Educ 300: Education Reform, Past and Present

an undergraduate course with Professor Jack Dougherty at Trinity College, Hartford CT

Teaching Then and Now: Has Teaching Changed Over the Years with the Introduction of New Technology? And Have Interactive White Boards Changed the Way Teachers Teach?

Technology is becoming more and more advanced everyday. Items that are faster and sleeker are replacing items that we once used. These are anything, from things that are in our homes to things that are in our schools. Many schools have new technology that teachers use. This might sound great, that most schools have this advanced technology, but when we look deeper do we see any change over time? More specifically, do we see any change over time in the way teachers teach? In this research paper, I will pay close attention to what author, Larry Cuban, feels about teaching and the implementation of technology over time. I will look at a couple of his books The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 and Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom where he says that how teachers teach has pretty much stayed the same over time. I will answer this question in a different way and say that technology has changed the ways teachers teach. I will do this by r by reviewing some articles and books that look at teaching methods from about the 1970’s to the present to show that many teachers use this technology and there have been changes in how teachers teach. Finally, I will look at a pretty recent technological innovation, interactive white boards, and show that the addition of this novelty has changed how teachers teach.

In Cuban’s book, Teachers and Machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920, Cuban says that electronic technology has not changed the way high school teachers teach. Cuban says this is due to “school and classroom structures and culture of teaching” (Cuban 2 , 63). For example, there are teachers who resist using technology, which could be for a number of reasons (Cuban 2 , 80). Teachers might not be prepared, they might not have the time, they might not like change, etc. In regards to computers, Cuban feel like they are being used like how past innovations, radio, films, etc., have been used which means things have stayed the same (Cuban 2 , 81). When looking into when TVs were introduced, Cuban says that they replaced the teacher in a way because the TVs had things that were represented in better ways than the teacher could show (Cuban 2 , 38).

In Cuban’s book Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom he continues to say how technology in the classroom has no affected the way teachers teach and how some teachers don’t even use it (Cuban 1 , 71). Cuban found that in some high schools, teachers used computers to help prepare them for their classes rather than to teach their classes (Cuban 1 , 85). When teachers were asked about how they thought of the new technology in their school, they said “technology changed the way the prepared for classes, but not a lot of teaches said their daily practices changed” (Cuban 1 , 95). Furthermore, Cuban says that the classroom is still teacher centered and not student centered. Teachers might not use technological innovations, like computers, because “it takes a while to implement things in schools because they are citizen controlled and nonprofit” (Cuban 1 , 153). Even though Cuban feels that teachers’ methods have not changed with the introduction of technology, he feels things will change as we move forward and teachers get more used to seeing and using the technology (Cuban 1 , 179).


Cuban, Larry 1 . Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard

College: President and Fellows. 2001. Print.

Cuban, Larry 2 . Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920.

New York: Teachers College Press. 1986. Print.

One thought on “Teaching Then and Now: Has Teaching Changed Over the Years with the Introduction of New Technology? And Have Interactive White Boards Changed the Way Teachers Teach?”

Your topic is very interesting and I think you did a great job with your draft! Your research question is very clear and your draft is right on track with answering the question you are presenting. I know that your research question is specifically focused on teaching and not learning but maybe you can find out if teaching with new technology has affected they way in which students learn, whether or not you find that the ways of teaching have changed since the 1920s. Another idea I might suggest, although you did mention that you would be using other sources, is that you don’t only focus on Larry Cuban’s books because that might make your research too narrowly focused on his ideas. Great job!

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The Book Teacher

The evolution of the teaching profession.

essay about teaching profession then and now

Dear Readers,

The Covid 19 Pandemic provided us with much time to reflect upon our lives, and even our chosen professions.  I always  assumed that our profession has evolved over the decades to “state of the art” teaching and instruction, grounded in sound reasoning and research.  Yet, veteran teachers continue to talk about a “pendulum” that swings back and forth between direct instruction and more progressive methods.

So, I decided to do some research, and even include some family archival records to determine how we have changed over the past 100 years.  The result is a piece I’ve entitled: “Then and Now: How Different is Reading and Writing Instruction Today?  I hope you enjoy it!

 Then and Now: How Different is Reading and Writing                  Instruction Today?

essay about teaching profession then and now

(Willard School, Perry, Iowa, 1914.  John M. Robertson, my father, is fifth from the left in the top row.)


Historical narratives allow us to appreciate the rich legacy of our profession, and to imagine possibilities for teaching in the 21 st century.  In this piece, I focus upon the preparation and supervision of teachers, and the instructional materials for teaching reading and writing in the 1920s.  Family photos, primary source documents, archival photographs, and Ancestry records were part of the inspiration for this piece.  Vintage textbooks helped to frame an analysis of differentiated language arts instruction one hundred years ago.  Issues of constancy, change, and teacher resiliency are examined, with implications for contemporary teaching and learning.

The 1920s was a time of optimism and progressive thinking in education.  However, it was also a time when Americans strove to reclaim a sense of normalcy in their lives.  The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, which lasted until December of 1920, claimed approximately 650,000 lives in the United States. Urban and rural families lost parents, children, friends, and relatives.  Emotions were raw, and further compounded by World War I fatigue. Consequently, issues related to home and family took precedence in most people’s thinking.

Waves of newly arrived immigrants made people anxious about their own job security.  In general, the populace was totally unprepared for the stock market crash of 1929, and the “Decade of Depression” that would follow.  The 1920s was literally the calm before that economic storm.

                                   My Father’s Story

My father, John M. Robertson, grew up in the mid-western town of Perry, Iowa. 1920 census records report that nearly all residents spoke, read, and wrote in English.  Everyone on the census claim the United States as their country of birth.   Many “heads of the household” were listed as farmers, but others are recorded as linemen, brakemen, engineers, conductors, or laborers for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad.   My grandfather, Charles, was a lineman/maintainer.

In 1920, my father would have been ten-years-old.  He would have known all about trains, riverboats, and the “Wild West.”  He could have told you how to set up a camp site, that the Mississippi river ran all the way from Perry to New Orleans, how to swim against a river’s current, and even how to “break a bronco.”  He would have been familiar with the Jesse James and James Younger gangs, as his grandmother lived in the vicinity of the gangs’ first, successful train robbery.  His report cards show he was an average to above average student.  Of particular note is that fact that only 78% of children between the age of five and seventeen were enrolled in school at this time.  Many students left school after eighth grade to help support their families, as  Child-Labor Laws were not enacted until 1938.

There were no integrated schools in the 1920s, and schools were classified as either “white” or “colored.”  Moreover, only Black teachers were permitted to teach in the “colored” schools.  Over this decade, an 5000 additional schools would be built for Black children in the South.

Teaching Philosophies of the 1920s

The progressive movement, spearheaded by John Dewey (1916), paved the way for experiential and individualistic approaches to the teaching of readers and writers in the 1920s.  Dewey highlighted the role of the learner in the process, and further acknowledged that students learn differently.  Thus, he proposed they be taught with materials suitable for their strengths and needs.  As a result, educators began to reconsider the value of basic reading and writing instruction to individualize instruction and create future productive citizens.  Educators began to re-conceptualize teacher preparation, instructional materials, and the modernization of their classrooms.  In doing so, they strove to apply a vast body of educational research to classroom practice. The major research topics of this time were: reading interests; reading disability; and readiness for beginning reading (Banton Smith, 1985, p. 256).

The gradual transition in thinking is evident in educational textbooks from the 1920s through 1930s, which were a mix of traditional and progressive ideas about teaching children to read and write. In the literature between 1918 to 1924 two topics were frequently discussed.  They were: the preparation and supervision of teachers; and remedial reading (Banton-Smith, 1965, p. 195).

Preparation and Supervision of Teachers

Teacher Manuals

Teacher manuals or professional books of this decade, started to have more form and substance. Paper covered pamphlets and teacher editions were replaced with cloth bound books differentiated for each grade level.  Essential elements of these manuals included scientific investigation and learning theories; reading objectives; pre primer methods; procedure by lessons or stages of development; word recognition and phonetics; tests; individual needs; and remedial work.  Instructions were less dogmatic in these manuals, and teachers had flexibility in planning instruction and integrating enrichment activities.  The first-grade grade teacher manual contained instructions for the primer and first reader.  Instructions for second and third graders were combined in a single book, as were those for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders (Banton-Smith, 1965, p. 208).

Student Basal Readers

According to Banton-Smith (1965), “supplemental books never before had been so abundant, so beautiful, or so varied in content” (p. 209).  The pre-primer was an innovation of this time period, and considered a foundational preparation for the series of readers that would follow in the subsequent grades.  The authors took into account the limited word recognition of young children who were just learning to read, therefore, there were fewer words in each sentence. Pre-primer and primary texts were highly repetitive to promote word recognition.  Standard word lists were the basis for the selection of vocabulary for each story (p. 217).

Reading Instruction

Methods for teaching beginning reading were varied, and included: reading stories composed by the children; reading and carrying out direction sentences; dramatizing stories; learning and reading rhymes, and reading from prepared charts containing the primer vocabulary (Smith, 1965, p. 232).   Sets of small books (pre-primer to grade six), included realistic narratives, old tales, modern fanciful tales, informational selections, poetry, fables, and silent reading exercises.  As an example, first graders read texts such as The Just So Stories, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and Alice in Wonderland. There were also workbooks for “silent reading and directed study” seat work (Wheat, 1923, p. 223).

A major shift in pedagogical thinking was a move away from expressive oral reading to silent reading for “thought-getting.”   In The Teaching of Reading (1923), Wheat describes the various phases of reading instruction, with an emphasis upon silent reading for idea generation. Reading for meaning was the prevalent ideology of the 20s, and phonics was characterized as an instructional strategy of “no value” (Banton- Smith, 1965, p. 233).

Yet, a review of the scope and sequence of teacher manuals reveals that fluency, letter, and word identification activities were still integrated.  In general, however, phonics was taught more moderately, and subordinated to other “general reading skills” (p. 235).  These skills were: comprehension, retention, interpretation and appreciation, organization, and research.  In addition, “specialized skills” were developed that included: understanding the meaning and use of technical vocabulary; reading word problems; and knowing how to record and report observations and experiments (p. 237).

Writing Instruction

            It is apparent from archival records that writing instruction was traditional, with a continued emphasis upon composition, grammar, spelling, and penmanship (Wheat, 1923, p. 166).  The Palmer Method was the most popular approach for teaching cursive writing.  Children learned to print before learning cursive writing, and the latter was usually taught in a separate class.  However, the use of students’ own dictated stories based upon their personal experiences was an innovative approach to reading/writing instruction introduced in the 1920s.  It would later be known as the “language-experience” approach.

Remedial Reading                            

The Characterization of “Backward Pupils”

The shift in the concept of individualized instruction, generated by progressives, though ostensibly noble, resulted in the division of students within classes.  Individualization, combined with the increased advocacy for mental intelligence tests with Binet equivalents in public schools, led to the specific categorization of students.  Students were generally grouped as “poor, average, and superior” (Wheat, 1923, p. 243) in ability.  Dewey asserted that grouping based upon test scores was a threat to democracy

Wheat (1923) proposes “special help for backward pupils” or those with “degrees of backwardness.”  He characterizes one second grader as “backward” because of his “lack of familiarity with printed words and an utter lack of phonetic power.” Similarly, the degree of a fourth grader’s backwardness was related to the number of repetitions he makes while reading out loud.  He writes, “Getting no meaning from the sentence as he phrased it, he repeated in an attempt to get something from the sentence by the second reading (p. 315).”

Word study for recognition, pronunciation, and comprehension of difficult words was the recommended intervention for students with “various kinds of backwardness.”  Remedial work included “eye training and focus,” including “flash cards” and “flashing phrases,” “lessons in focus and accuracy,” reading “perfectly” until no errors are made; “breathing exercises,” since “practice in breath control is related to the problem of meaning and interpretation;” and “articulation exercises for “mumblers” or those with other bad speech habits” (Wheat, p. 316).  In the early 1920s terms such as “handicapped foreign” enter the discourse. Immigrant children were also characterized as “backward” because of their “meager vocabularies.”

Concluding Thoughts About the 1920s

Teachers in the 1920s did their best with what they had, and enriched language arts instruction through multiple approaches and varied materials.  It should be noted that they were given professional leeway to make these decisions.  Concurrently, the field of special education was emerging in response to calls for the differentiation of instruction for diverse populations of students.  Teachers began to consider new child descriptors, such as “backward” and “word blind,” (the first descriptor for dyslexia) and what it meant for the students in the classrooms.

In addition, these resilient teachers applied “modern classroom” research about silent reading for literacy instruction. Simultaneously, integrating traditional phonics approaches and word study when they felt they were necessary.  Not much was known about second language acquisition in the 1920s.  There were few research studies about the teaching of “handicapped foreign” students. The selection of the term “handicapped,” demonstrates a deficit perspective about immigrant children.  I tend to believe that if the classroom teacher was a child of immigrants herself, this classification would have been abhorrent.  Considering the number of students in teachers’ classes, it is incredible that they were able to nurture the literacy development of the readers and writers in their charge at all.

Not every student continued their education after eighth grade or high school, choosing to pursue apprenticeship pathways in varied fields. Social, economic, and political factors played a significant role in their decisions. However, students from the 1920s, would come to be described as “the greatest generation.”  The influence of their teachers can never be underestimated.

  Teaching Today

A vast and expanding number of landmark studies have greatly influenced language arts instruction since the 1920s.  Echoes of Dewey’s sentiments reverberate in today’s calls for student discovery, self-directed learning, and personalized approaches that address the whole child.  Personalized learning in the 21 st century has become highly computerized, and the teacher’s role is changing.  Chalk boards, overhead projectors, TV carts, and cursive writing worksheets have been discarded and replaced with instructional technology, such as Smart Boards, iPads, and eResources.

