Friday, June 22, 2012

Teacher Selection

The school district where I live has added some software that asks prospective teachers about their educational views and preferences. This software is designed to be used to help decide which teacher candidates would be best to select for further advancement in the application process. So now, in addition to an extensive online form to fill out, with educational background, work background, and essays on discipline, curriculum design, etc., there is another, separate multiple choice questionnaire that is designed to let them pick candidates who can best give them the answers they want/expect.

I understand that they have many more applicants than they can interview, but I am a bit unsettled by all of this testing, testing, and more testing. There are now state-wide tests that you have to take to get endorsements in areas that you want to teach, national tests you can take, and 30 page online forms to fill out in order to even begin to apply for a position. In this era of bigness and many unemployed teachers, I understand it, from the administrative side.

But from my side, I long for smallness. I long for a real person to talk to me and figure out if we could work together. I have a rather non-standard background, which can be a real advantage to students, but which will never be seen if I can't give the "correct" answers to the selection questionnaire.

Maybe it is good that I find substitute teaching interesting. I like the variety and the ability to compare all of the different classrooms, teachers, schools, districts, and students.

But subbing doesn't pay well enough and I need more income to help pay for an elderly mother. Teaching may lose me as a teacher.

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