Many people I know have been teachers and have left the profession to take other jobs. It’s called “burn out.” Some who had 2 degrees from Universities in other states and countries, were branded as “lacking” when they applied for a position at Clark Country School District. A few applied more than one time – even as paraprofessionals – only to be told they may be good enough to be a substitute teacher, but they would have to take quite a few courses before they “qualified.” Some of these were award-winning, dedicated professionals with years of experience, who made a difference no matter where they taught, and who came to our city because of the lack of professional teachers – when CCSD was crying for teachers. CCSD, by the way, ranks 9th of 11 school districts in Nevada.
Only Bob Miller Middle School and Del E Webb Middle School ranked within the top 10 State schools. Both are in Henderson. [school digger] Webb, Miller, Mannion and Greenspun Middle schools were the only Henderson schools within the top 10 according to Great Schools. We fared somewhat better where elementary schools were concerned.
With our poor performance in standardized tests, and the high teacher turn-over rate, with CCSD previously taking teachers from areas like Hawaii and the Philippines to teach our children only to have them return to their prospective areas to teach after being qualified here, why are people with excellent credentials being turned away?
Just because you come from somewhere else, and have not paid into UNLV or other area colleges or universities, does that make a person less qualified? Less desirable? Highly educated teachers who have moved here to take a position, knowing of the lack of qualified professionals, should be given first dibs…. should they not? Surely if your Province or State has judged you to be qualified, you should at least be assessed at no cost for a job at our school district.
Instead, you have to pay to be assessed, you have to justify your courses, you have to pay to be a substitute teacher, you have to pay to take extra classes or a Praxis exam in order to be judged “ready to teach.” Even people who have graduated some time ago have to take extra tests in order to achieve their certificate. But what about people who come here with Masters and Bachelor of Education degrees – are they less qualified than certified teachers without as many college or university courses, who just happened to have been taught in Nevada?
There are many fine, educated, dedicated teachers in Clark County. And there are many who are not. Parents and students can tell the difference, and will be quick to share their impressions with you. Many classes are being taught by “unqualified” staff – people who are in the right place at the right time, or who have been employed for years without going for the necessary classes to complete their degrees or certification. All you have to do is go online and check out the school statistics to discover this fact.
Teachers should definitely continue their education once they are placed in a classroom. It’s the professional thing to do. They should be helped, without cost, to achieve what the State deems to be the necessary qualifications. They should be encouraged to stay in the field by being placed in a classroom that is within State student-teacher ratios. They should not be expected to teach extra-curriculars without some form of payment or incentive. They should have aides in the classroom, especially if there is more than one “special needs” child in the class.
Early Childhood educators are required to achieve 17 to 24 credit hours in continuing education classes in order to keep their certification. Most professionals feel better taking 24 to 30 credit hours worth of courses. The Nevada Registry judges educators by their merits – their education and experience. You have to justify your university courses in order to achieve placement, but It makes one wonder why a person who achieves over a 5 (out of 7) on the Ladder is deemed unqualified by CCSD to teach in public schools. Yet private schools are more than willing to take teachers with proven track records and higher education in their respective fields, and those teachers’ students often excel.
If teachers need more training and more education, isn’t it time that administration had the vision to expect the same of their own? In order to judge whether or not a course is “suitable” for consideration when assessing teachers from out of State, the “judges” need to have the knowledge to be unbiased and understand what the courses mean – to read between the lines where course descriptions are concerned. To teach is to show others how to think for themselves, to show them a new path and a new way of thinking in order to broaden their minds.
That also takes education and training.