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Subject: Soldiers to become teaches in schools. rss

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Boaty McBoatface
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Its been suggested by Michael Gove that soldiers being sacked by the government should be fast tracked into the teaching profession and teach on primary schools http://bfbs.com/news/worldwide/battlefield-classroom-51203.h.... Is this a good idea, if so why. Or is it a bad idea, if so why. Also is there an element of sexism in this (the assumption that all the sacked soldiers are male?), or a worrying example of social engineering (the axe is falling unfairly on male service personnel?)
 
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CHAPEL
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I think it's a good idea. The military teaches team based structure. Achieving goals as a group and not as an individual. So they would fit well in the standardization of education.

The downside however, is that teachers at least here in the U.S. are being cut wholesale. Especially with state budget gaps the way they are, I'm not sure I would even attempt at pursuing teaching at a safe or viable career path. Maybe the UK is different.
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Boaty McBoatface
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MWChapel wrote:
I think it's a good idea. The military teaches team based structure. Achieving goals as a group and not as an individual. So they would fit well in the standardization of education.

The downside however, is that teachers at least here in the U.S. are being cut wholesale. Especially with state budget gaps the way they are, I'm not sure I would even attempt at pursuing teaching at a safe or viable career path. Maybe the UK is different.


This seems to be the case in Ulster http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-13717183.

As to your point about team based structures, not sure that is what education is about. its about imparting knowledge surley? The worry (that some have expressed) is (this is part of the governments plan) to fast track them. Does this mean cutting the amount of accademic standerds expected of a teacher (or does it refer to teaching them how to teach?)? Also surley teaching is about the indivduals learning, niot the teams learning?
 
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CHAPEL
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slatersteven wrote:
its about imparting knowledge surley?


Actually it's not. At least not in the U.S. Here it's about administering standardized information, and preparing children to get into college.

College is for learning. Primary school is for preparation.
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Boaty McBoatface
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MWChapel wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
its about imparting knowledge surley?


Actually it's not. At least not in the U.S. Here it's about administering standardized information, and preparing children to get into college.

College is for learning. Primary school is for preparation.


But surley that preperation is learning basic skills? In other words passing on knowledge.
 
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John D
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I would have to focus on the individual rather than just the common background.

As the above poster said, the ability to teach group working skills is a plus.

But is there mental health problems from the soldier as a result of combat?

can they "teach" effectively. There is a long list and points of what is a good or bad teacher.

I have worked with quite a few former soldiers, at jobs or in the class room. They are dedicated to their work and are easy to work with, something I believe the military bestows on them.

In short, military service does have it's bonuses for this position I feel very few would not have, but also comes down to other aspects.

Potentially a good idea.

As far as restructuring how kids are taught in high school, I agree, but that's another topic.
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Jon Badolato
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It all depends I suppose on which particular soldiers are going to be the ones entering the fast track program. I do not know exact numbers in the U.S. military recently, but in the past the average non-officer front line soldier in the military usually consisted of people with only a high school education and little to no college education.

I am not so sure many parents would feel comfortable having their children taught by a person who has no other formal college education other than a fast track program to becoming a teacher.

It seems to me that those types of candidates would on average be at a disadvantage over others who have more formal college education under their belt. Unless a quota is somehow set through force of law I do not see many such candidates getting a job in the near future. Teaching candidates in most subject areas other than math and science are facing a glut with more candidates seeking jobs than there are open positions for them. With state and local budgets and the economy currently where it is, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I am also not convinced that fast track programs are all that effective in the long run. I may be a bit biased in that regard because I am a teacher myself, but I think most people tend to underestimate the difficulty level and range of skills one needs to have in their repertoire to truly be an effective teacher. It is not as easy a job as some people are led to believe.

There are no fast track programs that I am aware of to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer. There is good reason for this. Many of us would not trust ( or at least be mildly discomfited by trusting ) our bodies to a fast track surgeon, or trust our litigation to a fast track lawyer, or feel comfortable going over a bridge designed by a fast track engineer, and yet we are comfortable trusting our children's education to a fast track teacher ?

I have encountered this behavior in my years of tutoring. It always amazed me that people seemed quite unwilling and peeved to pay $50.00 or $ 60.00 dollars per hour for a tutoring session for their child but would have no qualms paying their mechanic $ 90.00 an hour to repair their car. In the U.S. we as a culture tend to undervalue our children at times and overvalue the material goods.

That being said I am quite certain that some soldiers who enter such a program would be exemplary teachers and would do the profession honor. I am just not sure how promising candidates would be filtered and given the opportunity to enter such a program.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Toolian wrote:
I would have to focus on the individual rather than just the common background.

