Editorial Too General

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Editor:

Re: Fast tracking new teachers not the solution.

After reading this article several times, I am compelled to write this letter.

The article ‘Fast Tracking New Teachers Not the Solution' is very general and groups all teachers into one category. Most teachers would agree that it takes different skills to teach elementary vs. middle vs. high school. Most would also agree that Career and Technical Education (CTE), Fine Arts, Band/Orchestra, and Drama teachers require different skills from each other and from those who teach the core academic courses.

According to the article, a local source stated that "it takes 10 years to "make" a teacher." Strictly speaking, a great majority of teachers start teaching after four years of college; they are 22/23 years of age.

According to the National Education Association (NEA), the average career expectancy of the new college graduate is less than five years. Using the calculation from your local source, these new college graduates will never "make" teacher status. Why spend money on them?

In contrast, let's look at early retirement business people. They are:

  • more mature than a 22-year-old college graduate;
  • have decided to teach rather than continue with the demands of the business world;
  • have raised their children;
  • have many life experiences;
  • have faced diversity;
  • have managed some portion of a company, or maybe owned a company;
  • have learned leadership, which is a separate skill from management;
  • have educated and trained many employees;
  • want to share their experiences with the future of America; and,
  • know that the pay is poor, but have decided to invest in teaching anyway; their retirement funds will supplement their teacher salary.

Maybe times have changed and the traditional educational techniques and views no longer meet the demands of our global work environment.

Since the early 1970s, the business community has been disappointed with the human resources being graduated from our high schools and colleges.

Businesses spend millions of dollars a year on training new employees to be productive. Businesses have contributed millions of dollars into the educational system in the hopes that the graduates will be better prepared for the workplace after school. Businesses run the economy, worldwide. Doesn't it stand to reason that retired business people have real-life experiences and an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the workplace better than a new college graduate?

Richard A. Meyer Jr., Business teacher, Payson High School

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