Have they lost their minds? Anti-education legislators in Wisconsin got together at 1:30 in the morning and decided it would be a good idea to “relax” the certification requirements for teachers. If you want to teach music, no high school degree is needed. (Provision slipped into budget dilutes teacher license rules or What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education? ) As long as administrators “feel” you have relevant experience, you’re in. Now they aren’t getting crazy or anything; you do need a bachelor’s degree in “something” if you want to teach English or math, but pedagogy…meh.
Educators trying to covey the importance of education without an education…how’s that supposed to work? Clearly these “representatives” (sorry for the excessive use of sarcasm quotes) feel contempt for our training in education. Which leads me to the question: Does our education coursework make us better teachers?
One of my dearest friends, who taught Spanish for years, believed her students were not successfully learning Spanish. She speaks Spanish fluently and had even studied in Spain, so this was not a lack of content knowledge. She took additional coursework on teaching foreign languages. She credits this coursework with revolutionizing her teaching and saving her career. This class, combined with experience and years of education training, have helped her to become a wonderful teacher.
Education students often joked that many college classes were just hoops they needed to jump through to become teachers. Yes, I resented writing the meticulous lesson plans that Dr. Olson required. Yet, I have to thank Dr. Olson because I’ve internalized those parts of a lesson plan and still use what I learned from him as I teach today.
Did your pedagogy classes help shape your teaching? What helps you be a successful teacher? Or… maybe the anti-education league is right. You’ve taken a girls’- night -out art class; maybe that’s all you need to teach art.