Convenience vs quality teaching (EME 5050)

Posted on: August 31, 2012

After reading Dr.McLeod’s quote, ” Are we doing what is best for our students, or are we doing what is most convenient for us?” I couldn’t help but ponder why I chose this profession in the first place. Looking from the outside in, many individuals ask me why I teach when I could have chosen a much more “prosperous” career. Teachers are known to make one of the lowest paying salaries and recently I heard on the radio that it was voted the #3 for the most unhappiest job. Granted I spend a majority of my paychecks on my students and have headaches on a weekly basis, I wouldn’t trade the profession I chose for anything. I do feel that a lot of people do chose teaching because it is “convenient” and why not have a job where you get the summers off. However, these are the same individuals who do not teach for the best interest of the child.

After a long day I find myself stressed trying to think of new ways to teach after reflecting on my lessons. A masters degree is not required but I am doing it to gain more knowledge and bring new ideas into the classroom. I am by no means a perfect teacher but I do try to learn as much as I can to better my teaching. Unfortunately with the pressures of FCAT, observations and student performance pay, teachers are only teaching to “the test.” What happened to wholesome, life changing teaching? What happened to teaching children the necessities they need to go out into the real world? Ask any college graduate about a 401k and stocks and you will be surprised by the lack of knowledge they have about the real world . An inspiring teacher is one that changes the life of a child and despite the rocky road they will do anything in their power to set each child up for success. I couldn’t tell you how many times I hear teachers saying that putting children on a RTI is just more work for the teacher. Is it better to watch the child fail academically and watch their self esteem plummet just to have less paper work? A true teacher does what is best for the child and not what is convenient for them.

The video, “Do you know?” was an eye opener on how much our society has changed in just a few years. Technology has taken over the world and soon will be taking over our jobs as well. My second graders all talk about their ipods, ipads and cell phones and how much their lives at the age of 7 revolve around them. If they are so intrigued by technology maybe educators should make more of an effort to integrate it in the classroom. Technology is not in the least bit easy (it took me forever to learn how to activate this blog) but it is beneficial for children’s learning. Yet you hear so many negative comments about technology coming from teachers. I hear constant negativity regarding new standards and observation requirements but in the end it is to make us a better educator.Learning something new seems to be anything but convient for teachers these days and many of them just chose to ignore the new implications. Each person in this class is here to make a positive impact on the future of America. Everyone is giving up their spare time to learn new things and make a difference. I commend any teacher who is willing to go the extra mile to get out of their “comfort zone,” for that is a quality of a memorable teacher.


3 Responses to "Convenience vs quality teaching (EME 5050)"

It is so nice to hear of a teacher that is really happy with teaching. My recent teaching experiences have definitely left me tainted. It has been a very hard year for me but I have come to realise that it just as important to find out what you don’t wish to do in order to find what your are really good at. I also agree that technology can be a wonderful asset when used properly. I am in my 50s and technology is a bit daunting to me but I keep trying and learning. My daughter came over to show me how to set up a blog. Once I get the hang of a program Its great. I believe that it is very important to keep reaching past our “comfort zones” to evolve.
Jodie Gustafson

Isn’t it crazy how elementary school students are so into technology? When I was in 2nd grade I was all about baseball cards and matchbox cars and Star Wars figures.

I think you really nailed it when you said that learning something new isn’t always convenient. This is very true for teachers. We have a limited time each year to get more and more information delivered to our students.

It is hard for me to take professional development days because the amount of curriculum seems to build exponentially. Where is the convenience in that? I miss a day and *might* learn how to incorporate a piece of technology into a lesson or two….I miss a day and my kids fall even further behind in the subject matter. To me it is a no-brainer.

This is one reason why I decided to take this class. It fulfills a requirement, but it is something that I will actually learn from and be able to use in my class.

Good post.


I love your passion about teaching. It is sad to see when teachers are so unwilling to try new things because they will be out of their “comfort zones”. I often wonder why these people continue to be in the classroom if they have lost their desire to do what is best for their students. I think education will always be evolving and changing and it is important to be willing to change with it, otherwise we have no business being in the profession in the first place. Teaching is often a thankless job, if not for those students who make you feel like the most important person on the planet. To them everything we do matters. I feel sorry for those who have not experienced those moments with their teaching and they are just doing a “job”. It is so much more than that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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