Do too many Utah teachers lack licensure, training?

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2019 12:15 a.m.

    Don Bixby: The teaching in college is generally horrific.

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    Jan. 22, 2019 11:01 a.m.

    I know Irony Guy is being ironic here:

    "I'm smart, I know a head from a foot, and most important, I've had a physical body of my own for many years, so that makes me an expert on bodies."

    But let's be fair. A better comparison would be something like the person being a biologist, so being an actual expert on bodies. And then trying to become a doctor without a license. The people we're talking about not being licensed teachers need to be actual experts in their field, just not trained as a teacher specifically. There's a big difference between being a subject expert and a teaching expert, but please don't mix them up and just say that because they aren't a teaching expert that means they are not a subject expert either.

    At the university level, we look for PhDs, who are subject experts and experts at research, but very few actually learn to teach in their programs (unless their doctorate is in education). I think the only reason this works is that college students are adults and have to take part of the responsibility for their learning. In elementary and secondary ed, you have to have someone who really knows how to teach.

  • Healthy Skeptic Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    If a teacher is really good at teaching and putting up with the mandated unproductive red-tape and busy-work...they are rewarded with a job in a brick office building as an "administrator", never having the occasion to stand in front of those very same students. Don't believe me? In the average school district, where do you find the most highly-credentialed professionals? Not in front of actual students. The teachers that actually do the "heavy lifting" dealing with the problems of undisciplined children (and their undisciplined parents) get rewarded with constant "performance appraisals", audits, reports, phone calls to unresponsive parents, etc. The whole system is on its way to collapse, imho. And no, I am not a teacher, but I wouldn't be one for three times the salary they offer.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2019 11:30 a.m.

    Being fifty one in the nation of teaching salaries, that's right Puerto Rico salaries were higher than Utah's for years when I was teaching. Now the governor is begging retired teachers to come back and now the state school board is now looking what they can do. It's a little to late don't you think.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    I have decided to put out my shingle as a medical doctor.

    I'm smart, I know a head from a foot, and most important, I've had a physical body of my own for many years, so that makes me an expert on bodies.

    Who needs a license?

  • Wyo2ut Monroe, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    Good teachers aren't the result of teaching certificates just like good doctors aren't the result of a doctorate degree or good plumbers the result of a plumbing license....BUT, those hoops that teachers, doctors, plumbers and other professionals must go through do help weed out some of the bad ones and help the good ones hone their craft.

    The training I received as an undergraduate student and a graduate student were absolutely vital to my current ability to teach. I know that I may not be the best teacher, but I certainly would not be as good as I am without my training prior to receiving my teaching certificate, the training I have received as an educator, and the training I received in my master's program.

    The truth is that teaching students requires an individual to not only understand his/her subject matter but also how to deal with young people on a daily basis. Many people have the basic knowledge of certain subject matters to teach, but not the ability to work with students.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 12:38 a.m.

    What does a license have to do with being a good teacher?

  • Fair Flower Layton, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 12:14 a.m.

    I have thought about going back to teaching. I really miss it. I had to retire because of an illness. I wouldn't mind going back part time, but when I see the requirements I need to get relicensed, I change my mind. They are ridiculous. I was bored enough in college with education classes. Don't think I can't take 200 more hours and additional requirements to renew it. Rather be pecked to death by ducks.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Jan. 12, 2019 8:49 a.m.

    Until people recognize the complexity of teaching, nothing will change. The comments here indicate the lack of respect for the profession and understanding of the challenges that accompany the job of teaching. Sad, indeed.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 9:52 p.m.

    @Utah Girl Chronicles

    "Two were teachers; two were counselors; all were licensed; none were in Utah."

    There have been four I know of in the last 5+ years of certified teachers right here in Utah (Davis, Herriman, Provo, Spanish Fork, and she gave him drugs. All certified)

    "Those university childhood development classes and related education coursework helped me make better decisions and fully understand how vital my role was."

    If you need classes to tell you that a teaching role is vital. It might be time to rethink your profession.

    "There are people who love the concept of aviation but don't know how to fly a plane. That's the concept you seem to be endorsing."

    Nope, but you may just have proved my point above. Apples and Oranges. Using something technical compared to something that is not. I would gladly send my child to a class room with non-certified teacher, who cares about the kids, and teaches them the lesson plan. If you need help dealing with kids. Then you shouldn't be a teacher. It is not hard.

    "I would not be comfortable having a child whose teacher or counselor was not licensed."

    I Would take no certification over a self absorbed teacher any day.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 7:22 p.m.

    Here we go with the everlasting myth of "there are plenty of people like retirees and business people that would love to teach part time or even full time".

    I'll break it gently.

    No there aren't.

    Every time we had a "business person" come teach at my kids' middle school, they lasted about 3 weeks before jumping ship. This left them in an even bigger predicament. We had 3 professors from the university come teach to "stay in touch" and they lasted one semester.

