Monday, March 30, 2015

Experience Matters in Classrooms...There's a Shocker

In a study that proves something that most people with a generally functioning brain could have already told, researchers report that generally the more experience a teacher has, the stronger they are in the classroom.  

Moreover, teachers' deepening experience appears to translate into other student benefits as well. One of the new studies, for example, links years on the job to declining rates of student absenteeism. 
Although the studies raise numerous questions for follow-up, the researchers say it may be time to retire the received—and somewhat counterintuitive—wisdom that teachers can't or don't improve much after their first few years on the job.
 Unfortunately, South Dakota schools are experiencing a serious issue.  More and more teachers are retiring and not enough young teachers are coming up the pipeline.  The Huron Plainsman reported on the coming drought of teaching candidates:
Some 1,000 teachers are nearing retirement, but only about 600 students are enrolled in South Dakota college and university teacher training programs.
I am not a math teacher, but it seems that those numbers don't add up anything good for our students.  Of course when you have a legislature that puts students last, that lack the courage to find ways to properly fund education, and that think that they need to pit teacher against teacher with plans of merit pay that ignore teachers and administrators.  The Argus Leader reflects on this problem in schools scrambling to fill positions:
South Dakota teachers have the lowest average salary in the country, and school districts across the state have reported candidate pools in the single digits and unfilled teaching jobs. 
As Daugaard puts his panel on education together, I hope that he will listen to them more than the last panel.  I hope he also tasks the panel to figure out what it will take to keep younger teachers and mid-level experienced teachers to stay in education.  Because, we now have proof that experience does in fact matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment