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Becoming a Teachercher

Summary Statement


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This chapter focuses on the history and different aspects of teaching, for example the advantages and disadvantages, and deciding whether one fits the requirements and demands of being a professional teacher.

Academic language

Vocation: Meaning voice, vocation is the inwards feeling of pursuing a certain occupation.


Pay-for-performance (merit pay): An idea that the better the teacher (as assessed by teacher and student performance), the higher the salary they should earn.


Tenure: A status teacher’s hold, usually after 2-4 years, indicating that they have permanent employment.


Profit goals: Extrinsic goals that are based on fame and other physical ideas such as wealth and fortune.


Purpose goals: Intrinsic goals such as wanting to help others, improve their lives, grow and learn.


Normal school: A school for teacher education that establishes model standards.


Pedagogy: The art and science of teaching, especially teaching methods and strategies.


Portfolio: A more comprehensive reflection of a candidate’s skills than a resume.


Key points

Many statistics and studies show that teachers are increasingly happier, feel content with their salary, and are prepared for their profession and challenges they may face.

There are many current reforms focusing on improving teacher quality, such as following the tenure policy and whether salary should be based on merit and performance.

There are multiple ways to become a teacher: the more traditional route (undergrad and student teaching) or the alternative route such as a more hands on approach through an apprenticeship.

Reverend Samuel Hall founded the first normal school in 1823 in Concord, Vermont. Here students could enter a formal training program to become a certified teacher, signaling the beginning of teacher education. Later on, Horace Mann opened the first state-supported normal school in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1839. During the 1900’s, normal schools were the norm and teachers had many rules to stick to and they were not trained as well because of the lack of professional training. It was an occupation dominated by females.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was created in the 1990’s to acknowledge profound teachers. They would receive board certification after sending in samples of their teaching, assessments, written exercises, and being chosen.

Teach for America (TFA) is an alternative teacher education program that recruits teachers in under-resourced schools for two years. It’s a small and selective program but the teacher candidates are strong.

Many ideas exist about teachers and whether they are born or made as well as the idea that they are less talented than other professions.

Standardized testing, Advanced Placement courses, and test scores demonstrate that American students are excelling, especially those of color.


Scholars of Import


Reverend Samuel Hall – Established a ‘Normal School’ in the U.S. in 1823.  This school provided individuals with training to become teachers.

Horace Mann – Instrumental in creating a normal school that was public and served more individuals.


Burning Questions


Schools in the U.S. seem under attack in the media for what they fail to do.  In our course text, the authors talk about America’s school being a secret success story?  I am not sure what to think?


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