Teaching: A Profession in Transition
Even before the election, pundits were calling 2018 “the year of the teacher.”
The Christian Science Monitor and the Associated Press both said an unprecedented number of educators sought political office this year. “The teacher strikes pushed a record number of educators to run for office,” wrote Vox, in an article noting that “more than 1,000 teachers will be on the ballots across the country.”
Sending would-be educators into schools for a year of intense, hands-on training alongside their academic coursework is a concept that’s excited a lot of people who want to improve how teachers learn to teach.
But enthusiasm for these teacher residency programs has largely outstripped their ability to expand, especially because many charge little or no tuition.
Visiting a classroom while reporting on education issues is a core part of understanding how instruction takes place. But it can also be a missed opportunity, without careful thought and planning.
If reporters don’t ask for a lesson plan in advance, for instance, stick around after students leave to speak with the teacher, or even make plans for a return visit, they risk failing to make the most of this on-the-ground reporting.
Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that line up with what scientists have discovered about how people actually learn.
It’s a problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than six in 10 fourth graders aren’t proficient readers. It has been this way since testing began. A third of kids can’t read at a basic level.
Journalists from across the Great Lakes region and the U.S. gathered in Chicago Oct. 18-19 to learn more about the teaching profession during a time of transition for the field, and to get story ideas and inspiration.
The event explored the recent surge of teacher activism across the country and the growing mismatch between teacher diversity and student diversity. Reporters also explored teacher prep, teacher evaluation, and dived into data on teacher pensions, salaries, and absenteeism.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Unless otherwise noted, all Thursday events take place in Room 304 of The University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center.