'Teach For America' Making A Differen...

'Teach For America' Making A Difference At Tulsa Public Schools

There are 15 comments on the News on 6 Tulsa story from Aug 25, 2010, titled 'Teach For America' Making A Difference At Tulsa Public Schools. In it, News on 6 Tulsa reports that:

Tulsa Public Schools drafted some new recruits for its teaching ranks last year.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at News on 6 Tulsa.

KountryKim

Broken Arrow, OK

#1 Aug 25, 2010
Teach for America offers BIG incentives for these people to teach, such as paying off their student loans and helping with housing costs. Most of these people don't make a career out of teaching. They will stay long enough to meet their obligations and then move on. Yes, they are bright stars, but they burn hard and fast and then burn out very quickly.
Madison

United States

#2 Aug 25, 2010
I would like to dispel some of the "myths" of the comments I have seen floating around in the Tulsa news. First, TFA does not offer big incentives for people to teach. Student loans do not get paid off, however corps members become AmeriCorps members and do get 2 years of funding from AmeriCorps to pay for student loans. This only totals about $11,000 and is taxed. Also, TFA might help corps members look for housing, but no portion of housing is paid by TFA. Finally, if you visit the TFA website and look at the Alumni statistics, 63% stay in education while a total of 93% support Teach For America's mission of ensuring all students obtain an excellent education. I think Teach For America is a wonderful organization, and if you would like more (true) information please visit their website.
Highly qualified

Sulphur, OK

#3 Aug 25, 2010
Several years ago when schools had to prove that their teachers were "highly qualified", I had a bachelors's degree in my subject area (which always includes child psychology courses and educational theory), passed the cerification test in my area, and had been teaching in my area for about 12 years, yet after all of that, I still had to PROVE that I was highly qualified.
These TFA people, while enthusiastic, DON'T have to have a degree in the field in which they are teaching and have only 6 weeks of training before they enter the classroom. I find it ironic and frustrating then that I had to prove myself yet again after my degree, test, and experience. Does this make any sense to anyone?
I suspect that one of the reasons that administrators are so giddy for TFA is heavily influenced by economic issues. Sure, TFA people are enthusiastic, but one could also "enthusiastically" rearrange deck chairs on a sinking ship, but is that really helping anyone on the ship?
Winston

Tulsa, OK

#4 Aug 25, 2010
If teachers have Bachelors degrees in "Education", rather than a degree in a pure academic subject like "Mathematics", "English", "History", etc., they likely did not take upper-level academic courses in math, English, history, the hard sciences, etc.; they may have instead taken lower-level courses designed for Education majors, like "Math for Education Majors", etc. Those courses are not as academically rigorous, and therefore do not adequately prepare teachers in academic subjects that they might be required to teach.
slimjim

Tulsa, OK

#5 Aug 26, 2010
6
One of the biddest problems schools have are teaching coaches, that teach classes they have no idea what they are talking about. This is all schools on the high school agenda.
snoozelwind

Tulsa, OK

#6 Aug 26, 2010
The most important thing of all is that the students learn, that someone takes the time to make sure they understand the information, we don't need old burned our teachers, every single student has value, these children are our future, Good Job TPS
Jackson Brown

Tulsa, OK

#7 Aug 26, 2010
I have heard from TPS employees that TPS kept these teachers rather than local teachers when the cuts came. If this is the case, TPS should be ashamed of itself.
Flash

Owasso, OK

#8 Aug 26, 2010
Highly qualified wrote:
Several years ago when schools had to prove that their teachers were "highly qualified", I had a bachelors's degree in my subject area (which always includes child psychology courses and educational theory), passed the cerification test in my area, and had been teaching in my area for about 12 years, yet after all of that, I still had to PROVE that I was highly qualified.
These TFA people, while enthusiastic, DON'T have to have a degree in the field in which they are teaching and have only 6 weeks of training before they enter the classroom. I find it ironic and frustrating then that I had to prove myself yet again after my degree, test, and experience. Does this make any sense to anyone?
I suspect that one of the reasons that administrators are so giddy for TFA is heavily influenced by economic issues. Sure, TFA people are enthusiastic, but one could also "enthusiastically" rearrange deck chairs on a sinking ship, but is that really helping anyone on the ship?
you are exactly right. It's funny how the news reports what they want to report. The real truth is, these people are not qualified to be in the classroom at all. Not to mention, they are living nearly rent free in loft apartments in downtown Tulsa (it's part of their contract). Most of them teach at Gilcrease middle school, which is the worst preforming school in TPS. No one should wonder why unqualifed teachers are producing low test scores. How are the qualified teachers going to be placed into jobs if they keep hiring these unqualified people to "make a difference"?
Support

