Schools are the instrument of change. Do you agree? Why or Why not? Yes, I agree, we as educators have a lot to do with what way a child will go and choices that they will make. In school we have the power to build confidence, and show students how to communicate and what it takes to be a productive person, contributing to society in a positive manner.
Do you feel focusing the school year on standardized testing preparation prevents building the student-teacher relationship? Yes, I believe that those relationships are harder to build focusing on standardized testing. The classroom is more mechanical, and repetitive. However a great teacher will find ways to still build those relationships with their students. The interview with Larissa really made me evaluate my current philosophies. I understand the importance of focus on the student as an individual and attempting to mold those things in each student. This interview made me look at my personal philosophy closely and see how realistic it is and can I truly see myself sticking to those ideals and perspectives. And once again I found myself realizing how important it is to remain flexible at all times; you never know when the time may come for an alteration.
The third interview was done with an educator that has been at the same school and working in the field of education for 10 years. The teacher interviewed was Charles this interview was conducted over the phone; here are the questions and answers for this interview. Since the implementation of the No Child Left behind law, what has been the impact on how you prepare lessons and teach the lesson(s)? I have had to do a complete overhaul on my lesson plans and the implementation of them. I would have to say that the No Child Left Behind law has shifted teaching completely. I had to change the way I teach my course completely, as well as the milestones that need to be accomplished in class. What are your views on differentiated education? I disagree with a differentiated approach; you would think that it is beneficial in the classroom. However over my experience I think that it makes the job of the educator more difficult. Here you have a teacher that is already creating a plan that has a set of guidelines in the first place, now you have to go and attempt to make it suitable for all of the kids in your class instead of generalizing it. It can be more work than it really is worth in my opinion.
Since the start of your career in education, how has your teaching philosophy changed and how has this affected your method of teaching? No changes have been made to my philosophy, I stood by it ten years ago and I continue to stand by it now. Isn't the whole purpose of having a personal philosophy for education, for life, for whatever to stand firmly behind it? Well that is what I do. Do you believe that educational systems should place greater emphasis or less emphasis on standardized testing and why? Yes, if there was more emphasis placed on standardizing testing it would be easier to weed out those kids that probably will not be too successful further down the line in education. Now the downfall is that now they have it set up where we spend most of the school year preparing students to take standardized tests, so students that normally wouldn't do well may even be able to pass it just because of the amount of preparation that takes place.
What recent changes or new educational methodologies do you believe hold the greatest potential for improving modern education?
Not sure right now, things seem real up in the air. This is not a sure time; everyone is searching for answers, not sure what the next big thing will be. Would you feel comfortable supporting a political party or candidate that espoused educational approaches with which you strongly disagree? Yes, I would be comfortable with that. It is just like a president, you may not agree with 100% of what they say but a large portion of it you support. You don't turn your back because you don't agree with everything. Sometimes you just need to put yourself in the shoes of the other guy. How has your teaching philosophy changed since the implementation of No Child Left Behind? It hasn't changed.
Are all levels of government responsible for solving the social and economic problems of society? No, they are not. Government as well as the average citizen is responsible for the problems that we as a society are having. Don't get me wrong the government plays a significant role, but it is not totally their responsibility. That is a real copout to put it all on the shoulders of the government. Schools are the instruments of change. Do you agree? Why or why not? No, I don't agree with that statement. I believe that the home is the instrument of change more than school. School is a facet but not the ultimate component to change. Do you feel focusing the school year on standardized testing preparation prevents building the student-teacher relationship? No, those bonds will form regardless. You are still spending time with the kids on a daily basis, learning each other. The interview with Charles was interesting, his views and philosophies contrast the previous ones. Though our opinions are different I respect the fact that he stands behind his philosophies and is willing to support them completely.
The following interview was done with an educator that has been teaching for 15 years. Elizabeth has taught at the same school for that 15-year period. Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind law, what has been the impact on how you prepare lessons and teach the lesson(s)? I have experienced a complete shift in how things are done. You could actually say that it is a shift back to way things use to be. Testing has always been important, making sure that students reach milestones is important; we got away from that premise. Now we have more of a focus on standardized testing and making sure that all students are prepared for success on those tests. What are your views on differentiated education? It is a shift from the norm that is for sure. There are a lot of teachers that seem lost in the concept, but it makes sense. It has made the classroom a little more taxing for the teacher, but I believe it is all in good measure.
Since the start of your career in education, how has your teaching philosophy changed and how has this affected your method of teaching? My education philosophy has not changed by much. I have always had a focus on the individualized student and bringing out the best in them all. Do you believe that educational systems should place greater emphasis or less emphasis on standardized testing and why? Less emphasis should be placed on standardized testing. It puts too much stress on students, there has to be a better way. There are other ways and methods to test the knowledge of students; we need to use those methods. What recent changes or new educational methodologies do you believe hold the greatest potential for improving modern education? Let me think about that, what is the next question? Would you feel comfortable supporting a political party or candidate that espoused educational approaches with which you strongly disagree? Yes, in any given situation you have to be able to take the good with the bad. And this would be one of those situations.
How has your teaching philosophy changed since the implementation of No Child Left Behind? My style remands unchanged, I have always taken the same position as those stated in the No Child Left Behind law, so there has not really been any significant alteration to it to mention. Are all levels of government responsible for solving the social and economic problems of society? Yes, they make the rules, and then they are responsible for when those rules don't work. Why should the blame lay with someone else? You make a law stand by it whether it fails or succeeds. Schools are the instruments of change. Do you agree? Why or why not? I agree the teacher has the ability to make a change in the perceptions of a student, their self-esteem, and how they view learning in total. Though the teacher must have the help of the parents, school is absolutely an instrument of change.…