                       Preparation and Supervision of 21 st Century Teachers

Teacher preparation and supervision continues to receive scrutiny at the state and national level.  There is an increased focus upon “evidence-based” teacher educator programs.  The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), determines if teachers are “classroom ready” to meet the instructional needs of diverse student populations.  Issues related to equity, justice, educational technology, and culturally responsive teaching are scrutinized in their accreditation reviews.  These concepts are congruent with contemporary research in the field of literacy studies.

Today’s teachers are knowledgeable about content and pedagogy.  The ways they organize their classrooms display their beliefs about the role of conversation and collaboration in student learning. They have adopted a process approach to the teaching of reading and writing that involves teacher modeling, mentor texts, and student’s active involvement in lessons.  As in the 1920s, more traditional approaches sometimes supplement instruction.  Teachers remain resilient and creative in the ways they implement “evidenced based” and strategies instruction in their own literacy classes, and the ways in which they use standardized materials to promote learning for their students.

Teacher Manuals and Student Readers

Teachers from the 1920s might recognize the formatting, scope and sequence of today’s standardized literacy programs.  These mass-produced teacher manuals are pleasingly designed and integrate the latest “evidence” to support instructional approaches.  Educators from one hundred years ago would marvel at the comprehensive resources that integrate technology with literacy instruction.  The digital learning curve would be steep for them, but the teaching approaches would seem familiar.

Twenty-first century readers are appealing in appearance and abundant in supplementary materials. I’m not sure if teachers from the 1920s would think these readers are of quality, as they focused upon the classics.  After reviewing them, however, they could easily perceive how the readers increase in complexity for each grade level.  The practice of leveling books for guided reading would be a new concept for them.  Today’s teachers understand the progression and characteristics of each text level, and use them appropriately to promote students’ reading competencies.  Contemporary classroom libraries provide students with access to all levels of books throughout the school day.

In many urban and suburban school districts, computerized literacy programs (Raz Kids, Reading A-Z, Epic, or MyOn), have been adopted.  These digital reading programs permit teachers to assign the same passage, but at varied levels of difficulty, to their guided reading groups.  It should be noted that the depth, breadth, and quality of the writing at the lower levels passages is significantly inferior, which makes comprehension more difficult.  Meager texts do not allow students to use multiple strategies to understand what they are read.

Read alouds are still popular with teachers as an instructional strategy, as they promote student engagement, interest, and model fluent reading.  However, these shared readings now focus upon critical comprehension skills through open-ended student discussions.  Students are encouraged to share what they notice or wonder about a text, and to make connections to their own lives.  These classroom conversations create a necessary space for students to express their thinking and questions about literature, and give teachers the opportunity to “unpack” the layers of meaning students might not notice (2019).  Through think alouds, teachers model the multiple strategies proficient readers utilize, and ways to pay attention to an author’s cues,  These cues assist them summarize and determine a story’s theme.   Teachers utilize a the “gradual release of responsibility” (2009) model of instruction to support apprentice literacy learners.

Comprehension instruction has evolved.  Independent reading is now considered a meaning making process, in which the reader is actively involved in using graphophonic cues, predicting, inferring, connecting, summarizing, visualizing, self-monitoring, and questioning the text for understanding.  Each reader “transacts” (Rosenblatt, 1978), or responds to a text in unique ways. Student schema is as individual as a thumbprint.

The cognitive nature of the reading process is affirmed when tracking students’ miscues, or unexpected responses to a text, when reading aloud.  Students invariably substitute a noun for a noun, a verb for a verb, and an adjective for an adjective when they miscue.  Readers do not utter random responses, rather, they reread for confirmation, and self-correct miscues that don’t make sense (Goodman, 1996).  Therefore, the “backward readers” of the 1920s would not be characterized as such today.

Much of today’s writing instruction is geared to the genre that students will face on state standardized texts, so they are taught to write opinion or argument pieces that cite evidence from textual sources.  Teachers from one-hundred years ago would be surprised to see the role that standardized tests have played in classroom instruction, as assessments were just being introduced in their schools.

To teachers’ credit and resilience, they have also integrated a process or descriptive approach to teaching writers, and integrated personal narratives to provide students with a writing voice.  In similar fashion, students are encouraged to learn the “habits and processes” of a writer, how to analyze an author’s craft, or descriptive language and structural formats.  Teachers use think alouds with mentor texts, to model and highlight an author’s techniques, and to co-write with their students.  This is reminiscent of the “dictated stories” of the 1920s.

        Reading Intervention

The Characterization of “Struggling Readers”

Labels for students have not gone away.  Instead, they have changed from “backward” to “struggling” or “at risk.”.  Despite the fact that we know so much more about the ways the brain processes information, the nature of the reading and writing processes, and the social and emotional factors that impact upon achievement, the onus for failure continues to be placed upon the student who is performing below grade level expectations.  Educators need to examine the types of texts students are asked to read, the literacy tasks they are required to complete, and the presence or absence of teachers’ motivational mindsets when assessing and evaluating student achievement and progress.

English Language Learners (ELLs), English as a New Language (ENL) Learners, Bilingual and Multilingual Learners

Similar deficit perspectives about the limited vocabulary of bilingual, multilingual, and English Language Learners, and its correlation to reading and writing struggles are present in today’s research.  Over emphasis upon assessment through standardized tests, rather than classroom teachers’ assessments, have exacerbated the situation.  Consequently, ELL, ENL,  Bilingual or multilingual students are often referred to special education.  A teacher shared her frustrations with me, and the fact that her district has been “red-flagged” for this placement practice.  We are still striving to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate strategy instruction in reading and writing for children whose first language is not English (Hoover, J.; et al., 2019).  Additional historical overviews might focus upon special education “red flags,” and the populations of students who have been traditionally misplaced and disadvantaged through this classification system..

When the Unexpected Happens

The most striking similarity between the 20s and now, is the devastating impact of a pandemic upon families,’ students,’ and teachers’ lives.  Life could not continue “as usual.” During the Spanish Flu quarantine schools were briefly closed, and teachers sent home work packets to families.  Twentieth-century educators attempted to continue instruction and provide reinforcement activities electronically.  However, just as the people living in 1920 were totally unprepared for the Great Depression, teachers and administrators were totally untrained for virtual learning.  From March to June of 2020, students joined their classmates and teachers through Google, ZOOM, app-based learning, and other learning platforms.  This historic closing of schools, affected 50.8 million public school students. Teachers simultaneously designed digital units of study, while learning how to manipulate the “bells and whistles” of virtual platforms. They were often asked to use multiple platforms, as school systems realized some were better than others.

Children without access to Wi Fi or a computer were shortchanged in this process.  Districts reported a lack of Chrome books or iPads for all.  Students who were fortunate enough to get a device, might have had to share it with four other siblings.  Children who were transitory residents in a school district, or living in shelters had no chance.  One teacher shared her concerns that some of the children had just “disappeared,” and could not be contacted by phone or email.

Teaching has always been a vocation, and teachers have always been resilient.  We are compassionate and knowledgeable.  We understand the importance of creating safe and supportive learning environments for our students.  We do what needs to be done, with minimal resources.  So much of a teacher’s salary is directed towards purchases for the classroom.

In the summer of 2020, I spoke with an educator who was asked to begin a summer program aimed at helping her special education students “catch up.”  She stated, “Their desks will be six feet apart, and they asked me to wear a mask.  The students don’t have to wear them, just me!  I want to wear a transparent face shield so the kids can see my mouth when I talk.  The other masks will frighten them.” We talked for quite a while and agreed that is the most sensible option.  Her students, like all students, need that personal connection/relationship with the teacher.  So, teachers will make it happen like we’ve always done!


Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: Free.

Rosenblatt, L.M. (1978). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary work. Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press.

Smith, N. B. (1965). American reading instruction. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Wheat H. G. (1923) The teaching of reading: A textbook of principles and methods. New York: Ginn and Company.

The Coronavirus Spring: The Historic Closing of U.S. Schools (2020). Retrieved from

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Teachers Then Vs Now!

Teachers! Then Vs Now?

essay about teaching profession then and now

If you are reading this without any trouble, you should thank your teacher/s. Teachers shape us into who we are and who we become. Teachers are the representatives of knowledge and positivity who go beyond the call of duty to create a social impact.

Let us take a closer look at how a teacher’s role has evolved over time through history and how they continue to keep the wheel of knowledge spinning.


In India, we can trace the evolution of teachers broadly in 3 eras.

Pre-British rule, During and Post Colonial rule, and The Contemporary Mentors.

Illustration Of Guru Or Shishya Chemistry

In Pan-Indian traditions, a ‘Guru’ is the modern-day equivalent of a teacher, guide, mentor, expert, master, etc.

A Guru was an influential, well respected, and knowledgeable person. Many a time a Guru was more than a teacher. He/she would be a reverential figure who also served as a counsellor, an inspirational leader, spiritual guide, and a knowledge bearer.

Guru would set-up a Gurukul/Ashram/Commune, ideally near a river far from civilization. It was a residential school system where shisyas (students) resided in the same facility with the guru until the education was complete. A Guru taught language, science, mathematics, arts, sports, crafts, warfare, astronomy, yoga, meditation, medicine, humanity, discipline; and the list goes on.

The objectives of the gurukul system were:

  • Personality Development
  • Spiritual Development
  • Intellectual Development
  • Preservation of Knowledge, Cultures & Traditions.
  • Social Awareness

Students were divided into three categories

  • Vasu/s: One who studied until the age of 24
  • Rudra/s: One who studied until the age of 36
  • Aditya/s: One who studied until the age of 48

Before the British rule in India, Gurukuls served as a primary education source for South Asia. Some of the famous gurus in Indian history are Ved Vyasa, Dronacharya, Valmiki, Vashishtha, Brihaspati, Chanakya, Swami Vivekananda, and others.

Present Day Teacher:

A present-day teacher is someone who prepares lessons, gives lessons, and assesses student’s progress based on a standard curriculum. A formal teacher has to obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college before he/she is eligible to teach.

In the present educational system, a teacher is directly appointed by private schools and through eligibility tests in government schools. A group of teachers teaches students in their respective fields of expertise. Teachers are sorted into Preschools, Pre-primary/Elementary schools, primary/middle schools, high-schools/Secondary, Senior-secondary/Pre-University, and University levels.

The Contemporary Teacher:

The teachers on your smartphones, laptops and tablets. Teachers are moving into the digisphere where they can connect with hundreds of students at the same time without being physically present. They are changing the role of a teacher from a knowledge bearer to a facilitator of knowledge. These contemporary teachers are facilitating transformational, experiential, holistic, choice-based, and student-centric learning.

As a parent, what do you feel the future of digital teaching would be, what changes excites you the most?

As a student, how would see the future of learning, upskilling, teaching, and learning, etc?  Do you feel physical classes are still the better choice?  Let us know what excites you.  

essay about teaching profession then and now

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Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education in India

How the Teaching Profession Has Changed

Posted On Aug 18, 2020

Young student sitting in front of a virtual class meeting with teacher and classmates.

Technology isn’t the only thing that’s changed in the last decade or two. Teaching and early childhood education have changed as well. There is a lot more accountability and responsibility placed on teachers today. While teachers definitely have a full plate, many of them remain optimistic about what lies ahead in the next decade of teaching.

Due to rigorous Common Core state standards set in 2010 and the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, the curriculum and teaching methods have changed from that of prior generations. Implementation didn’t come without controversy, and many teachers were confused on how to piece together their own curriculum. There was also an increase in math and reading test scores associated with these new academic standards, which affected the amount of time teachers had to spend on other subjects. As a result, many states have since revised or renamed the standards in an attempt to reduce some of the controversy, but the higher academic standards still remain.

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2. Students Play an Active Role in Learning

In prior years, the teacher lectured the same lessons, while the students listened or yawned. The teaching methods today allow students to play a more active role in their learning. By utilizing inquiry and project-based learning concepts they stay engaged in the lessons. Teachers are leveraging their students’ curiosity by presenting them with problems and scenarios for them to solve, versus simply delivering information.

3. Technology in the Classrooms

Teachers today have a wide array of technology available to them in the classroom, however, they’ve become increasingly more intentional about when to use that technology and when to power it down.

4. Remote Learning Has Grown in Popularity

As we’ve learned with COVID-19, remote learning continues to increase in popularity, as many parents appreciate the option for their student to learn without having to leave the safety of their home.

5. Students and Teachers are More Connected

Technology has made it easier for teachers and students to stay connected, even outside of the classroom.

6. Games are Used for Learning

While games may have been viewed as a free time or recess activity in the past, many games are incorporated in today’s classroom as a fun and valuable learning resource tool.

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7. Increased Diversity

Today’s classrooms include more diversity and differences than ever before, making teaching an even more fulfilling and rewarding career as they get to learn how to best teach kids from diverse language backgrounds, or with special educational needs, etc.

8. Increased Professionalism in Teachers

Now more than ever, teachers are able to thoroughly review and assess the quality of their own work as well as the work of their fellow teachers and make improvements whenever necessary.

9. Teachers are a Community

You’ve likely heard the saying “It takes a village” but this can be true for teaching as well. Teaching comes with a strong sense of community, and not just in your workplace, but across the entire profession at large.

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10. Teaching is a Career Ladder

While there is no set career path as a teacher, there are plenty of career opportunities or ways to advance in your profession or move up the teaching career ladder, so to speak. Whether it’s applying for the lead teacher position, department chair, administration, etc., there are dozens of roles and pathways for teachers to explore and pursue.

If you’ve thought about becoming teacher, there’s no better time than the present to start earning a degree in early childhood education. Contact Athena Career Academy today for more information.

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West Germans Celebrate The Unification Of Berlin Atop The Berlin Wall During The Collaps

How have teacher workloads changed over the past 25 years?

Teachers, who have been in the profession for more than two decades, reflect on how the stresses and strains of the job have changed

What makes great teaching? – expert views

Talk to any teacher and they’ll tell you about their working week of 50 hours or more, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said last month .

