Monday, September 29, 2008

Show 10

During this show, we discussed teaching as a job or a calling. We moved into a conversation about working with preservice teachers. Does it change how we work with them if we think of teaching as a calling? as a job? This rousing discussion included Lisa Thumann, Barb Gilman, Alec Couros, Scott Shelhart, and Peggy George.

The audio and chat can be found here.


Joel Zehring said...

Wow, lots of insightful comments in this episode.

First, do any of us really want to be motivation police? Can any of us claim to know the heart of another person? @Lisa Thumann Maybe those frustrated admins to-be are in the process of recovering their passion. As soon as any of us starts to question or presume the motivations of other educators, we start on a slippery slope toward a very damaging witch hunt.

There are two sides to the passion coin. Passion is critical for attracting and developing great teachers (good teachers with no passion can still get "the job" done). Passion is not sufficient for sustaining a great teacher over the course of a 30 year career. It is a pillar that needs to be partnered with other pillars of great teaching: purpose, professionalism, development, collaboration, innovation, success, recognition and even compensation.

Yeah, I said compensation. Those people who tell you they didn't get into education for the money are lying to you (and possibly themselves). I don't see many teachers doing this thing for free, and that's a good thing. Humans have decided to ascribe value to a service by exchanging money for that service. The more valuable the service, the more money it deserves (to a point). Service professionals who accept less money than their services warrant devalue their services and themselves as professionals. This can lead to sub-standard service and a disintegration of professional standards, as we've seen in some corners of public education.

So what's the solution for training pre-service teachers? We need to show them how to build their careers using all of those previously mentioned pillars, not just passion and perks (I'll admit it, summers are nice, and our upcoming fall break will allow me to stay home with our new baby on the way).

Additionally, we need to rally together as school communities to build great organizations, not just good schools. We need to answer these core questions: What are we deeply passionate about? What can we be the best in the world at? What drives our economic engine? Finding the single answer to those three questions and pursuing that target relentlessly will make us part of something bigger than ourselves, which is a sure-fire method for attracting great teachers and retaining them in education for the long haul.

Ruby Shuz said...

Thanks for using our music! :)

Ruby Shuz