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About National Teacher Day





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NEA celebrates National Teacher Day each year on Tuesday of the first full week of May. The day celebrates the outstanding work and lifelong dedication of teachers nationwide. This year's theme is Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools. The theme emphasizes the important role teachers play in making sure every child receives a quality public education. Additionally, the theme celebrates teachers and underscores their importance in making great public schools a reality.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 2.8 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Follow-Up

I. Explain the following phrases:

system-sponsored professional development, to enrich/enhance one’s lessons with technology, teacher attrition, a dwindling breed, recruiting and retaining top-notch teachers

II. Answer the following questions:

1. What is NEA? 2. When is National Teacher Day celebrated in the USA? 3. What is a today’s average American teacher portrait according to the NEA’s research? 4. Which facts prove that American school; teachers are more experienced now than ever before? 5. How is the work of teachers being transformed? 6. What are the reasons for teachers reluctance to stay in the profession until retirement? 7. Why do the NEA members assume that the teaching corps in public schools does not reflect the diversity of the student population? 8. Which facts prove the direct correlation between teachers’ salary and the number of male teachers in the profession?

III. Discussion.

1. Which trends are positive, negative, or neutral to your mind?

2. Do we have similar trends in Russia? Give examples.

3. Which trends are not typical of Russia? Explain your point of view.

12.Read the article and say if the problems in Great Britain are similar to the ones in the USA?



School Problems in the UK

· The vacancy rate in secondary schools has nearly tripled since Labour came to power. Teachers are being driven out of the profession by workload pressures, pupil behaviour, excessive government changes and low salaries. Unless all four issues are tackled, the government will not overcome staff shortages in schools.

Although the government appears to be training enough teachers, the dropout and resignationrates are rising sharply, which means there will still be a problem next year. Schools need around 33,000 new teachers. There are 30,000 trainees in their final year, but, 12% of postgraduates do not complete their course and 30% of trainees never make it into the classroom. A further 18% leave during the first three years of teaching, so over half the trainees are soon lost. Or, put another way, with adequate retention the training targets would largely have solved the teacher shortage.

  • Four out of 10 secondary school teachers are not fully qualified in the subject they teach.

 

The difficulty in recruiting and retaining top quality teaching staff is the biggest single obstacle to Enfield’s schools meeting their challenging education targets in the next few years. Enfield's schools need a full teaching staff of 2,800, but the workforce has become a constantly fluctuating one with a high turnover. In the past year, it recruited 600 teachers, of whom 170 were not fully qualified and 117 came from overseas.

· Some British schools are accused of ageism.

They are still hesitant to take older teachers into starting positions. Schools look for recent graduates who are young. They are looking for energetic teachers who can run playgrounds and teach physical education, and so are fairly reluctant to recruit older people. But the teacher recruitment crisis has been going for five years and education officials are having to recruit whoever they can get. In fact, older candidates are almost more attractive than younger candidates because of their experience.

· Applications for headteacher and deputy head posts have slumped to “dangerously low” levels. Staff are opt not to take on additional responsibilities for relatively little extra pay.

 

Follow-Up

 

Discussion

 

1. Rank the following problems that cause staff turnover according to their relevance to the situation in Russia: excessive government changes, workload pressures, stressful atmosphere, disruptive pupils’ bevaviour, low pupils’ motivation, parental pressures, administrative pressure, low salary, low professional performance. Explain your point of view.

2. Formulate top five teaching trends in Russia.

3. Outline the portrait of a Russian teacher.

Focus on using the words in bold while discussing the matters.

 

 

13.Scan the text and quickly find the answers to the following questions:

1. How long had the scheme been in operation before the article was written?

2. What is the idea of the scheme?

3. Which problems is the scheme up against?

4. What does the scheme aim at?

5. Which obstacle, as Gerald Imison sees it, is put in the way of carrying out the project?

6. What are the tasks of ASTs?

Government welcomes 'super-teacher' success
Polly Curtis
Friday October 31, 2003

The government was today claiming success for its so-called "super-teacher" initiative, after Ofsted reported significant improvements in schools taking part in the scheme. The advanced skill teachers (AST) scheme was introduced in 1998 to allow the best teachers to share their skills with other schools. The teachers involved are paid more to keep them in the classroom, rather than moving up the managerial ladder. There are now 3,500 ASTs working in England.

Ofsted reported "significant" improvements in three quarters of secondary schools and two thirds of primary schools taking part in the scheme. It concluded that the advanced level teachers were doing "encouraging and effective work", and called for extra money to expand the initiative. However, inspectors did report a lack of teachers willing to take part, and for those that did, limited professional development.



The school standards minister, David Miliband, said, on the back of the report, that the government planned to centrally fund the scheme to allow it extra time to take root. "ASTs are making a significant contribution to raising standards of teaching and learning but they are also at the heart of the agenda for workforce reform and the drive to foster a more 'collegial' approach between schools," he said. He added that Paul Keogh, one of this year's Teaching Awards winners was a "shining example" of the impact advanced skills teachers can have.

Gerald Imison, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said his members agreed with the scheme "in theory", but added it did not appear to be achieving enough. "In reality we are not sure they are making the impact that the intention was - simply because there are not enough of them. "Sharing your best is something that schools find hard to do. Schools aren't wholly committed because they want the best for themselves. The consequence on the target and testing regime is that schools emphasise competitive rather than professional collaboration," he said.

ASTs spend 80% of their time teaching in the usual way and 20% on outreach work - which can include producing teaching materials, providing model lessons and training for other teachers. They are paid on their own separate salary scale, which ranges from £29,757 to more than £53,000 in inner London.

 

14.Read some extracts from the speech by David Miliband, school standards minister, at the launch of the teacher training agency corporate plan. The text is divided into four parts. Say what the gist of each is. Comment on the proposals and assess their applicability (Jigsaw Reading).

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