His words came as he called for teachers to say what unnecessary tasks they do and how the “runaway train of bureaucracy” might be reined back.

We’ve been exploring how teachers can gain a better work-life balance, and as part of that we set out to find out how workloads have changed over the past few decades. How have the pressures of the job changed and why? Here’s what teachers, who have been in the profession for more than 25 years, told us:

The advent of email has increased workloads – but it has benefits

Although email existed when I started teaching, we didn’t use it. At John Lyon School in Harrow, my post in 1993, each teacher had a pigeon hole, big enough to take a standard A4 file. Communication was by memo (and conversation) but one’s pigeon hole was, in a sense, today’s inbox.

By 1999, the advent of the email had well and truly arrived and today, it’s a major communication tool. Stacks of emails are a way of life for teachers now – a classroom teacher gets about 30 emails a day. Did I get 30 messages in my pigeon hole in 1993? Nowhere near.

Part of the problem is the dreaded “cc” where you get an email from which you could have been omitted . Also, parents can email teachers, which is fine, but in the old days it was formal meetings only which meant they happened less often and were face-to-face, which is always better.

You either spend time dealing with emails, which leaves less time for preparing lessons and marking, or do a chunk of marking and get behind with your emails. I tend to make sure I’ve seen all the emails, but leave the non-urgent ones to deal with until about 11pm every evening, if I can stay awake. While emailing has steadily increased the teacher’s workload, in so many other ways, it’s a great help. I wouldn’t be without it.

– Joe Carr-Hill is assistant head and director of studies at Brighton College . He’s been teaching since 1992.

Teachers are more stressed

An increase in workload has increased stress levels among teachers , and it is leading to higher anxiety, physical health problems and depression. In sixth form colleges, teachers were protected to an extent from the worst consequences of constant change, greater but misdirected accountability, demands to incorporate the latest ideas and technologies without proper resourcing. But these things began to catch up with us four or five years ago.

Budget cuts for sixth forms also mean teachers have to be flexible about what they teach and their involvement in pastoral work. They have to take on additional responsibilities as we try to maintain the quality of experience enjoyed by previous students at a time of decline in funding.

– Sue Munroe is in her 34th year of teaching.

Regular staff gatherings are a thing of the past

There used to be staff gatherings in evenings, treasure hunts and staff would go bowling together, but that doesn’t happen now. People spend their evenings marking and it’s particularly hard for people with young children.

The level of camaraderie in schools now depends on where you are working; in some places the pressure brings people together and they have fruitful conversations about good teaching and learning strategies, rather than a culture of blame.

– Andy Day retired this summer after teaching for 34 years in state schools in Yorkshire.

Ofsted-factor makes teachers feel personally scrutinised

By 2005 Ofsted inspections had changed from a large team coming in and staying for a week, rating the school out of seven categories, to smaller teams coming in more frequently for shorter periods. Ofsted now judges a school’s self-evaluation which puts more responsibility on managers to provide evidence about where the school is at and what they are doing to improve. This has resulted in more regular lesson drop-ins and work is scrutinised on a frequent basis with staff needing to be prepared for evaluations all the time. Teachers assess every student and every piece of input data every few weeks.

When Ofsted started inspecting in the 1990s you felt like you were all in it together but it now feels like you are being scrutinised personally. Most teachers are very happy to have managers come into their classrooms if it’s supportive. But if it becomes, as it has in many schools, a regular checking of your standards and judgement on your ability to stick to the folder of policies, then it becomes wearing and gives a sense that someone, somewhere is keeping a perpetual record on how you’re performing against perceived Ofsted criteria. If a student isn’t hitting their expected grade teachers are asked what they’re doing about it. Those criteria also seem to shift regularly from one focus to another with increasing rapidity.

You are expected to run more after school classes

Being a teacher has always involved working after school or during lunch helping students absorb those last few points that make the difference between the grade they might achieve and the grade they want. When I started it wasn’t unusual for a school to offer extra classes over the holidays so that groups of students could benefit from intensive teaching on topics that they hadn’t quite grasped. The school would usually pay a salary (lower than a regular salary) to compensate the teachers for giving up their time and surrendering family and lesson preparation opportunities.

In the last five years it has become increasingly common for holiday sessions to be unpaid. There is an expectation that teachers will make themselves available after school and at lunchtimes to coach students. A potent force behind these “interventions” is the expectation that all students will meet their targets, regardless of how much effort they might have expended in class or whether they attended all of the lessons. Any student’s under performance must be accounted for, particularly now that salary increases can be directly linked to student exam performance.

– Paul Shillito has been teaching in London schools since 1989.

There’s more pressure on NQTS

I had to pass my probation year like newly-qualified teachers now, but there are subtle differences in what is expected. There is more pressure now that gets passed down to each member of staff. New teachers today have a lot of information to take on board and assimilate quickly. Satisfactory used to be an ok place from which to develop; now it means requires improvement, which can mean competency questions.

– Chris Chivers taught for 16 years as a teacher and 16 years as a headteacher in a school in Hampshire. He spent the last nine years as a consultant.

The job of middle leader is harder work but more fulfilling

I became a head of department in 1989 and did the job for four years. In those days it was all about getting the paperwork right. This was before Ofsted and league tables, although the national curriculum and key stage tests were just coming in. These changes were already beginning to add to the workload.

Most of the work I did seemed to involve shuffling paper of different types – planning schemes of work, deciding on exam syllabuses, sorting out exam entries, choosing and ordering text books etc. I don’t remember ever observing a member of my department teach, and none of them observed me. There seemed to be little sharing of ideas and resources as we do routinely today, although as we planned to introduce the national curriculum we were starting to do that, and there was a sense that we needed to begin working as a team, rather than simply in a team.

All the administrative tasks I completed in the early 1990s are still there . I can’t think of anything I did that a head of department in 2014 wouldn’t do. But, there are many new responsibilities – analysis of data, preparing for Ofsted, ensuring you both support and hold your team to account through the right balance of guidance and challenge. They observe and are observed, evaluate and monitor, review and feed back. All this takes time and can be difficult and stressful.

But the job of a middle leader today is far more fulfilling and rewarding. Heads of department now have a far greater opportunity to make a positive contribution to teaching and learning, and can help other staff members develop. But it’s harder work – getting the best from all the members of your team is certainly more challenging than shuffling paper.

– Jill Berry is a former head and educational consultant.

Marking used to be straight forward, now it takes hours

Back in the day, marking was a tick-and-flick exercise . You’d put an assessment grade on and move on. The hours I worked were between 45 to 50, including marking.

We still put a tick to show we have seen every book, but now we have to fill in a stamp which sets targets and leave comments on how pupils are working. There is a lot more involved in marking each piece of work. One set of books could take two to three hours to mark. I’d say I now work on average 60 hours a week.

From about 2006 to 2007 onwards, when lots of changes suddenly came into schools and league tables were introduced, is about the time that there was an increase in workloads. Since then there has been an incremental increase, with more pressure piled on.

– Charles Thomas is a maths teacher from Birmingham. He started teaching in 1983 in Nottinghamshire as a secondary maths and computer science teacher.

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How the pandemic has changed teachers’ commitment to remaining in the classroom

Subscribe to the brown center on education policy newsletter, gema zamarro , gema zamarro professor, department of education reform - university of arkansas @gema_zamarro andrew camp , andrew camp distinguished doctoral fellow and graduate assistant, department of education reform. - university of arkansas @andrewcamp_ dillon fuchsman , and dillon fuchsman postdoctoral fellow, sinquefield center for applied economic research - saint louis university @dillonfuchsman josh b. mcgee josh b. mcgee associate director, office for education policy - university of arkansas, chief data officer - the state of arkansas @jbmcgee.

September 8, 2021

The 2020-2021 academic year was unlike any other. After nationwide school closures during the spring of 2020, schools reopened in the fall using combinations of in-person, hybrid, and remote learning models. Teachers had to adapt to unexpected conditions, teaching in unprecedented ways, using synchronous and asynchronous instruction, while also being challenged to establish connections with students, families, and colleagues. Health concerns added to the mix as some teachers went back to in-person education during the height of the pandemic. As a result, teachers’ levels of stress and burnout have been high throughout these unusual pandemic times , raising concerns about a potential increase in teacher turnover and future teacher shortages.

A RAND survey, fielded in early January 2021, found that nearly one-quarter of teachers indicated a desire to leave their jobs at the end of the school year , compared with an average national turnover rate of 16% pre-pandemic according to NCES data . In our research brief , we use new survey data from the nationally representative RAND American Teacher Panel (ATP) to provide additional insights into these issues.

We study data from 1,045 teachers from a survey administered in March 2021. About 30% of teachers in our sample reported teaching fully remote for the majority of the school year, 49% reported that they taught in a hybrid model, and 21% reported teaching fully in person. A large majority of teachers in our sample (71%) reported they had to switch instructional models at least once during the 2020-2021 school year, and the average teacher switched models twice. To see how teachers’ attitudes may have changed through the pandemic, we compare the March 2021 data to responses to a pre-pandemic survey of 5,464 teachers administered mid-February to mid-March 2020.

We find that, during the pandemic, teachers have become less certain that they would work a full career in the classroom. In March 2020, 74% of teachers reported that they expected to work as a teacher until retirement, while 9% said they did not expect to, and 16% did not know. In contrast, in March 2021, 69% of teachers reported they expected to work as a teacher until retirement, while 9% reported they did not expect to, and 22% said they did not know.

Teachers’ reported probability of leaving their current state or the profession within the next five years also increased from 24% on average in March of 2020 to 30% in March 2021. This change was due to a reduction in the percentage of teachers reporting a zero probability of leaving and a corresponding increase in the percentage reporting chances above 50%.

Furthermore, a high proportion of teachers reported having considered leaving or retiring during the 2020-2021 academic year. In March 2021, 42% of teachers declared they have considered leaving or retiring from their current position during the last year. Of these, slightly more than half say it was because of COVID-19.

Although the proportion of teachers that considered leaving or retiring was similar across different experience levels, those approaching retirement (55 or older) considered leaving at higher rates. Among teachers 55 and older, 34% said they considered leaving or retiring because of COVID-19, compared to 23% for all respondents. Compared to teachers younger than 35, teachers approaching retirement were 11 percentage points more likely to say they have considered leaving or retiring because of COVID-19. Importantly, teachers nearing the retirement age were as likely as younger teachers to report having considered leaving or retiring for reasons other than COVID-19.

In addition to approaching retirement age (being 55 or older), having to change instruction modes and health concerns were also significant predictors of the probability of considering leaving or retiring. Having to change instruction mode at least once during the year is associated with a 13-percentage-point higher probability of having considered leaving or retiring. Finally, compared to teachers who report a 0% chance of getting COVID-19, those who think they have a 50% chance are 10 percentage points more likely to have considered leaving or retiring.

In contrast, the mode of instruction did not appear to relate to teachers’ considerations of leaving or retiring. While in-person teachers (15%) were less likely than those teaching fully remote (23%) or hybrid (26%) to report that they considered leaving or retiring because of COVID-19, a higher proportion of in-person teachers (27%) reported having considered leaving or retiring for other reasons than fully remote or hybrid teachers (14% and 18%, respectively).

Despite high considerations of leaving or retiring during the pandemic, teachers report that more of their colleagues have considered leaving than have left their teaching jobs. We asked teachers to report the number of their colleagues that have considered leaving or retiring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then we asked how many of those colleagues left or retired. On average, teachers reported that around 40% of their colleagues that considered leaving because of COVID-19 ended up leaving.

The 2020-2021 academic year was a trying year for teachers and, as a result, teachers reported a higher probability that they will leave the profession than they did before the pandemic. However, so far, teachers’ considerations of leaving were more common than actually doing so, and teacher attrition rates have not increased . It remains to be seen whether this will persist as the pandemic continues and the Delta variant presents new challenges for the 2021-2022 academic year

Our results highlight three potential problem areas. First, a larger proportion of those approaching retirement age reported having considered leaving or retiring because of COVID-19, which could be problematic if schools begin to lose their more-experienced teachers. Second, most teachers had to change instructional mode at least once during the year (and many experienced multiple disruptions), and having to change instructional modes was associated with an increased probability of considering leaving or retiring. Finally, COVID-19 health concerns were also associated with an increased probability of considering leaving.

Teacher turnover is often bad for students , and a teacher shortage might be particularly disruptive in certain subjects or jurisdictions that are already strained. Even if teachers do not leave, higher levels of job dissatisfaction and intentions to leave could affect teacher effectiveness and could harm students’ academic progress . It is, therefore, important to get a better understanding of the factors that explain the increase in teachers’ considerations to leave so that we might find ways to better support teachers during these challenging times.

Addressing health concerns while trying to minimize school disruptions and changes in teaching mode could help increase satisfaction and retain teachers. Increasing school vaccination rates would certainly make a difference. In this respect, the recent FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could open the door for vaccine mandates, and approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 would allow a much larger share of the school-age population to get vaccinated. In the meantime, we should work together to control community spread, adopt school mitigation methods, and facilitate a supportive work environment to help teachers navigate the uncertainty of yet another school year in the pandemic.

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Chapter 1: The Teaching Profession

Unlearning Box

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

“It’s easy to become a teacher.”

“Teaching is an 8:30-3:00 job. You have it so easy!”

You may have heard people in your own life share quotes and comments such as these. These quotes are hurtful and untrue. Teaching is a profession. Teachers are capable, intelligent, and held to extremely high professional standards. Quotes and comments like these demonstrate gross misunderstandings of what it means to be a teacher in the United States.

In this chapter, we will begin to peer behind the scenes of what it means to be a teacher in the United States. We’ll walk through a day in the life of a teacher, break down what is involved to become a teacher, and close with characteristics of effective teachers.

Chapter Outline

Elementary perspective, secondary perspective, special education perspective, profile of teachers today, undergraduate degree program, graduate degree program, accreditation of epps, provisional certification, residency programs.

