Giving inexperienced teachers more tools

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sending beginning teachers back to school may not sound like a positive development, but from conversations reporter Chelsea Henderson had with some teachers with only a few years of experience, they are all in favor of more information about how to manage a classroom full of students from all sorts of backgrounds. A new online professional development course for teachers with five or fewer years of experience may provide help that will give those teachers more tools with which to deliver the massive amounts of information required by state standards.
Superintendent Mark Porterie is eloquent when he says the education teachers receive when they are in college getting their education degree is geared for teaching students from “white picket fence” households. By that he means a fictional middle class suburban household with two parents where the children are read to daily and education is valued.
There are some of those in Port Arthur. But there are also households where a single parent is working hard to raise children, work and keep the bills paid. There are also other households in which no one cares for the children at all. If they don’t get themselves up and off to school, no one will. The teachers in PAISD — and other districts as well — are expected to take all those children and successfully teach them the essential elements they are supposed to be learning for their grade level and subject matter.
An online course may not be the total answer, but it will give the inexperienced teachers in PAISD more resources from which to draw to meet the challenge of educating all our children, no matter their background or home situation. The district deserves applause for making the program available. While the course is no substitute for the lessons learned from experience, it should give the teachers more tools to work with all the students who depend on them for an education.

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