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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Teachers must learn on the job, in a real-world setting

Everybody learns on the job, so do teachers (“Teachers can’t learn on the job,” Opinion, July 29). Every year my content knowledge and  teaching unrelated survival aptitude improved.

The problem with our teacher education system is that the theories taught at teacher colleges are not really applicable to the realities of a public-school classroom, especially the “mainstreamed” classes.

Once I received my certificate I wondered: what now? How, what and why to teach history? I then spent a full year with a master teacher observing and preparing and also teaching history lessons. I benefited from 30 years’ of experience. That was my real apprenticeship, worth much more than the college of education training.

When I was hired, the world of advice from the principal and other teachers was: Forget everything you learned in the ivory tower, this is the real thing.

James Behrend, Bainbridge Island

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, James Behrend, learning

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