  • Maintaining a Teaching License

InTASC Standards

Professionalism & dispositions, teacher beliefs, a day in the life.

To get started, let’s drop into three different classrooms to get a feel for a day in the life of an elementary teacher, a secondary (high school) teacher, and a special education teacher.

The school doors open at 7 AM, and you greet children as they enter the cafeteria for breakfast. Once morning duty is over, you hurry to your classroom to await the 25 students that will come filing in momentarily. You make sure materials and directions for tasks are ready and calming music is playing. As students enter, you gather signed forms and respond to notes from families, help students with their morning activities, take attendance, and hold a morning meeting. The rest of the day, you are simultaneously teaching the content areas–English, math, science and social studies–and social skills as students navigate groupwork and friendships. Various other educators drop in throughout the day: the reading specialist to work with a group of readers who need extra support, the occupational therapist to help a student with some motor skills still developing, the speech pathologist to help students with articulation and language development, the instructional coach and sometimes the principal to give you feedback on your instruction.

Female elementary students work on a poster.

Pauses throughout the day from the busy pace of classroom life include related arts, where students go to learn about music, visual art, library, P.E., and more while you meet with your grade level for team planning; and lunch and recess, which involve scarfing down your lunch while getting your students through the lunch line, figuring out who changed their lunch choice or left their lunch at home, opening mustard packets, reminding students to eat while they talk with friends, and hopefully scuttling off to check your school mailbox and take a bathroom break. After a post-recess water break, you return to classroom instruction, with a few interruptions for students leaving early for doctor’s appointments, a student needing to go to the nurse’s office, another teacher popping in to borrow a book, or sometimes even a whole-school assembly for a class play or anti-bullying program.

When it is time to pack up for the day at 2:30, you make sure all students know how they are getting home that day, have their materials packed and ready to go, and then you bid them farewell at the door with a hug, high-five, or handshake as they head to their dismissal area. Once your room is empty, you go to monitor a dismissal area to make sure everyone is safe. After school, you might have a faculty meeting, a debrief with an instructional coach based on today’s observation, or time to prepare tomorrow’s instructional materials. You marvel at how quickly yet another day has passed in the life of an elementary school teacher.

The bell rings at 8:15 AM, but you’ve already been at school for more than an hour–making copies, checking emails, and writing the plans and goals for the day on the board. As an English teacher, you’ve decided to work on writing fluency during this year, so as the students enter the classroom, they take out their journals and begin responding to the prompt on the board. Every day the class meets, the students will write for five minutes and then briefly discuss their responses with each other and as a whole group. You write alongside them to model what it looks like, and often share your own writing–at the beginning of the year, most of the students struggled to write for five straight minutes, but now nearly all of them have gotten the hang of it. The rest of the lesson involves a minilesson on figurative language, small group discussions about students’ literature circle books, and a whole group review game to prepare for the unit test on Wednesday.

The school adopted a block schedule last year, so your classes are 75 minutes long. You teach three of four blocks each day; today is an A day, so first block is 9th grade honors and the other two are 10th grade general English. Tomorrow, you will teach two blocks of 9th grade general and one block of 10th grade College Preparatory English. You hate these labels and what they do to the students in the room, and, as department chair, you have been working with your principal to remove such rigid tracking.

High school English teacher with three students

“Bear Block” falls between 1st and 2nd block, and ten students stream into the room to retake tests, make up missed homework, or just hang out and read. You glance at the learning management system and see that there are 45 essays waiting for you, but there won’t be time to look more closely at them until later tonight. During lunch, some of your journalism club students are in the room, partially working on stories and layouts, but mostly sharing the latest news about their friends and acquaintances.

For the Professional Learning Community (PLC) meeting during fourth block, you will meet with the other 10th grade English teachers to look at the results of a common assessment. At some schools in the district, the grade-level teachers all teach the same lessons, but luckily at this school you have more freedom in how you teach the material. There is a new teacher on the team who is struggling with classroom management, so the first 15 minutes of the meeting is spent discussing some strategies that have worked in other teachers’ rooms.

The end of the day comes at 3:15 PM, but it will be another hour or two before you head home–there are sub plans to finish for Thursday because you will be attending a district-wide training for working with English Language Learners, and you are hoping to send at least ten texts and emails to parents. The initial fear of parent contact faded quickly, and now it’s one of your strengths–you reach out early and often, connecting with families around student successes first. Later, if students begin struggling, contact is much more seamless. It’s been a long, exhausting day, but interacting with the students has made it all worth it.

You arrive early in the morning, an hour or so before teachers officially start the school day. You greet the office manager, principal, and custodian on the way to your classroom. Aside from these three, the building will be mostly empty for another half hour. You’ve found that this quiet morning time provides the best opportunity to catch up on Individualized Education Plan (IEP) paperwork, reflect on student data from the prior day, and make adjustments to instruction for the coming day. As the official start time for the school day draws close, you make a quick dash to the copy machine, fingers crossed that it isn’t broken and that there isn’t a line of teachers anxiously waiting their turn. It’s your lucky day. Your last photocopies shoot out of the machine just as the overhead announcement calls teachers to report to their morning duty stations. You quickly drop the copies off in your classroom, pick up your data binder, and dash out the door to the bus loop.

The bus loop is a flurry of activity. You greet students with high-fives, occasional hugs, and countless reminders to “use walking feet.” Amid all of these informal greetings, you are slipping in some IEP services by completing morning check-ins with several students who have behavioral or social-emotional goals on their IEPs. From an outsider’s view, these check-ins don’t look that different from your interactions with any other student. However, intermixed with those high-fives and hugs you quietly assess needs, remind students of the goals they are working on, offer supports where needed, and quickly make notes in your data binder. On this particular day, a third grader with autism reports that he is feeling like “a category 3 hurricane.” You know he needs some quiet time before joining his homeroom class, so you walk him to the computer lab where he has an open invitation to help the instructional technology specialist get the computer lab set up for the day.

The halls begin to clear as the instructional day begins. You spend the next six hours in constant motion, serving 18 students across four grade levels. You transition between co-teaching in general education classes and pulling small groups of students to your own classroom for intensive intervention in literacy, math, or social skills. When co-teaching, your job is to supplement the general education teacher’s deep knowledge of grade-level content with specialized instructional strategies that make content meaningful and accessible for students with disabilities and other learning differences. When providing intensive intervention, you implement research-based programs that target specific skills identified in your students’ IEPs. Data collection is on-going and individualized for each student, so your trusty data binder is by your side in all settings.

Normally, you would end the school day completing check-outs with the same students you saw in the morning. Today, you assign that responsibility to a teaching assistant so you can participate in a special education eligibility meeting. It is the initial eligibility meeting for this student and her family. A team of educators work with the parents to determine if the first grader has a disability and needs special education. Her parents feel overwhelmed by the process and fearful when the team concludes that their daughter has an intellectual disability. This is a moment when your job and your passion meet. You assure the parents that the future is bright for their daughter, that the educational label does not change who she is or who she will be, and that you will highlight her strengths and address her needs as you plan her education with them as equal partners. The decisions that you will make with this family are new to them, but for you they are a familiar and important part of your day as an elementary special education teacher.

Becoming a Teacher

The scenarios above describe some typical teaching days, but not all days are the same in teaching. In fact, each one will be different in some way. Deciding to become a teacher is an exciting commitment to shaping the future, and it is both demanding and rewarding. We’ll take a look at the profile of teachers today in the United States, and then discuss various routes toward earning the credentials necessary to become a classroom teacher.

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) collects data on various aspects of education, one of which is the demographics of teachers and students. In the 2017-2018 school year, there were 3.5 million full- or part-time public school K-12 teachers ( NCES, 2020a ). (K-12 means the range of grades public schools serve, starting with kindergarten in elementary school and culminating with 12th grade in high school.) Of those teachers, 76% were female [1] , 79% were White, 90% held a standard teaching license (more on that below), and 58% had earned a graduate degree (at the master’s level or beyond). A majority of teachers were in the middle of their careers, with 40% having ten to twenty years of experience in the classroom. The average salary of a full-time public school teacher was $57,900, with the average first-year teacher earning $44,200. (Note that salaries vary based on years of experience, highest degree earned, and location.)

Stop & Investigate

Check out the demographics of teachers in your state or school district. How do they compare? Find the salary scale for teachers in your local school district. How does it compare?

Let’s revisit some of those demographics on racial diversity. Figure 1.1 depicts specific racial categories of public school teachers in the 2017-2018 school year, compared with the 1999-2000 school year.

Figure 1.1: Racial Demographics of U.S. Public School Teachers, 1999-2000 and 2017-2018

This graph compares demographics of teachers approximately 20 years apart.

Note: Data for teachers who identified as Asian, Pacific Islander, and two or more races in 1999-2000 was unavailable. The 2017-2018 data for teachers who identified as Pacific Islander rounded down to 0.

The trends are clear: in the United States, we lack a racially diverse teaching force, and that trend has not changed much in the past 20 years. While the 2017-2018 school year included more Hispanic, Asian, and multi-racial teachers, teachers are still overwhelmingly White. In the same school year, however, students who attended public schools were only 44% White ( NCES, 2020b ). That means that generally, there are more White teachers and more students of color ( Geiger, 2018 ). This trend is concerning, given that research shows that having teachers of color benefits all students, not just students of color ( Wells, Fox, & Cordova-Cobo, 2016 ).

Seventh-grade social studies teachers gather for a meeting.

There are many reasons why teachers in the United States are not racially diverse. While the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education (further explained in Chapters 3 and 5 ) demanded all schools integrate to address some of the inequalities between separate schools for White and Black students, it did have other consequences that directly impacted the diversity of teachers in the United States. This case caused 38,000 Black teachers (about one-third of the Black teachers in the country) to lose their jobs in the years following the case (Milner & Howard, 2004; Thompson, 2019 ). Even though this historical antecedent did limit access to teaching jobs for Black people, racial discrimination in the hiring process continues to compound this issue. D’Amico et al. (2017) found that despite equally-qualified candidates applying for jobs in one large school district, White teacher candidates still received a disproportionate number of job offers: of the 70% White applicants, 77% received job offers, while of the 13% Black candidates, 6% received job offers (D’Amico, Pawlewicz, Earley, & McGeehan, 2017; Klein, 2017 ). Beyond the hiring process, retention of hired teachers is lower for teachers of color than for White teachers. For example, between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, only 15% of White teachers left their jobs, compared to 22% of Black teachers and 21% of Hispanic teachers ( U.S. Department of Education, 2016 ).

Critical Lens: Naming Races

You may have noticed in this section that races are capitalized (like White and Black). Capitalizing these names recognizes the people more than the color. In fact, the Associated Press recently changed its writing style guide [2]  to capitalize Black and Indigenous when referring to racial categories.

Pathways Toward Teacher Certification

High-quality, well-prepared educators are the foundation of our educational system. Well-prepared teachers are more effective in the classroom and also tend to have higher rates of retention, meaning they choose to stay in the teaching profession (Darling-Hammond, 2010). There are several different ways that you can become a teacher, depending on where you are in your life and career. These pathways toward teacher certification fall into two general categories: traditional or alternative preparation. Traditional preparation involves an undergraduate or graduate degree program affiliated with an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) , while alternative preparation can take many forms, including provisional certification or residency programs like Teach for America. No matter how you obtain your teaching license , you will have to renew the license periodically.

Traditional Preparation: Educator Preparation Program (EPP)

The most traditional way to earn your teaching certificate is through an Educator Preparation Program (EPP). An EPP could offer a few different programs that would culminate in your teaching certificate. Two popular options are an undergraduate degree program or a graduate degree program.

In this pathway toward teacher certification, participants enter a 4-year degree program knowing that they want to become a teacher upon graduation. Exact majors vary: sometimes you might major in education, or in a specific form of education (like elementary education). If you want to teach elementary school, you are expected to be more of a generalist: you will likely teach all content areas to your students. Therefore, you will take education classes in all of these areas. If you want to teach middle or high school or become a related arts teacher (arts, language, etc.), you will major in your future area of specialization, such as history if you want to teach social studies, or music if you want to be a music teacher. Regardless of the exact structure of the specific program, participants take classes that help them learn about pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), along with specific methods of instruction (such as how to teach the structures of different disciplines like literacy, math, science, or social studies).

Completing coursework is just one part of becoming a teacher in a traditional undergraduate degree program. There are also tests that future teachers must pass to prove they are prepared to teach. Some of these tests occur early in the degree as entrance requirements to an education program to assess basic literacy and math skills; some of these tests occur at the end of the degree as a culmination of all courses. These tests, run by ETS, are called Praxis tests. Their website [3] has information about testing requirements in different states.

Critical Lens: Bias in Standardized Assessments

While standardized assessments have been associated with measuring intelligence and learning for many years, some schools are moving away from relying solely on standardized tests as a measure of aptitude. You or someone you know might not be a great test taker, and you may have experienced first-hand (or second-hand through an acquaintance) how standardized tests aren’t always a reliable measure of what you know. Beyond test anxiety, standardized tests also tend to be culturally biased. That means that some cultural norms are assumed to be shared by all test takers, but this isn’t necessarily the case. A passage in a reading assessment, for example, might assume that a test-taker can build on background knowledge of certain experiences, like going camping, that they haven’t had, or use vocabulary words that are more common in middle-class White households. Another standardized test of intelligence, the IQ test [4] , was used early on by eugenicists to argue that White test-takers scored higher because they were the smarter race, using questionable statistical analyses and overlooking that the tests were written to benefit White test-takers. However, these standardized tests were often used to choose “highly qualified” candidates for jobs such as military leaders, therefore limiting access to certain professions based on race and socioeconomic status.

Kindergarteners use number cubes.