    There is one solution and only one. Pay teacher a salary that competes with their business counterparts. Don't give me the "only work 9 months" garbage either. If we want good teachers, we simply need to pay them a competitive salary AND give them some time off in the summer to recuperate from the craziness of herding and teaching 180+ kids a day.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 5:50 p.m.

    @ UtahBruin

    Two were teachers; two were counselors; all were licensed; none were in Utah. Early in my career, I was a mid-year replacement for a licensed teacher who lost her job due to a relationship with a student. I did not think of her in my earlier comment.

    Many things can go wrong during a teaching day. On average, I taught 130 kids in five classes in addition to other supervisory duties.

    Those university childhood development classes and related education coursework helped me make better decisions and fully understand how vital my role was. Before I returned to college, I was a telecommunications consultant for US Sprint at one of their seven corporate offices in the US. That experience alone would not have made me a good teacher.

    There are people who love the concept of aviation but don't know how to fly a plane. That's the concept you seem to be endorsing. There are intricacies and nuances to teaching that people off the street would not know. Believing otherwise jeopardizes our kids.

    I would not be comfortable having a child whose teacher or counselor was not licensed. If licensed teachers can do the things I've described, imagine what unlicensed teachers can do.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 12:11 p.m.

    @liberal Larry

    Apples and Oranges!

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    I notice people who believe in the "innately talented teacher" theory don't seem to hold the same logic when it comes to doctors, air traffic controllers, and airline pilots!

    Hey, I'm good with numbers, but it would require years of training to become a CPA!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:56 a.m.

    Just because someone has not jumped through all the administrative hoops or had all the required training does not mean they are underqualified. And too many who have all the credentials are not really qualified.

    Utah girl
    Were those four teachers unlicensed? You certainly infer that but do not state it directly. And how many licensed teachers have been forced out and/or convicted because of inappropriate contact? Surely you’re not trying to infer that a license is a sure means of preventing the kind of instances to which you refer.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    @Utah Girl
    Ridiculous! So I guess certified teachers don’t have “inappropriate contact” with a child. I guess of the many situations where this has happened. It’s always been a non-certified teacher, right? WRONG!

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    I happen to know personally a handful of teachers who are not certified at all levels, and they are ten times the teacher than most in the Alpine School District. They are their because they want to be there, and they care about the kids. I definitely agree with utahute69. If you want better teachers.

    1) Get rid of the tenure they get, and the complacencies of them being protected, where the classroom is a place the go and sit for the hours throughout the day.
    2) Increase pay, this will allow school leaders to be more selective in the hiring process because you will have more looking at the profession.
    3) And get rid of all of the wasteless meetings, surveys, and other garbage they make teachers do throughout the day when they should be teaching and interacting with the kids.
    4) Don’t just hire any Joe Schmo, start hiring people for who they are rather than what their resume or a piece of paper says. Credentials mean nothing, if they can’t interact with students.
    5) Teachers need to teach how students need to be taught, ever kid learns differently. And they need to quit trying to just prove how smart they are by failing a young student because they are not on the lot level.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    May I also remind the Board of Education, in June of 2016, they approved a new rule that would make it easier for schools to fill teaching vacancies by allowing them to hire people who can meet some minimum criteria, including having a bachelor’s degree, paying the applicable licensing fee and passing a test.

    They left the veteran teachers to mentor the new teachers for a few years.

    Now they wonder?

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    During my fourteen years as a licensed teacher, there were four instances where teachers "disappeared" from our staff due to inappropriate contact with kids.

    When you open the door to unlicensed teachers, you invite more problems, problems that can damage children. The State Board of Education needs to realize that "he's a really bright guy" has no equation in the development and education of children. That's playing with fire.

  • Seronac Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 11:26 p.m.

    Hmmm... Maybe if teachers got better pay and more respect there wouldn't be this problem.

  • utahute69 Laguna Niguel, CA
    Jan. 10, 2019 9:58 p.m.

    The so called teaching certificate has always caused me to wonder why those possessing the certificate are not always good teachers. Yes I can see a certificate for early childhood levels through elementary grades. But, after that, there are people that are highly qualified in various academic backgrounds that may just have an innate ability to teach and may, in fact, have a far better understanding of the subject matter than a certified teacher. When did we last see a teaching certificate required for college professors. Right, there are no teaching certificates for college professors. There are a significant number of people that are willing and able to teach specific subjects on a part-time basis or even on a full time basis, including retirees. Any one with education and practical experience in engineering, medicine, business, etc., could easily be great teachers without certification. Certification doesn't guarantee create better teaching professionals. Hire people that are willing to use their time to help kids and are not burned out after years of the same old same old. Private schools do it all the time and usually generate better results.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 9:23 p.m.

    Gee. All these years of low pay, cut benefits and retirement, and we don't have qualified teachers on a waiting list? Best managed state?