Nevada school officials claim they can’t find 1,000 teachers to fill their classrooms. Education Week is claiming this isn’t much different than what’s found in the rest of the country. In the middle of it all you will think about Personalized Learning. Education Week won’t let you forget it.
If you don’t have a need for teachers where you live—wait for it. It’s coming. This article looks at Clark County which includes Las Vegas.
In Nevada, the problem seems to be a growing Hispanic population; surges in student-enrollment; teacher retirements; and fewer young people wanting to go into teaching.
The stakeholders—including education schools, business leaders, and lawmakers—are increasingly focused on ideas to reconceptualize and market teaching.
Stakeholders? Marketing teachers? What does that sound like to you?
I find it all disingenuous. Nevada’s businesses, like the rest of the corporate elites, and their politician boardroom buddies, have intentionally driven well-prepared teachers out of the classroom, and have done nothing to encourage young people to become future real teachers.
Why? They are gambling with the fates of Nevada’s children and all America’s kids. And could it be they want a machine to do the teaching?
When I first read this Ed Week article on my iPhone, embedded (and I don’t use that word lightly) into the article, was an ad for Personalized Learning.
Personalized Learning is online learning. It can show up as s bunch of other names too.
• Competency-Based Learning
• Standards-Based Learning
• Proficiency-Based Learning
• Mastery Learning
The concern is that Personalized Learning which conjures up a quaint classroom with small numbers of children and nurturing teachers, is really sitting students in carrels to work online on skills to master on their own. Tests are embedded into the skill practice so students are constantly testing before they move ahead.
A lot of educators and parents are are following this push for a technology takeover of public schooling. Emily Talmage has been writing for a while about the concerns surrounding competency-based instruction. Here is one of her many posts about it.
So how is Nevada going about getting teachers now?
The state which also has vouchers, is calling for heroes to become teachers. In the meantime, it sounds like they are hiring almost anyone to teach in a teach-as-you-learn scenario.
But if one answers the call and feels they want to dedicate 6 weeks of their time to becoming, what Nevada officials claim is a real teacher, here is what it will take.
Elementary (K-5), English (7-12), Math (7-12), Science (7-12)
Six full Saturday face-to-face sessions
Five weeknight face-to-face sessions
Online professional learning and assignments
Special Education (K-12)
Saturdays and weekdays and/or weeknights
Clinical Field-Based Experiences
15 full days in a classroom with a master teacher
CCSD In-Service Professional Development
Monthly professional learning
You do need a bachelor’s degree and a Praxis test too.
The district will get $5 million in scholarship money for students who enroll in teacher prep programs, but, here again, the preference is for alternative teachers. Even the University of Las Vegas has bought into alt-ed. programs.
A few concerns linger. Some worry about gambling on teachers who are made so quickly. What will that mean for the future of the state? I’d say this is a gambling problem the whole country faces. We don’t know what this kind of instruction and lesser professional teachers will mean in the long run.
And if schools only need teachers to monitor students sitting on the computer—acting as facilitators and not teachers–how much training do they really need?
And–also–how does that make them heroes?
Nevada and the country are gambling not only on their teachers and children, but on the success of the nation.
Jim Katakowski says
Scam written all over it. If it sounds to good to be true it probably isn’t. When will they learn?
Máté Wierdl says
“Six full Saturday face-to-face sessions
Five weeknight face-to-face sessions
Online professional learning and assignments”
Wow, This is the first time I saw, face to face, the actual times students spend in classrooms to become teachers.