One of the most important parts of preparing to become a teacher is getting practice working in actual classrooms with actual students. In a traditional undergraduate degree program, you will engage in two different types of field placements. The first types of field placements are sometimes called practicum , which are part-time placements that are often tied to specific courses (like methods classes, where you learn about how to teach specific content areas like language arts, math, science, or social studies). You attend practicum a few hours a week in between your other coursework. In these practicum placements, you get to try out what you are learning in class with actual classrooms, teachers, and students. Sometimes you are observing to learn more; other times you are actively leading instruction in one-on-one, small group, or whole group settings. Your various practicum placements typically will be in different schools and different grade levels to give you experience working with many different types of students and teachers. The second type of field placement is called student teaching or an internship . This full-time placement occurs at the very end of your degree program. You spend all day, every day at your placement, just like the classroom teacher does. As the semester progresses, you will take on more and more responsibility for planning and teaching. By the middle of the semester, you will usually be responsible for all of the planning and teaching for all content areas for several weeks. After those few weeks, you begin passing the instructional responsibilities back to the classroom teacher. Both practicum and student teaching will require you to work closely with the classroom teacher, who may be called your mentor teacher . Neither type of field placement is an official job, so you should not expect to be paid for these experiences.

After you have completed all of your undergraduate coursework, your field placement hours, and your state’s required testing, you will earn your teaching certificate and be ready to apply for your first teaching job.

The first graduate, or post-baccalaureate, degree programs were developed in the 1970s as Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs (Darling-Hammond, 2010). A post-baccalaureate degree program is designed for people who want to become teachers, but who have already completed their undergraduate coursework in a field other than education. Therefore, a post-baccalaureate degree program allows people to learn how to become teachers while earning a master’s degree. In a post-baccalaureate degree program, courses are often offered in the evenings to cater to the needs of adult students who may be working or have family commitments during the day. Even though its structure is a little different, a post-baccalaureate degree program also has the field experiences explained above (practicum and internship).

After you have completed all of your post-baccalaureate coursework, your field placement hours, and your state’s required testing, you will earn your teaching certificate and be ready to apply for your first teaching job. The master’s degree you will earn in a post-baccalaureate program can result in higher pay for teachers in some states.  (Even if you earn your teaching credential in an undergraduate program, you can still earn a master’s degree in education and get a pay increase in many states.)

Research has shown that teachers who earn their teaching certificate through an educator preparation program (EPP) feel significantly more prepared to meet their students’ needs than those that pursue other routes toward licensure (i.e., Darling-Hammond, Chung, & Frelow, 2002). One reason for this finding lies in the high standards that EPPs must meet. EPPs must be accredited by either state or national agencies. Accreditation means that the programs have met specific standards of high-quality teacher preparation programs.

The first national credentialing agency was the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which was founded in 1954. By 2016, NCATE was replaced by CAEP (pronounced “cape”), which stands for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. In their mission, they state: “CAEP advances equity and excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning” ( CAEP, 2020b , “Mission”). To receive CAEP accreditation, EPPs have to demonstrate evidence of their success in five areas, or standards [5] : (1) content and pedagogical knowledge; (2) clinical partnerships and practice; (3) candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity; (4) program impact; and (5) provider quality, continuous improvement, and capacity. When you enroll in an EPP with CAEP or state-level accreditation, you know you are in a high-quality program that has provided evidence of meeting rigorous standards to prepare teachers.

Alternative Preparation

Sometimes, you decide to become a teacher after you have already earned an undergraduate degree in another field. Perhaps you’ve even worked in another field for several years, and you realize that you would like to become a teacher instead. While each state has different policies and programs for preparing teachers beyond undergraduate coursework, a few common approaches include provisional certification and residency programs like Teach for America.

Some schools face shortages of teachers in certain content areas or in more urban settings, which mean they need teachers as soon as possible–even if those teachers aren’t officially certified just yet. A provisional teaching license allows an individual to become a teacher temporarily, while they work with their employer to arrange to meet the requirements of earning a teaching license (such as taking the required Praxis tests). These licenses might be valid for a period of time ranging from one to three years and typically are not renewable, meaning that if you do not meet the licensure requirements before your certificate expires, you will not be able to continue teaching. Sometimes provisional certification is also called emergency certification, since it is designed to meet an immediate need.

Residency programs are another alternative pathway to receive a teaching credential. Typical participants in a residency model already have a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning a residency program. During the residency program, future teachers work simultaneously on a master’s degree in education while being placed in a school full-time. Typically residents do not serve as the teacher of record in the classroom, meaning they are not solely responsible for all instruction. Residency programs are particularly popular in high-needs areas where there is high teacher turnover and recruitment and retainment of teachers is challenging, such as urban centers. Some critiques of residency programs center on the short-term, intense nature of the experience: while a traditional undergraduate pathway toward a teaching credential takes around four years, a residency may last only one year, with the field experience occurring concurrently with coursework ( NYU Steinhardt, 2018 ).

Teach for America (TFA) is one well-known residency program. TFA recruits from undergraduate completers, mostly from programs other than education, to complete intensive training in the summer immediately following their graduation and prior to assuming their teaching position. Teach for America places candidates in higher-needs areas, while incentivizing the program by offering candidates a free master’s degree in education while they complete two years of teaching in the program. However, fast-tracked, alternative certification programs like Teach for America do tend to have lower rates of retention ( Hegarty, 2001 ). Retention refers to how long teachers stay in the field of education. Higher retention rates lead to higher-quality teachers, since you will keep growing in your competency as a teacher the longer you stay in the profession. Therefore, some alternative certification programs like Teach for America receive critiques for their short-term placement of teachers in schools for a couple of years instead of long-term teaching careers.

Maintaining A Teaching License

Once you have earned an initial teaching license, you will be able to teach for a period of time before you have to renew it. Usually, you will have to renew your license every three or five years; each state sets their own regulations, and different licenses sometimes have different timespans. Renewing your teaching license is important because teaching and learning are constantly changing and evolving, and you will best serve your students by being up-to-date on the latest information. You can earn renewal credits in a variety of ways, including taking graduate courses, attending conferences, attending professional development opportunities offered in your district and beyond, and more. The year your license will expire, you will have to submit a request to renew your license to your state Department of Education, including evidence of how you met your continuing education requirements. You cannot be a teacher with an expired license, so it is important that you remember to keep your teaching license current.

Each state has their own policies for becoming a teacher, so what happens if you earn a teaching license in one state and then have to move to another state? Many state Departments of Education have reciprocity with other states, meaning that your license could be transferred to a new state without having to start over completely. You might have to meet a few additional requirements unique to your new state, such as Praxis tests, but you don’t have to go back to school to get another degree in education. Learn more about reciprocity from the Education Commission of the States [6] , including a state-by-state comparison of reciprocity conditions [7] .

Look up the licensure and reciprocity policies for your state. Here is Virginia’s licensure website [8] . What do you notice about your state’s policies?

Characteristics of Effective Teachers

First of all, what does it mean to be an effective teacher? Effectiveness can be hard to define. Some ways to measure effectiveness include student achievement, such as test scores; performance ratings from supervisors, like administration members observing a lesson; or informal feedback in the form of comments from students or other stakeholders. Defining effectiveness is further complicated by the reality that there are many variables that a teacher cannot control that still impact these various measures ( Stronge, 2018 ).

Pause & Ponder

Who was a teacher who positively influenced your life? What did they do that left this impact? Was it how they approached instruction, interacted with you as a person inside or outside of school, or facilitated an extracurricular club? Now, think about a teacher who negatively affected you. What did they do that caused you to have a less than desirable experience?

As you yourself have experienced as a learner, there are certain characteristics that effective teachers share. Even though all teachers have distinct personalities and instructional approaches that they bring to the classroom–since teachers, like students, are still individual people–here are some practices that effective teachers have in common.

Over the span of 15 years, Walker ( 2008 ) asked college students what made effective teachers in their own experiences and found twelve recurring characteristics.

A high school student is outside with her teacher, examining a plant.

  • Prepared. Effective teachers were ready to teach every day and used time efficiently.
  • Positive. Effective teachers were optimistic about their jobs and their students.
  • Hold high expectations. Effective teachers believe everyone can succeed and challenge students to do their best.
  • Creative. Effective teachers come up with new, innovative ideas to teach content.
  • Fair. Effective teachers establish clear requirements for assignments, give everyone what they need to succeed, and recognize that learners are unique.
  • Display a personal touch. Effective teachers connect with students by sharing stories about themselves and participating in their students’ worlds, like going to a performance or sporting event.
  • Cultivate a sense of belonging. Effective teachers make students feel welcomed and safe in the classroom.
  • Compassionate. Effective teachers are sensitive and empathetic to students’ situations.
  • Have a sense of humor. Effective teachers bring humor into the classroom, but never at a student’s expense (i.e., laugh with, not at, students).
  • Respect students. Effective teachers maintain privacy and don’t embarrass students in front of the class.
  • Forgiving. Effective teachers don’t give up on students and start each day without holding grudges about how previous days have gone.
  • Admit mistakes. Effective teachers apologize when they make mistakes and make adjustments accordingly.

In addition to these personal qualities, there are specific ways to structure learning that are more effective than others. Creemers and Kryiakides (2006) called this the “dynamic model of educational effectiveness.” The dynamic model focuses more on teaching and learning than other factors that are beyond the teacher’s control in the classroom. Eight factors that tend to have an impact on student learning are explained in Table 1.1 (adapted from Muijs et al., 2014 ).

Table 1.1: Eight Factors that Impact Student Learning (Muijs et al., 2014)

As you can see, while we all bring our own personalities to our own classrooms and instruction, there are some practices that have consistently impacted student learning. We will continue discussing those specific practices throughout the rest of this book, and you will continue honing those skills as you continue on your pathway toward becoming a teacher.

Common characteristics of effective teachers can be found in ten InTASC standards . A nonpartisan, nationwide group of public officials with leadership positions in U.S. K-12 education called the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) created a subgroup called the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC). InTASC created a list of ten standards that cover model core teaching practices that high-quality K-12 teachers should be able to demonstrate as effective teachers. These standards were originally released in 1992 to guide early-career teachers, but the group realized that these characteristics were actually applicable to all teachers. Therefore, in 2011, InTASC revised the standards and expanded them to all teachers. Table 1.2 breaks down the 10 standards into the four overarching categories.

Table 1.2: InTASC Standards by Categories

The last category of InTASC standards focuses on professionalism. Teachers are held to very high standards as professionals because of their influence on shaping students’ learning, outlook, and futures. Teachers are expected to be role models, both within and beyond the classroom. Therefore, there are certain interpersonal skills–sometimes called dispositions –that teachers are expected to demonstrate as professionals.

In your own experience as a student, what are some behaviors or actions you have observed from teachers that made you respect them or lose respect for them? How will this impact how you practice professionalism in your future classroom?

A challenge related to dispositions is that research has not yet established an exact set of non-academic qualities that teachers need to demonstrate in order to be successful ( CAEP, 2020a ). Therefore, expectations of which dispositions should be observed will vary. Overall, here are a few examples of dispositions that you should possess as a future teacher.

  • Communication. You will be expected to demonstrate mastery of oral and written communication with a variety of stakeholders, including students, co-workers, administration, and families. Communication should be respectful and positive, and teachers are often expected to demonstrate mastery of conventions of standardized English.
  • Professional image. Related to communication, you are expected to portray a professional image in words and actions. You will be expected to dress professionally. You will be expected to avoid documentation of overly reckless behavior, such as photos on social media of drinking to excess at a party. As a teacher, you are a representative of your school district, and you are expected to maintain that professionalism within and beyond the classroom.
  • Organization. While there is no one “correct” way to be organized, you will be expected to manage your time, complete tasks by deadlines, and show up to work on time. You will also need to be able to organize student records (including assessments) and return assignments to students in a timely manner.
  • Collaboration. You will be expected to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders, including students, co-workers, administration, and families. Many times, you will be interacting with people whose backgrounds differ from your own, and it is very important that you respect the contributions of others, even if you would not approach a situation in exactly the same way.
  • Reflection. You will be expected to reflect on your instructional practice and adjust your next steps accordingly. Rarely does an instructional activity go perfectly, and that’s OK! Teachers must be able to reflect on what went well and what to change going forward.

Critical Lens: Linguicism

You’re heard of lots of -isms: racism, sexism, classism. What about linguicism? Fain (2008) cites Skutnabb-Kangas (1988) to define linguicism as “unequal treatment of languages based upon power structures that privilege certain languages as having legitimacy” (p. 205). People often assume that “Standard English” is right and everything else is not (Wheeler & Swords, 2006). Standardized English received this position as a “prestige dialect” (Wheeler & Swords, 2006) about 500 years ago, when the self-declared “superior” Europeans came to the Americas and began interacting with the so-called “inferior” native people. Linguistic discrimination, therefore, is a result of the “racist project of colonialism” (Otto, 2004, p. 3). Linguicism can be applied to languages, such as Spanish, or dialects, such as African American Language or Southern English. As Wheeler and Swords (2006) remind us, “while language varieties clearly differ, difference does not signal deficit” (p. 14). (Note: We use the term “Standarized English” instead of “Standard English” to highlight the artificial construction of one language as the “standard” and all others as “substandard” [Wheeler & Swords, 2006].)

Many of these dispositions and expressions of professionalism are culturally bound. For example, tattoos may need to be covered in some school districts, while others do not mind if age-appropriate tattoos are visible. It is important to know the expectations within your local context so that you can act accordingly. In Chapter 5 , we will discuss more about your legal and ethical protections and expectations as a teacher.

Explore the purple “Critical Disposition” boxes in the InTASC standards document [9] (starting on p. 12). What trends do you see? What will this mean for your future classroom?

A fish swims in water.

In the teaching profession, it is also important to be aware of our beliefs. Awareness of our own beliefs can be particularly challenging because sometimes we are socialized into certain beliefs and do not even realize we hold them until we meet someone who holds different beliefs. Furthermore, in education, “Whiteness is the invisible norm” (Derman-Sparks & Ramsey, 2006, p. 35). As we established earlier in this chapter, most teachers in the United States identify as White. That means that the majority of teachers share certain aspects of mainstream cultural backgrounds and bring them into their schools and classrooms, often teaching next door to other teachers who share those same mainstream cultural backgrounds. That is how one cultural background can become the invisible norm.

