All Posts Tagged With: "teacher"
What students are talking about today (January 3rd)
1. Canada Goose coats are a staple on cold Canadian campuses, but an a new campaign is trying to make them unfashionable. Furtrimisatrap.com, an activist website, says that coyotes are “stolen from their families and homes, these sensitive, intelligent animals often spend hours or even days stuck in cruel traps where common injuries include broken bones and teeth, gashed eyes and severe internal bleeding.” Kevin Spreekmeester, Vice President of Global Marketing of the Toronto-based company,* defended the product to the Winnipeg Free Press, saying Canada Goose is proud to support the people of the north “for whom [trapping] is their livelihood.” He also notes that coyotes are not endangered and that their fur protects against frostbite.
2. Green Party leader and MP Elizabeth May knows a thing or two about hunger strikes, having mounted one for 17 days in 2001 while demanding the government move families living near the Sydney tar ponds in Cape Breton. Now she tells iPolitics.ca that Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, on Day 24 of her hunger strike, should meet with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, whom Spence has refused to see since starting her starvation diet on Victoria Island on Dec. 11. Spence has said she will not eat until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of the Crown agree to a “nation-to-nation” meeting to discuss treaties. Meanwhile, a two-week old rail blockade by Aboriginal protesters in Sarnia, Ont. has ended. However, the tone of the “Idle No More” debate is getting uglier. After John Ivision at the National Post dared call Spence “hapless,” Gerald Taiaiake Alfred—a political science professor at the University of Victoria—responded by calling him a “racist p—k” and threatened to kick his “immigrant ass” back to Scotland.
Education degrees aren’t just for the classroom
I’m currently in teacher’s college at York University and sometimes I find myself worrying about my future career. The Ontario College of Teachers reports that one-third of 2010 education grads were unable to land any employment in the 2010-11 school year, not even supply teaching. In 2011, only 23 per cent had regular teaching jobs.
So what to do? Instead of focusing on how hard it’s going to be to find a job, I’m considering other options. It’s much better than depressing myself reading more discouraging statistics! With that, I humbly present 10 options every education graduate should consider.
1. Teaching abroad
There are many countries where English teachers are highly sought (South Korea, the Middle East, Japan). If you’re an adventure seeker with no immediate obligations, teaching abroad on a one or two-year contract is a great option. The classroom experience could prove useful when you return.
A chance to reinvent yourself
I recently attended an open house for my younger brother’s high school. Sitting in the school’s auditorium, along with hundreds of grade eight students and their parents, I could tell David was feeling really excited about starting grade nine next year.
He’ll suddenly have his own locker, instead of just a small cubby hole to share with another student. There will be tons of new classes, from media arts to wood working, and dozens of school clubs and activities. David won’t know anybody at his new school, so he’ll have a chance to reinvent himself and make new friends. He can hardly wait.
Throughout the presentation in the school’s auditorium, one thought kept running through my mind:
Thank God I’m finished high school.
My brother’s kindergarten teacher makes me nervous
Sam absolutely adores Mrs. Dybowski. And I completely understand why.
It’s part of the reason why every time I’m near his teacher, I lose the ability to speak in complete sentences. I avoid eye contact.
My five-year-old brother’s kindergarten teacher makes me a nervous wreck. And it’s not just because she’s extremely good looking, in an old lady kind of way.
The problem is, she’s one of those teachers with a Mother Teresa aura. You can instantly tell that she not only cares deeply about her students, she’s also really great at what she does. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I get to watch her for a couple of minutes as she organizes the kids into a straight line, gently telling them off when they push or shove.
“No, Harry, we don’t want to knock anyone over, right?” A disappointed look from Mrs. Dybowski is all it takes to make even the rowdiest five-year-old want to stand up straighter. Taller.
I admit it. I care what she thinks of me. As I stand there each morning, twice a week, for a couple of minutes, I try not to look nervous. Instead, I try to project this image of Kindly Big Brother Who Agrees that standing in a straight line is next to godliness.
-photo courtesy of Kevin Bedell
Brutal requirements, years of school, long hours—and a guaranteed job
For other professions, including engineer, architect, ad man, teacher or marine biologist, pick up Maclean’s 19th annual rankings issue, available on newsstands now.
What you’ll do
Physicians can be found in any number of health care facilities, from small family practices to high-pressure emergency rooms to research labs. One role that rarely finds its way into television shows like House and ER is that of the doctor as small-business owner: general practitioners spend their time not only seeing patients but also building their practice, managing staff and paying bills.
Is it for you?
Aside from having to be able to stand the sight of blood, doctors need to be empathetic and excellent listeners. Thoughtfully observing patients and picking up on subtle signals is essential to an accurate diagnosis, and all medical schools emphasize the need for strong interpersonal skills. Students considering medicine should also be detail-oriented, analytical, very strong academically—and willing to stay in school for years.
