A recent blog post asks the question “What kind of education do mothers want for their children?” and proposes two possible answers:
A. A well rounded education that meets the needs of all of their children – including reading, science, math, nutrition/health, music and all of the arts.
B. Charter Schools dedicated to preparing today’s children for today’s job market. High stakes testing determines the proof of success for deserving children.
The post is arguing against charter schools, however a reference to the National Association for Music Education NAfME caught my eye and led me down a different path regarding the education I want for my children or more specifically WHO I want providing that education.
I have written about the importance of music in children’s lives and the All-County Music festivals here in Ulster County so it was with interest that I found an article on the NAfME website highlighting the valedictorian and salutatorian from the University of Maine who “both hope to be teachers despite changes in education system”.
I expected to read of two students who were receiving their teacher certification and were excited about beginning careers of educating students. Instead I read of one young lady who has been a student teacher and will pursue a master’s degree in education:
Next year, she hopes to pursue a master’s in music education and eventually become a music teacher.
This semester, Ventura has worked as a student teacher, helping instruct the school bands at Orono Middle School and Orono High School. “It’s almost like performing yourself when you’re up in front of a group,” said Steve Hodgdon, the music teacher who has supervised Ventura. “And in that performance, you’re trying to draw out the best in the kids. She does very well at going after the best of the students.”
and then I read of a young lady who has no teaching experience but will begin teaching in August for two years.
… is also going into teaching. The history and English double major has signed on with Teach for America, a teacher training program that puts recent college graduates in schools with socio-economically disadvantaged student populations. Come August, she will be teaching English language arts to special education students in New Jersey.
After Teach for America, Chalmers hopes to go into either the business or policy side of education.
While I am sure this second young lady has very pure motives and truly desires to “pass her love of school on to others” as she states, as a parent I would much rather have a trained teacher who has spent additional time investing in a master’s degree and really knows how to teach my student than someone who has very limited training and only plans to teach for 2 years as a stepping stone to another aspect of an education-related career. And yes, I know that I will have to pay more to hire such a teacher but my child is worth it and so are all of the children in Kingston! Our children are our future! We must invest in them now.
And to answer the original blog post question, I definitely select answer A!