We teach who we are. We bring our identities into our classrooms on a daily basis, just like our students do. Who we are involves many different facets of our identity, called intersectionality . Legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw ( 1989 ) invented the term “intersectionality,” and it has since been applied in varied contexts, including education. The idea behind intersectionality is that many different aspects of our identity–including characteristics such as race, economic class, gender, and more–overlap and “intersect” with one another. Our identities–and our students’ identities–are greater than any one isolated characteristic. In this short video, Kimberlé Crenshaw explains intersectionality and its impact in educational settings.

Where do some of your identities lie in this diagram of intersectionality? Which groups within each characteristic tend to have the most power? (For example, which racial groups tend to be the most empowered or disempowered?) What other characteristics would you add to this diagram?

Intersectionality considers how different characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, or gender, intersect.

As human beings, we have a natural desire to belong in order to survive. This drive to survive results in our grouping people–both consciously and unconsciously–based on their similarities or differences to us. Unfortunately, those same survival skills mean that we may think less of people who are different from us. We may think they aren’t as smart, or aren’t as good at what they do, or don’t do things the “right” way (the way we do them). Judging or evaluating another culture based on your own culture is called ethnocentrism . If we aren’t careful, we can let ethnocentrism interfere with our professionalism as teachers. We might think a student is less capable of success in our classrooms or beyond based on our own cultural beliefs about certain characteristics. Sometimes we assume people from certain racial, socioeconomic, ability, and other demographic groups are less capable, simply because of our own expectations or cultures. We might consciously or unconsciously believe certain stereotypes –sweeping, oversimplified generalizations about a group–and those stereotypes will filter into our interactions with our students, our expectations of our students, and our teaching in general. As Gorski (2013) reminds us, “no amount of resources or pedagogical strategies will help us to provide the best opportunity for low-income students to reach their full potential as learners if we do not attend first to the stereotypes, biases, and assumptions we have about them and their families” (p. 69).

Therefore, an important aspect of being an effective teacher is knowing yourself. Freire (1973) discussed the importance of critical consciousness, the ability to see beyond one’s own limited realm of experiences. Members of mainstream groups must be especially aware of their identities and how these identities impact their teaching (Gay, 2010; Harro, 2000).

In this chapter, we surveyed the teaching profession in the context of the United States. You learned that teachers today are mostly White females with 10-20 years of experience in the classroom. Pathways toward preparing high-quality teachers can be traditional, such as earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in education, or alternative, such as provisional certification or residency programs like Teach for America. No matter how you earn your initial teaching license, you will need to renew it periodically. Finally, the teaching profession depends on characteristics of effective teachers. InTASC standards remind us of ten common characteristics of effective teachers across four domains, and dispositions relate to our general professional demeanor as teachers. Additionally, we must be aware of our beliefs and how they consciously and unconsciously contribute to our instruction. In the rest of this book, we will continue to explore the complexities of the teaching profession.

  • The demographics from NCES are only broken down by male/female. ↵
  • ↵
  • ↵
  •,basis%20for%20modern%20IQ%20testing. ↵
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  • ↵
  • ↵
  • ↵
  • ↵

Abbreviation for kindergarten through 12th grade, the traditional span of public schools in the United States.

Landmark Supreme Court case in 1954 that declared separate educational facilities were not equal, ending segregation in schools.

One way to earn a teaching license through completing coursework at an Educator Preparation Program (EPP).

Programs offered through colleges or universities to earn teaching credentials.

Pathway toward earning teaching certification that does not involve undergraduate coursework and might involve residency programs or provisional certification.

Earned after meeting state-established requirements (such as courses and testing) in order to become a teacher. Requires periodic renewal.

Term referring to teachers in areas like music, visual arts, drama, etc.

The art and science of teaching.

How to teach the structures of different disciplines like literacy, math, science, or social studies.

Series of teacher certification tests offered by ETS.

Part-time field placements that are often tied to specific courses to give preservice teachers experience in classrooms.

Full-time practicum experience, usually situated at the end of an educator preparation program. May also be called internship.

Full-time practicum experience, usually situated at the end of an educator preparation program. May also be called student teaching.

Teacher of record in a practicum placement. Mentors preservice teachers by modeling effective instruction and sharing classroom responsibilities.

Process of formal review of an Educator Preparation Program by an outside agency, such as CAEP.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Teaching license that is temporary, usually with certain stipulations or provisions attached. Sometimes called an emergency teaching license.

Alternative pathway toward teacher certification in which future teachers work simultaneously on a master’s degree in education while being placed in a school full-time.

Agreements among different states to honor teaching licenses earned in other states, sometimes with additional requirements added (like testing).

Framework designed by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues in 1956, and later revised in 2001. Divides educational goals/cognitive processes into six categories of increasing complexity: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.

10 standards from the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium that cover model core teaching practices for K-12 educators.

Interpersonal skills expected of teachers as professionals.

Unequal treatment of languages based upon power structures that privilege certain languages as having legitimacy.

Term coined by Crenshaw (1989) meaning many different aspects of identity--including race, economic class, gender, and more--overlap and intersect with one another.

Judging or evaluating another culture based on your own culture.

Sweeping, oversimplified generalizations about a group.

Foundations of American Education: A Critical Lens Copyright © by Melissa Wells and Courtney Clayton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Becoming a Teacher: What I Learned about Myself During the Pandemic

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Introduction to the Article by Andrew Stremmel

Now, more than ever, we need to hear the voices of preservice teachers as well as in-service teachers during this pandemic. How has the pandemic affected them? In what ways has the pandemic enabled them to think about the need to really focus on what matters, what’s important? What were the gains and losses? These are very important questions for our time.  In this essay, Alyssa Smith, a senior studying early childhood education, attempts to address the lessons learned from her junior year, focusing on the positive aspects of her coursework and demonstrating an imaginative, growth mindset. This essay highlights the power of students’ reflection on their own learning. But I think it does so much more meaningful contemplation than we might expect of our students in “normal” times. Alyssa gains a new appreciation for this kind of active reflection—the opportunity to think more critically; to be more thoughtful; to stop, step back, catch her breath, and rethink things. As a teacher educator and her mentor, I believe this essay represents how the gift of time to stop and reflect can open space to digest what has been experienced, and how the gift of reflective writing can create a deeper level of thinking about how experiences integrate with one’s larger narrative as a person.

About the Author

Andrew Stremmel, PhD, is professor in early childhood education at South Dakota State University. His research is in teacher action research and Reggio Emilia-inspired, inquiry-based approaches to early childhood teacher education. He is an executive editor of  Voices of Practitioners .  

I’ve always known I was meant to be a teacher. I could feel my passion guide my work and lead my heart through my classes. So why did I still feel as if something was missing? During the fall of my junior year, the semester right before student teaching, I began to doubt my ability to be a great teacher, as I did not feel completely satisfied in my work. What I did not expect was a global pandemic that would shut down school and move all coursework online. I broke down. I wanted to do more than simply be a good student. I wanted to learn to be a great teacher. How was I supposed to discover my purpose and find what I was missing when I couldn’t even attend my classes? I began to fret that I would never become the capable and inspirational educator that I strived to be, when I was missing the firsthand experience of being in classrooms, interacting with children, and collaborating with peers.

It wasn’t until my first full semester being an online student that I realized the pandemic wasn’t entirely detrimental to my learning. Two of my early childhood education courses, Play and Inquiry and Pedagogy and Curriculum, allowed limited yet meaningful participation in a university lab school as well as engagement with problems of substance that require more intense thinking, discussion, analysis, and thoughtful action. These problems, which I briefly discuss below, presented challenges, provocations, possibilities, and dilemmas to be pondered, and not necessarily resolved. Specifically, they pushed me to realize that the educational question for our time is not, “What do I need to know about how to teach?” Rather, it is, “What do I need to know about myself in the context of this current pandemic?” I was therefore challenged to think more deeply about who I wanted to be as a teacher and who I was becoming, what I care about and value, and how I will conduct myself in the classroom with my students.

These three foundations of teaching practice (who I want to be, what I value, and how I will conduct myself) were illuminated by a question that was presented to us students in one of the very first classes of the fall 2020 semester: “What’s happening right now in your experience that will help you to learn more about yourself and who you are becoming?” This provocation led me to discover that, while the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light (and at times magnified) many fears and insecurities I had as a prospective teacher, it also provided me with unique opportunities, time to reflect, and surprising courage that I feel would not otherwise have been afforded and appreciated.

Although I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I had never deliberately pondered the idea of what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I held the core values of being an advocate for children and helping them grow as confident individuals, but I still had no idea what teaching style I was to present. Fortunately, the pandemic enabled me to view my courses on play and curriculum as a big “look into the mirror” to discern what matters and what was important about becoming a teacher.

As I worked through the rest of the course, I realized that this project pushed me to think about my identity as an educator in relation to my students rather than simply helping me understand my students, as I initially thought. Instead, a teacher’s identity is formed in relation to or in relationship with our students: We take what we know about our students and use it to shape ourselves and how we teach. I found that I had to take a step back and evaluate my own perceptions and beliefs about children and who I am in relation to them. Consequently, this motivated me to think about myself as a classroom teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic. What did I know about children that would influence the way I would teach them?

I thought about how children were resilient, strong, and adaptable, possessing an innate ability to learn in nearly any setting. While there were so many uncertainties and fear surrounding them, they adapted to mask-wearing, limited children in the classroom, and differentiated tasks to limit cross-contamination. Throughout, the children embodied being an engaged learner. They did not seem to focus on what they were missing; their limitless curiosity could not keep them from learning. Yet, because young children learn primarily through relationships, they need some place of learning that helps them to have a connection with someone who truly knows, understands, and cares about them. Thus, perhaps more than any lesson, I recognized my relationship with children as more crucial. By having more time to think about children from this critical perspective, I felt in my heart the deeper meaning children held to me.

My compassion for children grew, and a greater respect for them took shape, which overall is what pushed me to see my greater purpose for who I want to be as an educator. The pandemic provided time to develop this stronger vision of children, a clearer understanding of how they learn, and how my identity as a teacher is formed in relationship with children. I don’t think I would have been able to develop such a rich picture of how I view children without an in-depth exploration of my identity, beliefs, and values.

In my curriculum course, I was presented a different problem that helped me reflect on who I am becoming as an educator. This was presented as a case study where we as students were asked the question, “Should schools reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?” This was a question that stumped school districts around the nation, making me doubt that I would be able to come up with anything that would be remotely practical. I now was experiencing another significant consequence of the pandemic: a need for new, innovative thinking on how to address state-wide academic issues. My lack of confidence, paired with the unknowns presented by the pandemic, made me feel inadequate to take on this problem of meaning.

To address this problem, I considered more intentionally and reflectively what I knew about how children learn; issues of equity and inequality that have led to a perceived achievement gap; the voices of both teachers and families; a broader notion of what school might look like in the “new normal”; and the role of the community in the education of young children. Suddenly, I was thinking in a more critical way about how to address this problem from the mindset of an actual and more experienced teacher, one who had never faced such a conundrum before. I knew that I had to design a way to allow children to come back into a classroom setting, and ultimately find inspiration for learning in this new normal. I created this graphic (above) to inform families and teachers why it is vital to have students return to school. As a result, I became an educator. I was now thinking, feeling, and acting as a teacher. This case study made me think about myself and who I am becoming as a teacher in a way that was incredibly real and relevant to what teachers were facing. I now found inspiration in the COVID-19 pandemic, as it unlocked elements of myself that I did not know existed.

John Dewey (1916) has been attributed to stating, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Learning may begin in the classroom, but it does not end there. Likewise, teaching is not a role, but a way of being. The ability to connect with children and to engage them meaningfully depends less on the methods we use than on the degree to which we know and trust ourselves and are willing to share that knowledge with them. That comes through continually reflecting on who we are in relation to children and their families, and what we do in the classroom to create more meaningful understanding of our experiences. By embodying the role of being an educator, I grew in ways that classroom curriculum couldn't prepare me for. Had it not been for the pandemic, this might not have been possible.

Dewey, J. 1916. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education . New York: MacMillan.

Alyssa Marie Smith  is currently an early childhood education student studying at South Dakota State University. She has been a student teacher in the preschool lab on campus, and now works as a kindergarten out of school time teacher in this same lab school. In the fall, she plans to student teach in an elementary setting, and then go on to teach in her own elementary classroom.

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Professionalism in the Teaching Profession Essay

Professionalism is a very important factor and it should be present in any professional worker. In this paper, the teaching profession has been discussed and the importance of professionalism in the teaching profession has been studied in detail. Moreover, the basic requirements which every professional teacher should have to include a code of conduct, a relationship with other staff members, skills for maintaining discipline in a classroom, and usage of the internet.

Professionalism in Teachers

Professionalism is very important in the education sector as it has a very deep impact on the role of a teacher, which in response influences the aptitude of students to learn successfully. A teacher’s professionalism can be defined as the talent to reach students substantially, increasing inventive approaches to motivate students, appealing, and stimulating immature minds to train them for growing technology (Hilferty, 2008).

Code of conduct for teachers

The code of conduct is designed by the school administrator, professional organization/union representatives, school board members, and parent/community members. They said that code of professional conduct for teachers has some requirements which include

  • Regular presence

It means that teacher should be present at school, and he/she should act very seriously against the requirements for reporting absence from school.

  • Punctuality

A teacher should be very punctual as it is one of the foremost requirements for the professional teacher, and she should also fulfill the number of lectures, lessons, and workshops, etc assigned to him/her for each class. The presence of teachers is mandatory in the assembly and at the end of the day or school timings.

It means that a teacher should have respect for all staff members, admin people, students, and parents within his/her heart. These consist of penal measures, an equal number of chances, anti-biased and anti-discriminatory policies.

