experiences.


I have no problem with and greatly respect those teachers that are good and truly want to be there, I just think there are to few of them. They provide a necessary and very important service. It is just discouraging to see how many people go into education because they could not get into anything else. Everyone I know that could not make it in their chosen field (physics, math, premed, biology, law) ended up deciding to go into education because it is the easiest faculty to get into that will actually land you a job when you graduate. They need to make that faculty harder to get into so the only people who actually want and deserve to be there are.
Come on. There are no "education usurpers" who are preventing the true teachers from getting jobs. I certainly did not go into teaching because I passed the "want and deserve" exam. I, with degrees in Physics, English, and an MFA in creative writing [don't ask], chose to teach rather than go into photonics (where I was heading) because I felt that 13 weeks of vacation each year made up for a $50,000 per year deficit.

IF there were more stringent requirements for teacher candidates, then we'd have fewer teachers. It wouldn't "free-up" space for the true and rightful teachers (those who truly want and deserve) to get through. IF you want to attract a better crowd for teacher candidates, then there needs to be more attractive compensation. That is why there are too few truly great teachers (on that statistic , we agree).

Where I work (Connecticut) there is a stark difference between the newer, younger teachers and the "Old Guard." This has everything to do with the increases in salaries over the last 15 years. Unfortunately, it takes a full generation (30 years) for a complete turn-over.
Art
#62
Nov28-07, 09:06 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly that good teachers should be very well paid but the first hurdle to overcome is identifying who the good teachers are.

I don't know about in the US but in Britain and Ireland the teachers threw a collective fit when it was proposed testing their competency. They claimed the stress of it all would be too much for them to handle on top of the stress of their 6 hour day and 15 weeks paid holidays. One wonders how these folk would survive in the real world of typically 50-60 hour weeks and at a minimum annual performance reviews?

If teacher's unions were to embrace meritocracy then good teachers could and would be rewarded but it seems the risk of the underachievers being found out outweighs the benefits - at least in the UK and Ireland.
SticksandStones
#63
Nov28-07, 09:13 PM
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Quote Quote by Art View Post
I agree wholeheartedly that good teachers should be very well paid but the first hurdle to overcome is identifying who the good teachers are.

I don't know about in the US but in Britain and Ireland the teachers threw a collective fit when it was proposed testing their competency. They claimed the stress of it all would be too much for them to handle on top of the stress of their 6 hour day and 15 weeks paid holidays. One wonders how these folk would survive in the real world of typically 50-60 hour weeks and at a minimum annual performance reviews?

If teacher's unions were to embrace meritocracy then good teachers could and would be rewarded but it seems the risk of the underachievers being found out outweighs the benefits - at least in the UK and Ireland.
Being related to several teachers, I can tell you teachers do far more work than you are giving them credit for.

Teachers have to do far more than 6 hours a day of work. Your forgetting where they have meetings before and after school, homework they have to grade, and the classes they are required to take to keep up-to-date.

Homework grading can easily take from 5 o'clock when they get home until 10 o'clock when they go to bed.

As for their vacation time: I don't know how things work in England, but here teachers spend that time in meetings, classes, and more meetings. They have lesson plans they have to construct based off of last year's data (did they get through chapter X quickly enough? What about chapter Y? Do they understand concept Z?) and update the syllabus for the latest requirements the state passed.

