Open Phones: Teacher Press Conference

Friday, February 25, 2011

On the Brian Lehrer Show today at 11:20am. Highlighights and audio will be posted here by 1pm.

On the last day of the Presidents Week vacation, we're asking teachers and parents to call in and talk about teaching. Teachers have been in the middle of a national discussion about union benefits, but this is a chance for an honest conversation about teaching from both parents and educators.

This is a Presidents Week opportunity for parents and teachers, while you're both home, to get together here and talk about teaching.

Teachers, what else do you think the public needs to know about job? Parents, what do you want to know about what teachers do? Leave your comments here!



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Comments [12]

jackie from flatbush from brookl n

kk programs n social interaction r nt mutualli exclusive, and interactive teaching programs shld nt b reserved onli for the gifted-all children cld benefit from a program which stimulated at an individual's pace and allowed students to interact, share insights, and provide support.

Feb. 25 2011 12:32 PM
annette from long island

I have two college children and from the time they were in first grade up until high school,I felt that they needed help with their homework. During elementary school, I found that each day when they started to do their homework, they had no idea how to do it. While they understood the teacher during the lessons, I had to re-teach what they purportedly learned during the day. I did this every school day for each child. The bottom line is that teachers rush through their lessons without enough reinforcement done IN THE CLASSROOM because of the necessity of keeping to the daily curriculum. The material had to be covered in preparation for state comprehensive testing. Throw out the state testing and give teachers the time to teach until the students have learned one lesson before moving on to the next.

Feb. 25 2011 11:49 AM
kk from brooklyn

Re the caller who wants to have a computer replace the teacher for his "gifted" kid: As a former "gifted" kid myself (and the quotation marks are intentional as I think this is a ridiculous label), I have to say this dad is sadly wrongheaded. Education is more than opening your kid's head and pouring knowledge in. Social interaction and emotional awareness should be a HUGE part of education. A live person can facilitate that!

Feb. 25 2011 11:46 AM
h l from brooklyn

schools are antiquated.

yes, most parents don't get involved at all. involvement means more than "did you do your homework?" you have to check the homework, you have to check their browser history on the cptr to see other sites they're going to. They're kids! they don't quite get why all this is important; it's up to YOU the parent.

to you parents that ARE getting involved, keep at it! you'll see the benefits, just be patient!

Feb. 25 2011 11:44 AM

My son goes to a charter school in suburban NJ. I'm generally quite pleased with the school, but I have a problem with the reading program they use. Apparently it's a program from Columbia Teacher's College that was recently adopted by the school--all the teachers underwent a lot of training at TC over the summer--and it requires that the kids read books at a particular level that they have "tested" into. They have to read 30 minutes a night and record number of pages completed in a log that the parents must sign. The result of this for my son, who just joined the school this September (4th grade) is that he now resents reading. He was a passionate, voracious reader before this program. He had books in every room of the house that he was reading simultaneously. Now reading has a become a chore for him, and he is forced to read at a lower level than he's capable of--just to stay at the level his teacher had diagnosed him at, he's rereading books he read in second grade. What a waste, what a shame.

Feb. 25 2011 11:41 AM
jen from Manhattan

I'm a 5th grade ESL teacher worried about my students' test scores affecting my evaluation. My students are immigrants. They speak English in school only, to other non-native English speakers. They read at, on average, a third-grade level. They take the same NCLB tests as their native English speaking peers but perform far lower because of reading. The math test involves reading for almost every question. If Bloomberg lays teachers off according to merit (in part, test scores) then I might lose my job. The tests are not fair for ESL students.

Feb. 25 2011 11:41 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

The parent from Yonkers frustrates me. He speaks as if he has a degree in education, which I'm guessing he doesn't. Thinking you know how to teach because you were a student once is like saying that you're an obstetrician because your mother gave birth to you in a hospital.

Computer programs are not a proxy for human interaction, which is itself the basis of education in its most fundamental anthropological purpose.

As a former teacher, what I would want parents to know is how critical - if not deterministic - school readiness is in young children. Read to your children. Talk to them. It will make our work as educators SO much more effective.

Feb. 25 2011 11:40 AM
ann from Manhattan

To the guy who wants to challenge his gifted high school son, try

Feb. 25 2011 11:39 AM
Rooney from Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Many people don't understand why CLASS SIZE DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE; here's why.

NYC High school teachers teach 5 classes of 34 students each. That means we're responsible for reaching and teaching 170 (170!!!) students every day -- that's 170 students with 170 different family situations, 170 different housing situations, 170 different economic/financial situations, 170 different commutes, and most of all 170 different learning styles. We strive to give tailored, individual attention to EACH of these 170 students on a DAILY basis and to ensure that each of these 170 students are actively LEARNING (not just content, but critical thinking as well!).

The unions are crucial in that they protect teachers from potential abuse by administration and others who don't really understand all that teachers do.

Feb. 25 2011 11:38 AM
high school teacher from nyc

My headline: Budget cuts and small schools mean fewer choices for students.

It's not just after school programs that are being cut. It's not just that class sizes are increasing. A number of seniors at my school don't have a science class this year, not by choice, but because we have nothing to offer them. Some don't have a math class because they have exhausted our offerings. As for humanities, we have basic classes but no electives. Furthermore, I don't think my school is unique. I believe this is fairly common around the city. Layoffs will only make this problem worse.

Feb. 25 2011 11:38 AM

I love this callers idea--use more technology! Currently, the school model is soooo old fashioned and antiquated.

Feb. 25 2011 11:37 AM
Jean from office

How about: how much do you get paid?

I was interested about this after reading the recent NYker profile of Roger Ailes's paper in Cold Spring, NY. One of the biggest issue that the teachers union had with the paper was that it posted a listing of all the teacher salaries including the fact that a few teachers were being 6 figure salaries.

Feb. 25 2011 11:31 AM

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