  • Internet usage

Nowadays, it has become a requirement for teachers to know how to operate and use the internet as it is required, as it is one of the basic requirements of educational bodies.

  • Positive behavior

Teachers are the symbol of inspiration for students, so they should behave properly in the class and other than class timings. She should be kind towards all children and their parents, whenever she meets them in formal or informal settings.

  • Skills to actively listen and work on criticism and suggestions

Sometimes teachers have to face harsh responses from parents, senior teachers, and other staff members in schools, but she should develop an aptitude to react very softly against such issues.

  • Should follow a proper standard of dress code

Whenever a teacher enters into the school environment, she should keep this thing in mind that she is acting as a role model for students, and for that, she has to maintain a proper standard of dress code, which should be decent and reasonable for school settings.

  • Performing duties as per the requirements of the school administration

She should perform her duties well while she is in classrooms, gathering with and working with a teacher, in the development, education, and evaluation of students and other required professional needs.

Ethical and legal issues are considered to be the supreme priority in the educational sector. Professionals avoid discussing issues regarding other coworkers, the place where they work, and any strange situations. Teachers should act as professionals while they are in school. If teachers face any problem regarding the above-mentioned requirements, then they should speak to their mentor or administrator truthfully in a professional manner.

Reference List

Hilferty, F. (2008). Teacher professionalism defined and enacted – A comparative case study of two Subject teaching associations . Australlia: VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K.

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IvyPanda. (2023, October 31). Professionalism in the Teaching Profession.

"Professionalism in the Teaching Profession." IvyPanda , 31 Oct. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Professionalism in the Teaching Profession'. 31 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Professionalism in the Teaching Profession." October 31, 2023.

1. IvyPanda . "Professionalism in the Teaching Profession." October 31, 2023.


IvyPanda . "Professionalism in the Teaching Profession." October 31, 2023.

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Teaching as a Profession, Essay Example

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You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

A teacher is an influential person in the society because he or she contributes to imparting of knowledge to all members of the society who go to school. Therefore, teaching is a professional career that needs many skills and expertise for the process to be effective. Various factors define teaching as a professional career.

Teachings as a profession need adaptability. This is because teachers deal with a variety of abilities that students have. Teachers are required to have innovative lessons in order for their students to master their standards (McKenzie & Santiago, 2005). For example, teachers use various innovative techniques to make their lessons to be understood well by students. They employ the use of technology, music, art, physical activities and hands on activities to help students to have more understanding according to their unique learning styles. Teachers also modify their discipline plans because there are students who require extra behaviors support. Teachers also adapt to changes in teaching programs because the curriculum switches in different years. Therefore, teachers are always required to understand how to do things in new ways.

Teachers need to be motivated in order for them to be able to encounter negativity, not from students alone but, also from parents, frustrated colleagues or administration that is not supportive (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2007). Teachers demonstrate motivation by giving encouragement to students, giving students meaningful feedback, personalized attention to help them succeed. Teachers renew their commitments daily in order to act as positive role model to the students and the larger school community.

Teachers need to be good monitors and evaluators. Teachers need to be able to make an assessment on the progress of the students (McKenzie & Santiago, 2005)Teachers in their day to day duty assess their students in order to find out if they understand the concepts taught. If the students show misunderstanding of the concepts, then teachers employs alternative teaching strategy that makes students understand the concepts taught.

Lunenburg, F. & Ornstein, A. (2007). Educational administration: concepts and practices, 2 nd edition. Belmont: Cengage Learning.

McKenzie, P. & Santiago, P. (2005). Teachers matter: attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers, 1 st edition. Paris: OECD Publishing.

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Teaching as a profession essay

Teaching as a profession essay

Teaching is a noble profession that comes with so much responsibility and duty towards students. Teachers do not only teach and impart knowledge but inspire and motivate students for life and take important steps in life. They keep working to boost the confidence of students and direct them in the right direction. There were many teachers who dedicated all their life to empowering their students and making them better and more successful human beings in their life. In the article, we will learn about teaching as a profession essay.

One such example of a teacher who dedicated their life to teaching students is Anand Kumar of the Super 30 coaching class who picks students only from underprivileged sections and gives them the best education to crack IIT through coaching IIT. These are those children who can never afford to take admitted to coaching classes for competitive exams. Anand Kumar teaches, guides, and motivates students to dream big and fulfil those dreams.

The first Anand Kumar made a record of selecting 18 students for IIT out of 30 students.

The next example in front of us is Siva Subramania Iyer. He was the teacher of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and he was responsible to give India its Missile Man. He taught him to fly high and inspired him to make it big. And then India got its greatest space scientists of all time. Thus, not only teaching a profession a thing to pursue but also a passion that can take you to heights.

Table of Contents

What is Teaching Profession?

We all know what it is teaching profession. But still, we need to be aware of more significance of the Teaching Profession and also one can earn a better pay scale. They encourage students to be dedicated to their studies and passionate about their careers.

Teaching is a profession made to make students have more potential and learn important lessons even about life like respect, sharing, ethical values, and cultures.

Teachers are the ones who teach students to live life with discipline and high value and also play a crucial role in shaping the minds and lives of students, helping them acquire knowledge, skills, and values necessary for personal and intellectual growth.

Teaching is a rewarding and challenging profession that requires a strong commitment to the well-being and success of students. It also has excellent communication skills, patience, adaptability, empathy, and a passion for inspiring and empowering their students.

5 Reasons Why Teaching is a Profession

There are some reasons why teaching is a profession are:

1. I nspire and Influence

Teachers have the added responsibility of shaping the future generation and also have an opportunity to make a difference. They will have the unique opportunity to steer a mass in the right direction.

2. Improvement and Learning

It will be around young, curious, minds all day, you will be able to push yourself and get better every day. When you are in an environment that asks a lot of questions and is inquisitive, you grow and develop every day.

3. Work Satisfaction

Teaching provides job satisfaction that is like no other and the joy of making a difference and making a change in the right direction is like no other.

Teaching is a respectful job and look up to teachers for work. Teachers can look at all students alike regardless of their academic performance. They guide and direct students and also they inspire and shape future generations.

5. Potential for Growth

The stability and job security for a teaching career are high and also is always potential for growth. It is a clear career path with a lot of opportunities and with online teaching apps and virtual classrooms on the rise you can teach from the comfort of your home and without any geographical restrictions.

Role of a teacher

While writing an essay on teaching as a profession, the role of a teacher must be included. The general and first role of a teacher is to teach their students. Then motivate them and boost their confidence to take up things that can help them in their life. Teachers should find different ways to teach students and apply them in teaching so that the maximum information and knowledge reach the students.

They should try to explain complex and difficult topics through fun activities and make them easier for students to understand. Teachers are not only teachers but they are your mentors and guide.

They are responsible not just to teach the syllabus but inspire students by exchanging thoughts, sharing a bond, and being with them in every up and down. If you will be able to portray all these roles for your students then teaching as a profession is perfect for you.

Teaching skills, matter knowledge, personality, and ways of imparting pieces of information are some factors that affect the learning patterns of students. It helps teachers to become successful teachers and mentors for their students.

If the above-explained traits inspire you to become a teacher and you are thinking about how to proceed then read the guide below.

Academic Path For A Teacher

To adopt teaching as a profession , we must realize that not only personality qualities are important but educational qualifications too are one of the main requirements. The right qualifications and passion to teach students can make a good teacher. There are several to pursue teaching as a profession, you can follow some of the below-mentioned ways:

Nursery Teacher

To become a teacher in the nursery section or pre-primary section, you need certain qualifications. Teachers who teach students of age groups between 2-5 years are called Nursery or Pre-Primary school teachers. The kids studying in pre-primary are taught with Kindergarten educational methods. Some of the pre-primary schools run on the Montessori educational method and they are termed Montessori schools. In the kindergarten section of the school, kids are taught basics, language, numbers, communication, etc., and prepared for the primary section. They are taught using extra activities such as arranging objects in order, playing, singing, drawing, colouring, etc.

How to become a Nursery School teacher?

To become a teacher of pre-primary, you should complete your 12th and pursue a Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) course of 1-year duration. You can also go for a Kindergarten Training Program or a Montessori Teacher Training program for about 9 months to 1 year. Even after completing graduation, you can opt for these courses. With the right qualifications and skills, you can try your career in teaching.

Also, by pursuing the child development program of Anganwadi Workers (AWW) – Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), you can begin your career as a teacher in Anganwadi.

Primary School Teacher

Teachers who teach students from classes 1 to 5 are called teachers of primary school. They become a bridge for students in the pre-primary section and higher secondary section. They monitor and help in the overall development of children. In the primary section of teaching, you can have the chance of teaching students a variety of subjects and enhance the learning experience. If you want to make your career as a teacher for primary classes, then you have the following options:

How to become a Primary School teacher?

You can be a teacher of primary school after completing class 12th and then pursuing a Diploma in Education (D.Ed.) of 2 years. The option of a Primary Teacher Training (PTT) program of a 2-years duration is also available for pursuing.

If you want to get a degree in a teaching program then you can do a Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) in the 4-year degree program. You can also take part in Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) to get recruitment as Primary School Teachers in Government schools and Government aided primary schools.

Secondary and Higher Secondary School Teachers

If you want to become a teacher for secondary classes for teaching students of classes 5 to class 10 or for higher secondary classes for teaching students of classes 11 and class 12, then you can opt for any options given below. By becoming a teacher for a Secondary or Higher Secondary school, you will have the option to teach specific subjects.

How to Become a Secondary and Higher Secondary School Teacher?

You will need to complete your graduation and then complete a Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.) degree for 2 years. Getting a B.Ed. the degree is compulsory to pursue a career as a teacher in a secondary and higher secondary school. If you want to be a teacher of higher secondary classes then you can do a Master’s degree after graduation and then pursue a B.Ed. degree.

If you want to qualify as a teacher for central government-run schools, then the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) will be the option for you. CTET is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for applicants to be eligible to be a teacher at the secondary and higher secondary levels.

You can also opt for Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) or a State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) for recruiting secondary-level and higher-secondary-level teachers.

College and University Teacher

If you want to teach students in colleges or universities or want to be called a lecturer in government or private colleges and universities, then follow the available options:

How to Become a College or University Teacher?

If you want to choose teaching as a career in a college or university, you must get a degree in a Master’s program. However, after a master’s degree, a PhD degree is also compulsory for promotion from Lecturer to Associate Professor.

Once you complete a Master’s degree, you can apply for the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). NET requires a postgraduate degree and a certification of eligibility for giving entrance. You can also have an option of giving a State Eligibility Test (SET) for the recruitment of Lecturers.

These all are the options available to choose teaching as a profession. By completing your basic qualifications requirements, you will get many options to choose from and become a teacher of Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Higher Secondary, and College. It is an essay on the teaching profession it can help you on your pathway to becoming a teacher.

Teaching provides a way to give back to society and teachers have so much potential in the field, they should be given every opportunity possible to use it. Become an teacher, and it will change your life.

Teaching is a profession of imparting knowledge and skills to students in a way that will help them achieve their full potential and such as teaching can be an incredibly rewarding career. Teaching is one of the few professions that allow you to work with children and then retire from the same occupation while still young and also it can also a way for people to find meaning in their lives after struggling in other areas.

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Teacher Professional Development, Explained

essay about teaching profession then and now

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It’s lauded by some as one of the best ways to improve teaching and learning, scorned by others as a complete waste of time. It’s something that teachers might have access to weekly, or barely get once or twice a year.

Professional development will be part of almost every teacher’s career. They will take district-provided training, participate in collaborative learning groups, or seek out seminars and conferences.

When professional development is done well, it provides an opportunity for teachers to grow their knowledge and sharpen their skills, which can lead to better student outcomes. It’s a way for teachers to collaborate with their colleagues, and one avenue through which administrators can support their teachers.

That’s the goal. But it’s not always the reality.

The K-12 professional development landscape is diffuse and highly local, with offerings varying from district to district and even school to school. Teachers have long said that the PD they receive often isn’t relevant to the subject or grade level they teach, that it doesn’t provide tips for practical application in the classroom, or that its goals are vague.

And research on the topic is mixed, with studies demonstrating that some approaches work well—and others don’t have any effect.

Read on for an overview of the field: what options exist, what research shows can improve student outcomes, and how teachers say professional development could be improved.

What is teacher professional development?

Professional development, or professional learning, can refer to any kind of ongoing learning opportunity for teachers and other education personnel.

Some professional development is required—for example, a state law could mandate that all elementary school teachers undergo training in early literacy instruction , or a school could host a mandatory workshop on a day reserved for in-service teacher professional development.

Most states require that teachers complete a certain number of hours of professional development to renew their teaching licenses or to receive salary boosts. Usually, teachers can meet these requirements by taking continuing education classes through colleges and universities, or by taking professional development courses from state-approved providers.

A host of organizations provide these PD sessions, including teachers’ unions, subject-specific professional associations, education companies and publishers, museums, government agencies , and nonprofits.

Exactly how much teachers pay for PD varies, too. Districts and unions will offer some options to teachers for free, or deeply discounted. But often teachers pay out of pocket, especially for opportunities hosted by outside organizations.

What are some examples of teacher professional development?

The stereotypical PD session is the “one-and-done.”

A group of teachers gather in a classroom or an auditorium to listen while a consultant delivers a scripted presentation on a general topic. It’s then up to teachers to figure out how to apply that information to their specific classroom contexts—if they choose to do so at all.

Teachers, policymakers, and education researchers have criticized these kinds of one-off workshops for their lack of continuity and coherence, but they’re still very much a part of the PD landscape (see the next section).

