Focus Needs to Shift
There are a number of drawbacks associated with traditional teacher programs. Teacher education programs do not focus on what teachers need to know and are too steeped in theory. When one is a teacher, one does not have time to assess a situation and find the appropriate theory. There are emergencies and unpredictable events that arise every day. Teachers need to be able to respond and handle these situations professionally and responsibly without alarming other students. If a teacher panics, all 33 students in the classroom are going to panic, and then, a chaotic situation results.
Professors are out of touch
Teacher education programs are just outdated. Schools, both elementary and secondary, have changed. There’s a reason teacher education programs are outdated. College professors obviously are no longer in the classroom and are just out of touch with today’s students, problems facing high schools, and the negative trickle-down effects that mandated state tests have created. Teachers often marvel at college professors spewing theory from their ivory tower on ways to improve schools.
Teachers as Entertainers
Today, teachers have to don many hats, including that of mentor, advisor, psychologist, instructor, entertainer, and inventor. Yes, I mentioned entertainer and inventor—today’s students are so used to being entertained by television, MySpace, blogs, videogames, cell phones, IPODs, etc. that listening to some teacher talk about a subject is “not cool.” Students are not going to listen if they are not interested. To get a student’s interest, one must entertain and make one’s class active and fun. Furthermore, teacher education programs need to take these considerations into account and inform teachers how to implement those technologies that will interest students. Once teachers can interest their students and can maintain their students’ attention, then the teacher can instruct. When traditional teacher programs effectively address the various roles of teachers, the better our schools will become.