Teach for America deserves a chance

  • Article by: Terri Bonoff and Branden Petersen
  • Updated: June 22, 2013 - 5:45 PM

It's not right to place obstacles before those taking an alternate path into the profession.

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unionbossmanJun. 22, 13 5:07 PM

But how will the ever so noble education minnesota maintain its monopoly if we were to allow innovation, new methods of teaching children, and dare to explore anything other than the status quo?

pumiceJun. 22, 13 5:54 PM

From the article: "Leaving these corps members, who are already training in Tulsa, without a path to begin in September is both reckless and grossly unfair to all parties involved." How unfair is it to allow these corps members to take a much shorter path than the path taken by newly graduated teachers who completed four years of training--including an academic major or minor, the psychology of child development, the latest in brain science and learning, the pedagogy of teaching, and an unpaid internship in the classroom? The two young women of whom you write are no more inspired “to be a role model to all nor to "address the reality of educational inequality” and no more qualified to do so than are the young men and women who took the four-year path and earned a teaching license. They should be viewed as assets to the school systems to which they applied, at which they were interviewed and by which they were selected and not as obstacles to those taking an alternate path.

wplettfanJun. 22, 13 6:07 PM

You wouldn't accept this type of a program for your child's doctor, but you would for your child's teacher? There's your proof that in this country we don't truly value education. We value trying to get something for as little money as possible.

chuckdancerJun. 22, 13 6:11 PM

The alternative path was portrayed as one that would allow experienced individuals to shuck their careers and follow their dream of being a teacher. These alternative candidates were supposed to be experienced in the areas of education that supposedly lacked enough skilled teachers to accommodate the student population. The alternative candidates were supposed to be experienced but unwilling to train to fulfill their dream of being a teacher if they had to work at it like every other teacher. Clearly the TFA people are not the alternative candidates the laws proponents portrayed. The TFA people had every opportunity to train to fulfill their dreams of being teachers but chose not to taking the training. In addition we know that TFA people are not career teachers but temporary dreamers willing to take a flyer in the classroom if they don't have to work for the right to be there but get paid as if they had. I find it a very sad thing to attack teachers and blame them for an achievement gap that everyone knows has many causes none of which can be tied to teachers education, qualifications or motivation. Keep your irrational hate of unions out of the education of our children and keep your lightly trained dreamers out of our classrooms until they are trained and committed.

chuckdancerJun. 22, 13 6:16 PM

Just exactly what innovation and new methods of teaching are employed by TFA? The only thing new that I see is that these people skip teacher training and make a short term commitment for the same pay as a fully trained teacher. Why are they better teachers for our kids?

wplettfanJun. 22, 13 6:48 PM

unionbossman - Could you please state the "new methods of teaching children" that TFA brings to the table. I need your guidance on that.

farcicalJun. 22, 13 7:04 PM

If these TFA candidates are so committed to teaching in the classroom, they are certainly free to complete the 15-month post-bac licensing programs offered at UMinn, St. Thomas, and other area colleges. There is MUCH more to teaching than professing ideas and sharing knowledge - developmental psychology, group dynamics, pedagogy, scaffolding, etc. And, to make things clear to everyone, the BoT simply requires each TFA candidate to apply for the waiver individually rather than covered by a blanket waiver. TFA is a corporate-sponsored disease that must be stopped.

unionbossmanJun. 22, 13 7:20 PM

Society has never seen a profession that is filled with more self pity than the members of teachers unions. I have a sibling, two cousins, and an aunt that are teachers. I have never heard them complain about life the way the union teachers on these boards do. Makes me think its not teachers, rather the union groupthink.

lee4713Jun. 22, 13 7:49 PM

How about we put more than "faces" to these two college graduates and tell us what exactly their subject mastery is that makes them prepared to teach K-12? How about we describe why these college graduates did not feel it necessary to take any education classes? I'm trying to figure out what skills these two young women, admirable as they may be, have that qualifies them to be teachers, other than the TFA training which they are undergoing.

braxozJun. 22, 13 8:07 PM

The Board of Teaching denied a group variance - the TFAs can qualify for individual variances based on the school district's needs. Are these TFAs going into vacant hard-to-fill positions or just going to the head of the line in the hiring pool?


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