Still, the suite of options is much broader than just workshops. Here are some of the other types of professional learning that teachers could have access to:

  • Professional learning communities: Also known as PLCs, these small groups of teachers—often organized around subject areas or grade levels—meet regularly to share expertise and plan for instruction.
  • Curriculum-based PD: Teachers learn how to use their school or district’s curriculum and other instructional materials, often discussing how to adapt it for their students’ needs.
  • Coaching and peer observation: An instructional coach, or teachers themselves, help other teachers plan lessons, observe each other’s classrooms, and offer feedback.
  • Conferences, seminars, and institutes: Teachers attend meetings outside of school, where they can learn from experts and their colleagues. These often occur during summer or other school breaks.
  • National Board Certification: Teachers who complete a series of portfolio projects and pass an assessment receive this advanced certification, which comes with salary increases in some states.
  • University courses: Teachers can take these to deepen their subject matter knowledge or their understanding of instructional practice. They can also count toward graduate degrees, which help teachers move up the pay ladder.

What kind of teacher professional development is most common?

Teachers say that the type of PD they participate in most often is collaborative learning, according to a 2023 study from the RAND Corporation that surveyed a nationally representative sample of 8,000 teachers.

This includes work time with colleagues or more structured meetings, like professional learning communities. Thirty-nine percent of teachers said they did this at least weekly.

Still, workshops and short trainings are still part of many schools’ approaches.

The federal government provides funding that districts and states can use for professional development through Title II-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Data from the 2020-21 school year show that 90 percent of districts that used some of this money for PD spent the funds on trainings that lasted three days or fewer, or on conferences.

Districts spent on other types of PD too. Eighty percent of districts said they funded longer-term professional development lasting four or more days, and 55 percent supported collaborative or job-embedded professional development.

Research from the past decade shows that much of the professional development that teachers undergo doesn’t meet the federal standard for “high-quality.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal K-12 law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, defines high-quality professional learning as meeting six criteria: it’s sustained (meaning not a one-off workshop), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused.

But most offerings don’t meet all of these benchmarks. A 2016 study from the Frontline Research & Learning Institute examined 3.2 million PD enrollments between 2011 and 2016, and found that 80 percent of them didn’t meet the federal standard in full.

Most professional development is locally provided, from school districts, regional offices of education, or teachers’ unions. Quality control is often lacking : Some states have hundreds of approved providers, and only audit a small sample each year.

What makes for effective teacher professional development?

Hard data on which professional-development models lead to better teaching are difficult to come by.

In part, this is because professional development relies on a two-part transfer of knowledge: Teachers need to learn new knowledge and skills such that they change their behavior, and those changes must subsequently result in improved student mastery of subject matter. Unsurprisingly, the complex nature of those transactions renders the field of professional development a challenging one to study.

Still, research reviews conducted over the last five years or so have provided some insights.

In a brief published in 2022 , researchers at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Brown University reviewed dozens of studies on professional development to identify some commonalities in successful programs.

They found that professional development that focused on instructional practice —identifying key teaching strategies and providing support for carrying out those changes in the classroom—was generally more effective for improving student performance than professional learning that focused solely on building teachers’ content knowledge in their subjects.

This instruction-focused PD is most effective when it’s tied to materials that teachers are going to use in the classroom, an approach also known as curriculum-based professional development. The paper cites two metanalyses—one of coaching programs , and one of science, technology, engineering and math instructional improvement programs —that both found PD had larger effects on student outcomes when it helped teachers understand how to best use their classroom materials. Other research reviews have identified the importance of providing teachers with models and examples.

Adding follow-up sessions was helpful too. They provide opportunities for teachers to share their experiences implementing new information and get feedback from peers.

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Coaching is also powerful. A 2018 meta-analysis of 60 studies on instructional coaching found that it can improve teachers’ practice, so much so that in some cases a novice teacher performed at the same level as one who had been in the classroom for 5 years. It improves student performance, too, as measured by standardized test scores.

Still, the results came with a caveat. Coaching programs became less successful as they got larger, involving more teachers. Recruiting, developing, and supporting a large staff of coaches can be costly and challenging to districts to implement, the researchers said .

Other types of professional development also have stipulations.

Adding collaboration time for teachers to work together can be very effective—but only if that time is well-used. One 2022 study , for example, found that teachers reported participating more—and perceived collaborative time to be more useful to their practice—when it was focused on a specific goal, rather than swapping general strategies to improve instruction.

What do teachers say would make professional development better?

Because professional development varies so widely in type and in quality, teachers’ opinion of it varies too. But in general, teachers’ critiques of PD line up with research findings about what is, and isn’t, best practice.

Teachers have said they want professional development to be more practical and directly connected to the work that they’re doing in the classroom. A common complaint is that PD is not tailored to teachers’ needs —for example, mandatory seminars that often have no relevance to their particular subject area or cover skills that they mastered years ago.

Teachers want time to apply what they’ve learned with students and then follow up with PD providers and their colleagues to evaluate: Did this go well? Why or why not? And is it helping students?

Finally, teachers have also identified a need for more support in reaching certain student groups. In the 2023 RAND survey , most teachers said their professional learning offered no access to expertise, or only slight access to expertise, in supporting students with disabilities or English learners.

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Essay on Teaching

Essay on Teaching Profession & Its Benefits

Teaching is an often under-appreciated profession, but the impact of a good teacher cannot be overstated. Teachers are an essential part of society, shaping the next generation’s future.

But what makes a great teacher? There are many qualities that make someone successful in this role. Great teachers balance the needs of their students with their own needs for success; they work to create engaging lessons; and they prepare students for all aspects of life after high school.

Teaching also provides a chance for personal growth and development as well as the ability to make a difference in lives. This essay will explore some benefits of teaching profession.

Essay on Teaching Profession

Teaching is a noble profession. It requires a person to have a deep knowledge of the subject matter, be able to convey it to others, and have the patience for those who don’t learn as quickly as others.

A good teacher is not only knowledgeable on the topic but also has a set of relationships with the students that go beyond the classroom.

Teaching might not be an easy task but it is an important one. Teaching can change someone’s life by teaching them new skills or providing them with a more thorough understanding of something they were previously confused about.

1 – Why teaching is important?

Teachers make a real difference in the lives of people who are ill or suffering. Students learn to develop their own learning styles Students get to know one another and develop social skills and begin to know their place in the world.

The teachers serve the community because they are there to help educate the youth of tomorrow. By having a profound impact on the lives of students and their families, you are helping people reach their potential and providing them with opportunities they might not have otherwise.

Teaching is important because it makes a huge impact on development of society or a country. It is a profession that has the ability make a stronger nation.

2 – Reasons to Become a Teacher

The role of the teacher is to be a caretaker of others; responsible for bringing out the best in everyone you come into contact with. There may be a lot of reasons to become a teacher but some are listed here.

  • Teaching gives you the opportunity to teach and motivate others to do great things, even if it is a student in your classroom.
  • The ability to help others learn, both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Learning new skills and adapting your ways of teaching and learning in order to satisfy the needs of different students.
  • Learning how to work with others and collaborating to achieve a common goal.
  • Making a difference and positively influencing lives.
  • Get credentialed.

3 – Teaching is Great for Personal Growth

Teaching allows you to make a difference in students’ lives, which can be very rewarding for teachers themselves. Teachers can teach lessons about creativity, patience, perseverance, creativity, and responsibility, among many other things.

These lessons are crucial to a child’s life and can help mold the next generation of successful people. Teaching Makes you a better person. One of the best things about teaching is that it makes you a better person.

Children inspire teachers and, in turn, they can teach children to follow their dreams, achieve their goals, and be independent. By teaching students, you can inspire the students you once were. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to teach students the value of education and the joys of learning.

4 – Benefits of Teaching

The job satisfaction level of teaching is particularly high. Many teachers tell us that they are really able to connect with their students and share a passion for what they are learning.

In addition to developing other professional skills, teaching also allows students to learn the essential skills necessary for success in college and in life.

Research shows that children are more successful when they are taught at a younger age, and it is generally recommended that teachers serve from 6 to 18 years of age.

There are many rewards that come with becoming a teacher. Some people become teachers for the financial benefits but others choose it because they have a passion for the subject they are teaching and want to share that love with others.

Teaching also provides opportunities for personal growth and development.

5 – The Need for Teachers

Teachers are needed in all professions, but the lack of teachers in certain occupations, such as in the military, means that there are a lot of people who could benefit from a teacher’s presence. There are about 2.5 million teachers, or 18% of the total teacher workforce, in the U.S., but most of those people will never see the inside of a classroom.

In fact, the vast majority of students who need teachers are not even aware that they need them.

In a culture where children learn at a faster rate, they want more hands-on learning experiences. At present, America’s children spend less time studying and doing traditional lessons and more time doing research, in comparison to their counterparts in other countries.

The teacher’s role in this situation is to provide this hands-on learning experience. Being able to instill in children an enthusiasm for learning is what teachers do best, and the best teacher in the world is one who inspires children to learn.

6 – Challenges of teaching

Teaching is a stressful job, which means that some people are discouraged and turn down the opportunity to teach. However, teachers do not have much time off, since the students usually need to meet with them on a daily basis. Therefore, they have to be at their best and available. The job also requires a lot of patience, because students can be difficult to deal with. Experience of teaching Teaching requires a high level of knowledge, and a good knowledge of the subject of study is necessary. Many teachers also need a thorough knowledge of the educational system in the country they teach in. Teachers also have to be able to read and write in multiple languages, which may be a challenge in the Philippines.

Teaching jobs come with a lot of challenges and stress. Some of these challenges are occupational and some are related to age. Regardless of the challenges you face, the biggest challenges facing teachers are the following: Overcrowding Class sizes are high, especially in public schools. In addition to the extra people in your classes, some schools have open classrooms that are designed so that students can come in and out at will. As a result, teachers spend a lot of time with their students when it is not a class period. This is important to learn about so that you can set up a classroom that will be able to function well. You can train your students in the art of teaching so that they can accomplish more on their own. Relationships Teaching is a way to be in a community.

7 – Teaching as a career

You’ll be able to teach a variety of different things including preschool, home-school, and higher education. You could teach middle school or high school and teach at the college level or teach kindergarten or elementary school and work at the elementary or junior high level. It can be a career you can pursue in order to make a difference in lives. You can learn valuable teaching techniques and then use these techniques for your students. You can take up other interests after teaching. It’s possible to work in the summer to earn extra money. Teaching Essay: What do you need to know? If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, then you must start reading a lot about the subject. This will help you to find out all the details about it, the job, the pay, and the work-life balance.

Teaching may be the most popular career option in the United States. Even though the job market has not been as favorable to young people as many may think, many remain devoted to teaching. Having a job as a teacher means that you can also be a job seeker. It is important to consider all of the factors before deciding on a career, especially if you plan on staying at one position for the rest of your life. Other careers Teaching may not be the most popular choice for young people, but it is not out of the question. Other options include becoming a police officer, a teacher in a foreign language, or a nurse.

8 – How to become a teacher

As the link between life and education, the teaching profession is not something that you can just wake up and decide to do. You must be attracted to the teaching field and have a great passion for it. In a market where many people are on the lookout for teaching jobs, you must be outstanding in what you do in order to win the position. In the last 15 years, there has been a steady increase in

Becoming a teacher can be simple and economical as well. You can learn the necessary skills in no time by getting some guidance and the proper materials. You can also find free tutorials online on how to become a teacher. You can also find online videos and books on teaching at all levels of education. With these, you can effectively teach the course you need to teach. What to expect when you become a teacher In addition to all these, there is a good deal of satisfaction when you teach because you enjoy teaching. But you can make your teaching life even more rewarding by meeting the students and giving them the experience of learning something from a person. You can give them what you did not have as a student, and then you can teach them more effectively.

9 – Conclusion

Teaching provides a way to give back to society and to help improve the lives of those who come after us. Since teachers have so much potential in the field, they should be given every opportunity possible to use it. Don’t let yourself be left out of the perfect opportunity. Be the one to bring change and be the one to inspire others. Become a teacher, and it will change your life.

Teaching is the profession of imparting knowledge and skills to students in a way that will help them achieve their full potential. As such, teaching can be an incredibly rewarding career. What’s more, teaching is one of the few professions that allow you to work with children and then retire from the same occupation while still young. Teaching gives you the chance to make a lasting impact on the world by inspiring a new generation of thinkers and leaders. Teaching is also a way for people to find meaning in their lives after struggling in other areas.

For some, the feeling that comes from helping others is a driving force that motivates them in life. If you enjoy helping others and have a desire to make a difference in their lives, teaching might be the right profession for you. Helping others, seeing them achieve their goals, and seeing them grow can build a lasting positive impact in your life. Job Security Some people worry about job security in this day and age. Teaching, while not the most secure of professions, is at least considered to be a stable career. There is always going to be demand for teachers because kids need an adult in their life who is always there for them. Teachers will always have a place in the workforce because they help children to learn.

Essay on Teaching

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Home / Essay Samples / Education / Indian Education / Education Then and Now: the Review of Indian Management Education

Education Then and Now: the Review of Indian Management Education

  • Category: Education
  • Topic: Education System , Indian Education

Pages: 4 (1929 words)

  • Downloads: -->


Objectives of the study .

  • To analyse the Indian system in past and present;
  • To know the Indian management education system in future scenario.

Sources of the Data

Need of the study, the beginning of management education, history of management education, present structure of indian management education.

  • Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) set up by government of India.
  • University Departments of Management Studies, distance, correspondence and part time courses as well.
  • Colleges and institutes affiliated to Universities.
  • Private or Govt. Institutes approved by all India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
  • Private colleges or institutes offering MBA courses in India in collaboration with foreign universities where degree and diploma certificates are awarded by the foreign countries.

Future Management Education System in India 


  • Chaudhary, Sarita et al., (2011) Emerging Issues in Management Education in India. VSRD International Journal of Business and Management Research, 1(3).
  • Mehta Adarsh Preet., (2014) New Paradigms in Contemporary Management Education in India. Indian Journal of Research, 3(5).
  • Saha G Gautam., (2012) Management Education in India: Issues and Concerns. Journal of Information Knowledge and Research in Business Management and Administration, 2(1), 35-40

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