As the above poster said, the ability to teach group working skills is a plus.

But is there mental health problems from the soldier as a result of combat?

can they "teach" effectively. There is a long list and points of what is a good or bad teacher.

I have worked with quite a few former soldiers, at jobs or in the class room. They are dedicated to their work and are easy to work with, something I believe the military bestows on them.

In short, military service does have it's bonuses for this position I feel very few would not have, but also comes down to other aspects.

Potentially a good idea.

As far as restructuring how kids are taught in high school, I agree, but that's another topic.


I admit that I find the idea of soldiers being trained to be teachers because they are soldiers a bit narrow focused. Soldiers (like everyone) have different skills and personalities, just being a solder does not mean you will be a good teacher (or even a good role model). I am worried about the idea that just because someone is a soldier they will not be subjected to the same rigours as a civilian in order to become a teacher. I think its both naive and demonstrates no real interest in education but a desire to use the classroom for social engineering.
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Boaty McBoatface
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jonb wrote:
It all depends I suppose on which particular soldiers are going to be the ones entering the fast track program. I do not know exact numbers in the U.S. military recently, but in the past the average non-officer front line soldier in the military usually consisted of people with only a high school education and little to no college education.

I am not so sure many parents would feel comfortable having their children taught by a person who has no other formal college education other than a fast track program to becoming a teacher.

It seems to me that those types of candidates would on average be at a disadvantage over others who have more formal college education under their belt. Unless a quota is somehow set through force of law I do not see many such candidates getting a job in the near future. Teaching candidates in most subject areas other than math and science are facing a glut with more candidates seeking jobs than there are open positions for them. With state and local budgets and the economy currently where it is, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I am also not convinced that fast track programs are all that effective in the long run. I may be a bit biased in that regard because I am a teacher myself, but I think most people tend to underestimate the difficulty level and range of skills one needs to have in their repertoire to truly be an effective teacher. It is not as easy a job as some people are led to believe.

There are no fast track programs that I am aware of to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer. There is good reason for this. Many of us would not trust ( or at least be mildly discomfited by trusting ) our bodies to a fast track surgeon, or trust our litigation to a fast track lawyer, or feel comfortable going over a bridge designed by a fast track engineer, and yet we are comfortable trusting our children's education to a fast track teacher ?

I have encountered this behavior in my years of tutoring. It always amazed me that people seemed quite unwilling and peeved to pay $50.00 or $ 60.00 dollars per hour for a tutoring session for their child but would have no qualms paying their mechanic $ 90.00 an hour to repair their car. In the U.S. we as a culture tend to undervalue our children at times and overvalue the material goods.

That being said I am quite certain that some soldiers who enter such a program would be exemplary teachers and would do the profession honor. I am just not sure how promising candidates would be filtered and given the opportunity to enter such a program.


Ironically the military have had shake and bake officers, fast tracking that was regarded as not very effective. At the end of the day all that should matter is thier qualities as a person, not what job they have done in the past.
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CHAPEL
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slatersteven wrote:


Ironically the military have had shake and bake officers, fast tracking that was regarded as not very effective. At the end of the day all that should matter is thier qualities as a person, not what job they have done in the past.


Well in the U.S. most officers(besides those who went through OCS) Already have a college degree. That with a teaching certificate is all you need to become a teacher in most states anyway. So I would think the so called fast track is would you trust someone who just went to college got a degree and then became a teacher, OR someone who served in the military, ALSO has a college degree and becomes a teacher? I would think the military experience is extra-credit, and valuable.
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Jon Badolato
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Quote:
At the end of the day all that should matter is thier qualities as a person, not what job they have done in the past.


Agreed. I am o.k. with anyone wanting to become a teacher whether they are or have been a soldier or not. I do not wish to limit anyone's possibilities in that regard. I do think it is overly optimistic, however, to believe that a person is more likely to be an effective teacher simply because they have been a good soldier. A person's individual talents will come into play here far more than whether or not they have been in the military.
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Jon Badolato
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In general I do not think I am that different than the general population. If given the choice, I would prefer that my children be taught by people who have a college degree in the field in which they are teaching. That being said, I would certainly accept my children being taught by someone with no college education who went through a fast track program, but I do think I would monitor things even more closely to make sure no issues arise as a result of the fast tracking. And I do think that on average there is more potential for issues to arise with such a teacher than with one who has been through a more traditional education to become a teacher.
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Boaty McBoatface
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MWChapel wrote:
slatersteven wrote:


Ironically the military have had shake and bake officers, fast tracking that was regarded as not very effective. At the end of the day all that should matter is thier qualities as a person, not what job they have done in the past.


