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Feb 19, 2011

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How to recruit Master Teachers to urban Schools

The Problem

Urban children are at the mercy of the educators that can help them achieve acceptable standards of learning in urban schools however the old, failed, tried and true test of the pooling and placement of unqualified and low scoring teachers in these already challenged urban schools is not the answer to closing the achievement gap for black children.

The reforming process for building a better receptive urban student population will take the nurturing and specialty of teachers that have mastered the skills of not just teaching but those educators that can foster environments that are open to learning on many levels.

The challenges that urban students and educators are faced with both inside and outside of the classroom are complex; however the teacher who has taken their profession as an educator understands the role they must play in order to get favorable results. Master teachers are known to cultivate environments of learning by using their professional and personable skills they have honed in order to achieve positive outcomes.

The generalized and characteristically based pooling system of educators in urban schools has been anything but fair in regard to educational equality they are riddled with, ineffective teaching methods, low scoring educators; lack of funding and realistically what appears to be a lack of genuine concern by some into an already challenging environment. This has been a proven formula which was destined for failure.

Recruiting Master Teachers

Recruiting master teachers within urban schools has become a national discussion, one that enlists many organizations and educators that are committed to reinventing the roles of old educators that taught the craft of educating our young with passion and promise.

The realistic view of most educators placed within the urban school system with all of its numerous issues of financial cutbacks, unbalanced allocation of funds, the social and economic divide and environmental influences that have only made their ability to educate these children even more complicated has to be considered in the recruitment process. The resistance of strong educators to openly walk into these debilitating circumstances is not easy to do.

As a result of making the teaching profession more inviting to potential master teachers and teachers that are in the field the steps being taken in this country are immense in the sense of reform and well worth it, when we consider all that is at stake!

Some of the steps taken by many of these recruiting organizations include strategies that will help to increase the minority teaching population. Many of these services include possible identification of potential educators with educational assistance programs offered to high schools students. Supportive programs that nurture future educators with strong pedagogy; cultural sensitivity; positive educational ethics; extended training and mentoring services just to name a few; however this is what is needed to recruit and build master teachers.

As with any employer the ability to provide a work environment that is innovative and rewarding to its workforce is significant to building a productive and sound workforce. These methods of recruitment are necessary. These methods of recruitment are exceptional, comprehensive and influential ways to not only entice, enhance and change the recruiting processes of old; it is also a way to retain good educators in urban schools.

The most important point in all of this lies in the fact that the quality of our urban children's education relates directly to the quality of those teaching them. Our children are deserving of it and the work involved in recruiting and maintaining master educators is worth it. These children are our future and they matter!

Feb 18, 2011

How to make schools more equitable

The insidious effects of an unequally balanced educational system has proven detrimental to the socio-economically challenged urban students in our communities. A growing and unremitting permeation of these inequities within our educational system to urban students are varied and complex. Despite of the causal reasoning for these injustices to our urban population of students, the need to hold educators and schools accountable to properly assess and to determine the needs and solutions to closing the achievement gap must be on the forefront of the agenda to addressing this problem

Although there are more facets adding to the exceedingly partial educational system for urban youth, the accountability of educators to turn their methods of teaching into learning is paramount and must be enforced. Educators are ethically responsible to provide a service that is unyielding in its promise of equality. How can schools be held accountable for their actions in addition to their promise of educational equality for urban students? The question although complex to say the least can be answered simply, the answer is that schools must be made to meet the goals and standards set by governing bodies and have effective supportive services available when they fail to reach these goals. An open acceptance and change of practices that are known contributors to our failing urban school systems must be also taken realistically as a major part of this crisis.

According to a comparative study conducted by Jean Anyon: Chairperson of the Department of Education at Rutgers University in Newark. An observation of five elementary schools over the course of a full school year concluded that fifth-graders of different economic backgrounds are already being prepared to occupy particular rungs on the social ladder, even more disturbing yet truthful the study further shows that differing elements of applied methods and practices of educators as being characteristically driven by the groups they were teaching. These are contributing factors leading to the failures or success of urban students.

The critical practices of educators that are covert, systematic and discriminatory to urban populations is a direct violation of the promise of an equal opportunity education and the schools individually and collectively must be made to account for the acceptance and reform of such insidious practices forced upon urban students.

The country is full of educators that are aware of the contributing factors adding to the crisis of our misguided urban youth however the numbers of activist and allies fighting this crisis is not even close in comparison to what they should be which makes the educators intentions questionable for many of our urban schools. Who are we really entrusting our children to?

Holding schools accountable is a vital component in the process of closing the achievement gap for urban students this process is inclusive of however not limited to a strong adherence and commitment to striving to achieve educational excellence; effective critical recruitment of educators; establishing governing bodies that are adamant in achieving educational goals and to provide students with a holistic nurturing educational environment that will incite and encourage better outcomes

Schools are ethically and professionally liable to educate all children equally regardless of their social and economic status in society and although educational equality for urban students has been compromised on many levels to say the least; accountability has now become inevitable.

Feb 1, 2011

Ideal Teacher Preparation

When we asked the members of the Teacher Leaders Network to brainstorm about an ideal teacher-preparation and teacher-induction program, here's what they imagined:

• A coherent system that offers both college-age teaching aspirants and mid-career switchers in-depth opportunities to learn to teach -- not separate university coursework and school district induction programs, but teacher academies where school and university faculty members team up to teach a range of topics, from research-based literacy strategies and learning theory to interdisciplinary concepts in the sciences and the humanities to managing a classroom filled with high-energy adolescents. Joint university-school budgets would leverage scarce resources and push education-school faculty and K-12 teachers to work more closely with each other.

• These courses and workshops would be grounded in what prospective and new teachers are experiencing in their internships and residencies. For example, at Chicago's Academy for Urban School Leadership, two interns are assigned to team-teach with a master teacher, and graduate-level teacher-education coursework is integrated with their daily teaching so they can immediately apply their new knowledge and skills.

• Every apprentice would learn how to teach in diverse communities and work effectively with parents and families. For example, Center X, at the University of California at Los Angeles (see "Two Programs That Work," in the sidebar below), requires its teacher-education students to intern in Los Angeles-area schools with racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse low-income student populations. The two-year program places future teachers in cohorts and offers unique experiences in both teaching and community activism.