Of course, some teachers aren't that dedicated. Some take their money and run and don't do crap. Others do a lot more than they should have to for their pay.
Art
#64
Nov28-07, 09:19 PM
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Here (Ireland) when the teachers have a meeting it's during school time and the kids are sent home early, they have free periods during the day to grade work and their curriculum training again is done during the school day with the kids been given the day off - called in-service days. All extra curricular activity, sports, drama, whatever, is contracted out with the parents paying the costs.
scorpa
#65
Nov28-07, 09:21 PM
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Quote Quote by Chi Meson View Post
Come on. There are no "education usurpers" who are preventing the true teachers from getting jobs. I certainly did not go into teaching because I passed the "want and deserve" exam. I, with degrees in Physics, English, and an MFA in creative writing [don't ask], chose to teach rather than go into photonics (where I was heading) because I felt that 13 weeks of vacation each year made up for a $50,000 per year deficit.
And that is all great. I am not trying to say there are not good teachers out there or that good ones are prevented from getting jobs. I am saying it is a little to easy for people to become teachers, teaching should not be a field people can fall back on because they cannot make it anywhere else. I just have a problem when people go into the profession and then do nothing but complain about the poor pay, little respect..ect when they knew what they were getting into before hand. My grandfather was a teacher in a 2 room school, and really was paid slave wages, a few dollars a day I believe he once said. He has no use for teachers today that complain about how "bad they have it" because they really do not know what bad is.

Like I said it is a job worthy of respect, and kudos to anyone who can do it, I know I could not. I just hate the constant complaining and politics of the profession. Teachers are paid damn well (at least they are here, perhaps in the states it is different and they are more poorly paid).

This really isn't the point in this thread though and I do not want to hijak it.
turbo
#66
Nov28-07, 09:44 PM
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My favorite teachers: Mrs Clark who was WAY past retirement age and was not only the 5-6th grade teacher in our little 4-room schoolhouse, but was the principal of the school. She knew that I was bored to tears, and brought in books from her own collections to keep me reading and make me write reports for extra credit. I was already getting A+ in all my courses, but the extra work kept me busy, so that I would not be a behavior problem.....not that I was ever a problem that way.

Erling Skorpen, head of the philosophy department at UMO, who (after a 3-hour conversation that grew out of a 15 minute slot that he gave me) allowed me to take his advanced course in meta-ethics (for grad students and some selected seniors) for full credit. I never had to take a low-level or mid-level Philosophy course after that, if I wanted to avoid it. I'd mention my participation in the meta-ethics course and skirt all the 10x/20x stuff pretty easily.
Astronuc
#67
Nov28-07, 10:27 PM
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Farmers - the ones who work the land they own.

PF Mentors - and they do it voluntarily
Ivan Seeking
#68
Nov28-07, 10:27 PM
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I spent a fair amount of time tutoring students from the lower classes in college and I very much enjoyed doing it. So at one point I seriously considered teaching at the high school or JC level. But upon investigation, the overriding statement for me came from a recently retired math teacher: ~ To teach around here means teaching algebra for twenty years. Then, if you're lucky, before you die, you'll teach some pre-calculus classes.
JasonRox
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Nov28-07, 11:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Kurdt View Post
I've always wondered why firefighters were so respected. For the most part they sit around doing nothing. If they're respected because most people wouldn't go into a burning building to save someone then I'm disappointed.
I agree too. Firefighters are way overrated.

In Canada, there's a long list of people who want to be a firefighter. So, I don't really see firefighters as "unique" people who are willing to risk their lives because the list of those who want to be one is huge hence there nothing really spectacular about the risk factor since just about anyone would do it.
JasonRox
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Nov28-07, 11:46 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Farmers - the ones who work the land they own.
I agree with that one too.

I met a trapper up North once too, and I totally respected him. He may trap some animals (within a quote and area and time!), but he surely beats all of us when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
scorpa
#71
Nov28-07, 11:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Farmers - the ones who work the land they own.
Agreed. A respectable profession and also a much underappreciated one.
Zantra
#72
Nov28-07, 11:57 PM
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On teaching: Perhaps they are paid reasonably well in most cases nowadays. Do I think they're overpaid? absolutely not. I do agree that competency evaluations and performance related pay would help to motivate and weed our the bad teachers. But even if they're making 50-75k /year I think it's a necessary investment. In any other field that is underserved, increasing pay always attracts more quality candidates- teaching would be no different.

I think those of you complaining should try teaching before you knock it. And I don't mean just tutoring. Teaching a class is trying focus 30 minds on a single task or line of thought, and it's harder than you think. Try it sometime;) And no, I'm not a teacher, but I've taught classes before.


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