Well in the U.S. most officers(besides those who went through OCS) Already have a college degree. That with a teaching certificate is all you need to become a teacher in most states anyway. So I would think the so called fast track is would you trust someone who just went to college got a degree and then became a teacher, OR someone who served in the military, ALSO has a college degree and becomes a teacher? I would think the military experience is extra-credit, and valuable.


But teachers have to have qualifications in subjects they teach do they not, not just a qualification? Also I don’t believe this is being restricted to just officers, its extended to any squadie who goes out on a Saturday night (when on leave) get pissed has a fight and shags some tart, and have only just got a ‘G’ GCSE in maths. That is my concern, not that these jobs will go to people who would have probably got them any way. But to those who are unqualified and unsuited, and would have been turned away for those reason. It’s the idea that just being a soldier makes you suitable to deal with children.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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jonb wrote:
In general I do not think I am that different than the general population. If given the choice, I would prefer that my children be taught by people who have a college degree in the field in which they are teaching. That being said, I would certainly accept my children being taught by someone with no college education who went through a fast track program, but I do think I would monitor things even more closely to make sure no issues arise as a result of the fast tracking. And I do think that on average there is more potential for issues to arise with such a teacher than with one who has been through a more traditional education to become a teacher.


This is an interesting issue, Will this in fact cost more because they will have to be monitored more closely, or will this be left up to parents? Or will they receive no more supervision then other teachers (and thus potential issues may not be picked up on)?
 
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Jon Badolato
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It also depends rather heavily on what one means by "fast track".

Most fast track programs that I have encountered present the "methods" courses on HOW to teach. They do not present any actual content matter in subject areas that those candidates will be teaching. The presumption in most fast track programs ( including those that transition people from the business community into teaching ) is that the background knowledge in subject matter is already there in the candidate in question.

This may not be the case in military personnel who have had no previous college education ( or at least not to the extent that it probably should be to teach someone else that subject matter effectively ). Will such candidates be exempt from getting a degree in the topic being taught ? I think that many people would have a problem with their kids being taught a given topic by someone who only has a high school education or GED and no other college education in that topic. And I think it is realistic of them to believe that such a candidate will not know their subject matter as well as someone who has gone a more traditional route into a teaching career.
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Jon Badolato
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I do think such a program would probably be beneficial but would think it would only be offered to those military personnel who already have a college degree of some kind ( preferably in the subject area being taught).
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Boaty McBoatface
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jonb wrote:
I do think such a program would probably be beneficial but would think it would only be offered to those military personnel who already have a college degree of some kind ( preferably in the subject area being taught).

I would have said have to have the degree in the course being taught, surely we want kids taught by people who know and understand the subject.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
I would have said have to have the degree in the course being taught, surely we want kids taught by people who know and understand the subject.


It's aimed at getting primary school teachers. They'll be teaching all subjects, not just some.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I would have said have to have the degree in the course being taught, surely we want kids taught by people who know and understand the subject.


It's aimed at getting primary school teachers. They'll be teaching all subjects, not just some.


It was reply to the specific point made (and I know read the OP). As What primary school teachers need http://www.prospects.ac.uk/primary_school_teacher_entry_requ... So in fact any degree will do, but its preferd if its in a subject that is taught.

Candidates will need to show evidence of:

excellent communication and interpersonal abilities; Soldier, no more then any one else
good organisational and time-management skills; Soldier, very good
energy, enthusiasm, stamina, patience, dedication and self-discipline; Soldier, some of these
initiative, leadership and supervisory skills and teamworking abilities; Soldier (depending on rank) some of these
imagination, creativity and a sense of humour; Soldier, no more then any one else
good judgement and an analytical mind; Soldier (depending on rank), No one then any one else
enthusiasm for the subjects you teach; Soldier, no more then any one else
The ability to make good relationships with pupils, parents/carers and colleagues; Soldier, no more then any one else
commitment to equal opportunities Soldier, no more then any one else
the ability to manage classes and deal with challenging behaviour; Soldier, not sure in this, soldiers are not trained to deal with challenges well
excellent communication skills; Soldier (depending on rank), No one then any one else
patience and a good sense of humour; Soldier, Possilby no better then any one else, however they are not really trained to be patiant

You also (in Britain) need GCSEs (A-C) English, maths and a science subject or equivalent qualifications and to pass skills tests in numeracy, literacy and ITC (information and communications technology) https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/PlanningYourCareer/JobProfile.... So in fact you need more then one qualification.
 