Stidham, OK

#9 Aug 26, 2010
Winston wrote:
If teachers have Bachelors degrees in "Education", rather than a degree in a pure academic subject like "Mathematics", "English", "History", etc., they likely did not take upper-level academic courses in math, English, history, the hard sciences, etc.; they may have instead taken lower-level courses designed for Education majors, like "Math for Education Majors", etc. Those courses are not as academically rigorous, and therefore do not adequately prepare teachers in academic subjects that they might be required to teach.
I don't think it's right to judge someone because they didn't go to College and get a degree. I may not have my degree but have the experience. I have taught 1st grade on my own for two weeks and Pre-K, all without a degree and personally think that all the books in the world aren't going to teach how to work with children and until you set foot in that classroom full of 20+, that is what prepares you to become a teacher, you learn a lot from them.
JusticeTiger

Tulsa, OK

#10 Aug 26, 2010
Frankly, I don't want anyone without a collage degree teaching my kids beyond preschool. Incedentally, I find most reputiable preschools have teachers who are degreed.

“Hillary, thirty years of lying”

Since: Nov 08

Paris

#11 Aug 26, 2010
snoozelwind wrote:
The most important thing of all is that the students learn, that someone takes the time to make sure they understand the information, we don't need old burned our teachers, every single student has value, these children are our future, Good Job TPS
hmmmmmmmmmm we added 58 TFA teachers and laid off certified teachers..........it would be interesting if the media would match the new test scores to the TFA classes..........to test real effectivness.
JusticeTiger

Tulsa, OK

#12 Aug 26, 2010
JusticeTiger wrote:
Frankly, I don't want anyone without a collage degree teaching my kids beyond preschool. Incedentally, I find most reputiable preschools have teachers who are degreed.
Then again, I also want feminist/feminist allies as teachers and comparitive religion classes. I might be asking too much.:/
Thinking

Mannford, OK

#13 Aug 28, 2010
Winston wrote:
If teachers have Bachelors degrees in "Education", rather than a degree in a pure academic subject like "Mathematics", "English", "History", etc., they likely did not take upper-level academic courses in math, English, history, the hard sciences, etc.; they may have instead taken lower-level courses designed for Education majors, like "Math for Education Majors", etc. Those courses are not as academically rigorous, and therefore do not adequately prepare teachers in academic subjects that they might be required to teach.
You don't know what you are talking about. Maybe that is true for elementary teachers, but I know it is not true for secondary teachers. Quit spreading misinformation.
Thinking

Mannford, OK

#14 Aug 28, 2010
snoozelwind wrote:
The most important thing of all is that the students learn, that someone takes the time to make sure they understand the information, we don't need old burned our teachers, every single student has value, these children are our future, Good Job TPS
I hate the stereotype that older teachers are burned out. Older teachers are experienced, and if they have stayed in this disrespected, low-paying job for many years, they do it because they are enthusiastic about their job and students and not burned out.

Youth equals inexperience. It is true many young teachers are enthusiastic; it is true many young teachers have great potential to be great teachers. However, I have seen my share of young teachers burnt out; in fact, young teachers have a pretty high turnover rate. Those that leave after only a few years of teaching have discovered that it takes more than just enthusiasm to do the job well.
HAP

Carbondale, IL

#15 Sep 4, 2010
Let's see, OK ranks 49 out of the 50 states. Interesting, the ignorance proliferated on these pages. Apparently only very few are familiar with the TFA program. TFA candidates are selected from the best colleges and the candidates not only have to have very high GPA’s but also excel in areas. For the most part they are screened by TFA an invited to join. These people are very capable of getting much more prestigious jobs paying a lot more money. However they give up this opportunity to contribute to ‘make a better world’. And what better way than by improving education. Although TFA teachers have not had formal training in education they are most capable. They attend a summer ‘boot camp’ which is more extensive than anything you get in the college education program starting in the early morning and extending late into the evening and on weekends. Not only are they capable, they are dedicated. This is what really makes the difference. They typically work longer hours than others. And they have meetings and seminars on weekends to discuss whatever issues they have encountered. And each group has a more experienced person in charge that they can go to for support. Just because teacher has seniority does not mean that he is a good teacher. TFA teachers are invited to go to the low income areas that other teachers do not want to go to. The teachers in these areas in general are people who cannot get a job with a ‘better’ school system. This compounds the problem and further brings down the schools. It is understandable that regular teachers do not like TFA people and are quick to point out their lack of formal educational training because TFA teachers put them to shame with their enthusiasm, dedication and long hours. If TFA is invited to an area it is because its schools are in a very bad way. It presents TFA with a challenge to fix what the current teachers and administration could not. They are not there for the money but for the kids. Get the facts.

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