Over the weekend my wife emailed me an article from the Columbus Dispatch titled Treating Teachers like Professionals. The first paragraph hit me like a brick. It states:
Senate Bill 3, which has now moved to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration, includes language that deregulates education and would have a drastic impact on our state’s children. Allowing unlicensed teachers to teach our children is not only foolish, but also dangerous.
What the hell are our State Senators doing? I don’t understand the point of this legislation. It is foolish, and is not needed. I agree with the author that it will have a dramatic effect on our State, and our children’s education. This bill is just one more way to make the teaching profession a hobby. Teachers are professional, educated, and passionate people who love and respect their field. Legislators don’t have this respect.
The bill that is being put forth is as follows, (again from the Columbus Dispatch article)
Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, and Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, are attempting to pass S.B. 3, which would allow for “high-performing school districts” to be exempt from hiring teachers with licenses and credentials currently required throughout the state. Based on the bill’s criteria, roughly 20 percent of school districts would qualify as high-performing, with another 50 districts reportedly coming close.
I have a few things to comment on:
- Teaching is a professional profession. Teachers go through a lot of training in college to teach. There is a science behind teaching. Teachers practice their craft for years in college before getting into a classroom of their own.
- Teaching doesn’t make you a teacher. Just because you are in a classroom doesn’t make you a teacher. You need to know the content. You have to know how to relate to children, disabilities, and their abilities. Teachers must adapt to the children to challenge them. To effectively teach you must know the content. conversely, if you know the content and can’t relate to students that doesn’t make you a great teacher as well. I have had some professors in college who knew their content but had a hard time teaching us the material. It is the same with classroom teachers.
- Takes a shot at teachers. This bill is just another way our state is trying to reduce the teaching community. It gives law makers a way to lower the amount of money that is spent on education. This bill makes a mockery of teaching. I have spent a huge chunk of my life, my money, and my time learning how to teach.
Teaching is a honorable profession. Teachers work hard at challenging our students, to make a difference in their lives, and to meet the demands of a rigorous curriculum. Students are different every day, and from time to time from class period to class period. To make a law that makes a mockery of teaching is a disgrace to all educators. This bill would not be on the Senate Floor if you take out teachers and replace it with doctors. You know these Senators would not go to a doctor who was not licenced to practice medicine. Our children are important to our society.
As for high performing schools, why would they want to have an unlicensed teacher teaching on their staff? Obviously these 20% of schools this bill is eligible for are doing the right things to make their students successful. Why would they change that? Why would legislators make a law to give school districts the chance to change it?
In society we have to have a licence to drive, for certain businesses to sell alcohol, to practice law and medicine, and to sail boats. BUT we want unlicensed teachers teaching our children? That makes no sense. I hope parents and teachers stand together to fight this bill.
I would have to agree with the author of the article on her conclusion:
Hiring a nonlicensed professional to teach a class may seem innocuous, but it would set a dangerous precedent. Hiring someone without established prerequisites allows for a subjective, “ good enough” mindset that will only hurt our state and our students in the long run.
Please join me in encouraging our state representatives to vote no on any language in S.B. 3 that would endorse unlicensed teachers to teach.
To conclude, I would encourage you to call or write the Ohio State Senators from the links below. This law is just one more reason this adage stands true: Those who can teach; those can’t make laws about teaching.