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My wife and I both were in a fast track program to become teachers. The program did a lot of screening beforehand. You had a have sufficient education in your endorsement area, and you had to have worked with children in some capacity prior to coming to the program, plus references, etc.

It was an eight month program that included many seminars, but the bulk of your time in the program was having you teamed up with a mentor within a classroom. About midway through this internship you had a solo teaching experience, where the mentor was out of the room and you were 100% the teacher. My solo lasted for a month, but even when it wasn't a solo you were teaching half the day, or observing other classrooms, going to lots and lots of meetings, basically doing everything you could to absorb the full breadth of being a teacher.

After that you had to write your teaching portfolio, this big thesis-like demonstration that you know what you need to know to be a teacher. Everyone, regardless of your background, has to write this portfolio for to get a teacher license in Vermont. You can see mine here.

One thing that I have to stress for my own experiencing training to be a teacher is that a significant chunk of your job is to basically be a social worker. Children come from a vast array of backgrounds, and plenty of them have all sorts of problematic issues. To be a successful teacher you have to figure out all sorts of strategies to help these kids, and a great deal of that involves managing emotions and drawing students out of whatever turmoil they are experiencing in life.

I can see how having a military background will provide plenty of skills for classroom management, but of those people the ones that would be successful teachers are also going to be flexible and adaptable. I know they exist, I've worked with teachers that previously had a military background who were excellent. I guess I can likewise see people that might sign up for a fast track program and not be prepared for how much nurturing they'll need to do.
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Andrew Rowse
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Anything that incentivises male teachers is a great idea, especially when the teachers being created are organised, masculine role models.

In a society that is increasingly blase about absentee fathers, kids need solid male role models.
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One of my best high school teachers ever went to college to be an engineer, decided that he didn't like it and moved to teaching. At that time in Indiana, you didn't need a teaching certificate to be hired, but had to get a Master's degree within five (ish?) years. To be fair, I had him towards the end of his career, so he may not have been as effective when he started, but he was great when I had him.

I think the key to a good teacher is for the person to want to teach _and_ to not be burnt out. The former is obviously a hard quality to measure beforehand and usually by the time the latter is present, it's too late to do anything.
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Karen Lewis
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Some school districts are now only using substitute teachers who are certified teachers. This tells how many certified teachers are out there basically unemployed in their field.
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Boaty McBoatface
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kaysewill wrote:
Some school districts are now only using substitute teachers who are certified teachers. This tells how many certified teachers are out there basically unemployed in their field.


Its not about lack of teachers, its about lack of male teachers.
 
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John W
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slatersteven wrote:
Its been suggested by Michael Gove that soldiers being sacked by the government should be fast tracked into the teaching profession and teach on primary schools http://bfbs.com/news/worldwide/battlefield-classroom-51203.h.... Is this a good idea, if so why. Or is it a bad idea, if so why. Also is there an element of sexism in this (the assumption that all the sacked soldiers are male?), or a worrying example of social engineering (the axe is falling unfairly on male service personnel?)
OK, I'll be the negative guy.

I would be against almost every aspect of this program.

1) It is pushing military personnel into an industry that is incredibly impacted right now, due to educated and experienced teachers being laid off left and right.

2) It would be using tax dollars to do this.

3) It would be pushing male military personnel into a role where the vast majority would be an incredibly bad fit. In my work and community experiences with ex-military, they did not exhibit skills, attitudes, and behaviors that would allow them to succeed with children, especially in today's contemporary hyper-sensitive schoolroom environment. The vast majority exhibited a rigid, "My Way or the Highway" approach to work, lacked empathy, lacked a soft exterior crucial to teaching kids, etc.

4) Their choice of career was the military! If they'd wanted to become teachers, they could have become teachers. Morphing military into teachers is simply inefficient, and back-up second-choice sillyness.

4) The idea completely ignores the actual reason why so few males are in primary education nowadays : the sheer professional terror that sexual misconduct accusations (true or not) have caused in the industry. Unless military males are made immune to these accusations, the idea doesn't address the problem of lack of males in schools whatsoever.

And no, it;s not sexist and it's not worrisome social engineering, it's simply demographics : the military is made up of mostly males, therefore the axe should fall mostly on males.

It's civilian males who are the worrisome social engineering statistic, since they are not the vast majority, yet ARE getting the vast majority of layoffs to their gender, AFAIK.
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