What you need to get in
In order to get into medical school, you have to be an exceptional student. While most schools set their minimum average in the B range, intense competition has pushed entering averages skyward. The University of British Columbia allows applicants with averages above 70 per cent to apply, but its entering class last year had an average of 83 per cent. McGill recommends applicants have a 3.5 GPA (between a B+ and an A-) to be considered competitive. The mean GPA of those accepted at the University of Alberta was 3.8. To apply at most schools, applicants must also write the MCAT exam, complete prerequisite undergraduate courses, submit reference letters and write an essay. The lucky ones who get through the first cut will be invited to an interview.
Schools to consider
There are 17 medical schools in Canada. Most limit the number of out-of-province students, so you’ll have the best shot by applying in your own province. Some schools emphasize academics more than others, so research which school’s application process will best complement your strengths and weaknesses.
Next: What you’ll study
The three most hated words by students everywhere
When I first realized I have less than a month of no homework and sleeping in left, my last three weeks of summer vacation instantly got sucked down that Back-to-School preparation drain.
I started playing a kind of switching game in my head.
Reading a good book. Switch that with a two-inch psychology textbook.
Sleeping in until 11 a.m. Switch that with standing at the city bus stop at 7 a.m.
Doing whatever I want, whenever I want. Switch that with a rigorous study schedule, attainable only through a strict eight coffees a day regimen.
I found it hard to enjoy anything I did because I couldn’t help seeing it through my I-won’t-be-able-to-do-this-once-I’m-back-in-school filter.
But yesterday I suddenly phased back into my summer vacation. And that’s because I really thought about what I was going back to this September.
There are no bully students. There are no bully teachers. You’re in charge of your educational plan. You’re going to a place that’s built for you. University is an exciting place to be.
Maybe going back to school isn’t so bad after all.
Most principals would rather hide or transfer incompetent teachers than try to oust them
What it took for one Ontario principal to rid her school of an incompetent teacher is a process she’s not fond of revisiting. It began in September 2007, when she inherited a teacher whose performance was already under review. Despite a file thick with evidence of inadequacy, the principal helped draft an “improvement plan”—a requirement in the provincial Education Act—and dipped into school funds to pay for substitutes while the struggling teacher attended workshops.
But, says the junior school principal, it soon emerged that there was “a serious, basic problem of not understanding”—which continued even after the teacher knew she was under review. Students shuffled through reading levels without proof of assessment. Parents complained about spelling test words that weren’t sent home. And the teacher submitted grades for computer class when, in fact, her “inability to use technology” meant the monitors “were rarely turned on,” says the principal. Still, it took months of paperwork and meetings with union representatives before she was able to inch even one step closer to dismissal.
“It was very upsetting,” she says. “I wouldn’t choose to do it again unless I absolutely had to.”
Inadequate teaching has been shown to contribute to dropout rates, low test scores and a dislike for school. So severe are the implications, says Brendan Menuey, an assistant principal in Virginia, that poor teaching is tantamount to “educational malpractice.” Yet in Canada, teacher incompetence prompts so few administrators to pursue termination that the Ontario principal insisted that not even the name of her school board be published, because it would almost certainly identify her.
According to Barrie Bennett, a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the dismissal process is so onerous, the risk of reprisal from teachers’ unions so great, that “most principals find it’s not worth the effort.” Instead, they approve transfers, or hide struggling teachers where their deficiencies can go unnoticed. The result however, is this: a system that keeps incompetent teachers in the classroom.
The fact that more bad teachers aren’t being fired is “a problem that nobody wants to talk about,” says Menuey, who authored a 2007 study on the subject. Despite research indicating that about five per cent of every workforce is incompetent, he uncovered a truth about his district he describes as “scandalous”: less than one-tenth of one per cent of tenured teachers were being dismissed annually for poor performance.
When viewed through this lens, the Canadian numbers are even more damning. Of the roughly 200,000 educators licensed by the Ontario College of Teachers to teach, only 27 have been terminated due to poor performance since 2004—an annual average of just 0.002 per cent. In the past five years, not a single permanent teacher has been dismissed for incompetence in the largest school boards in Montreal and Winnipeg; Saskatoon Public Schools has terminated just one; and in Edmonton Public Schools, says a spokeswoman, “very few if any” have been let go.
Parent-teacher interviews. If you break it down into three separate words, its meaningless. But when they’re all lined up in a row next to each other in the same sentence, these three words result in having all the people with the most power over your life together. In the same room. Talking about you. And [...]
Parent-teacher interviews. If you break it down into three separate words, its meaningless. But when they’re all lined up in a row next to each other in the same sentence, these three words result in having all the people with the most power over your life together. In the same room. Talking about you. And after last week, it’ll never happen again. It’s hard to believe that there are only 10 weeks of high school left.