Unqualified Teachers...

Coolnat2004

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2005
478
3
So, I just got (most of) my school schedule for my senior year of high school. They seem to have moved the teachers around a bit, as they are trying TWO new concepts at the same time: trimesters, and "schools of study." They're both stupid, but I only have to endure one year of it.

Anyways, I found that they actually got me into the "Computer Science" class, after 3 years of trying to "fit it in." The class is supposed to cover a small amount of Visual Basic programming (bleh), and then focus on Java programming - which is useful, at least to understand the concepts of object-oriented programming.

The problem, however, is that the teacher is in no way qualified to teach this subject. I had this teacher in 9th grade for Algebra I, and she was clueless in that. She vaguely knew how to do the math, but she couldn't teach it or explain it. They had a "traveling teacher" help her out every day. She taught straight out of the book, using the book's stupid PowerPoint overview slides as the only source of notes. Once I moved into Algebra II with a real teacher, I found that I missed a LOT of information, and had to learn it all quickly.

This teacher has a degree in history, I believe, and she took a single class on this so-called "computer science." How does that qualify her in any way to spend a year teaching the subject?

Discuss. :rolleyes:
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
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sunny los angeles
it doesn't qualify her at all, but that's no excuse not to learn by yourself, be it from someone else, a book, or..other ways. You can't always have someone next to you babysitting the entire way.

I didn't learn most of the languages, concepts, theories and what have you that I know by taking a class. I just chose something I wanted to learn, got a book, started on the book, and asked questions when I got stuck on something...ended up ditching huge chunks of the book because actually coding and experiencing it for myself made a lot more sense than reading about it. By the time I took similar classes for my major (cs), I already was a bit familiar with the concepts and the language, making my life easier as a result.
 

joekix

macrumors 6502
Maybe because she holds a credential?

I don't know. Maybe the school thinks it's better to have any credentialed teacher in the classroom even though they know it's not the right subject. Because of NCLB, schools look better to have all classrooms filled with credentialed teachers even though it might be temporarily until they find a teacher who has the right credential. It's better than having a long-term sub to them.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
...Because of NCLB,...
Thanks to NCLB, teachers, whether or not they're fit to teach the subject, are caring more about teaching towards standardized testing than anything.

And honestly, if all it took to teach CS in schools was a bachelor degree, I fear for the curricula, and for the students.

NCLB was a really great idea :rolleyes: Let's withdraw funding for schools that have a huge population of students that don't meet even the manipulated "standards" that really NEED the funding more than the well funded schools full of students that do..only because their parents didn't want them to go to the worse-off schools. Why people don't question anything that has been done in the name of NCLB is beyond me.
 

Xeem

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2005
902
9
Minnesota
Back as a freshman in high school, I was disconcerted when I discovered that the "introduction to technology" course, featuring MS Office, Photoshop, and even a little Adobe Premier, would be taught by my old third-grade gym teacher. A very nice lady, but not a computer expert by any means. Once the class began, it became evident that she didn't know what she was doing (she pronounced the Macintoshes "Mick"intosh, and this was NOT due to any accent, but rather just complete unfamiliarity with the machines surrounding her), but she did get better as the class wore on, especially after I taught her the good old :apple:-Ctrl-Reset (Mac OS 8.5 wasn't the most stable release).
 

After G

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2003
1,583
1
California
I had a football coach teach me how to touch-type once.

He was pretty good with computers, though, to his credit.
 

joekix

macrumors 6502
Thanks to NCLB, teachers, whether or not they're fit to teach the subject, are caring more about teaching towards standardized testing than anything.

And honestly, if all it took to teach CS in schools was a bachelor degree, I fear for the curricula, and for the students.

NCLB was a really great idea :rolleyes: Let's withdraw funding for schools that have a huge population of students that don't meet even the manipulated "standards" that really NEED the funding more than the well funded schools full of students that do..only because their parents didn't want them to go to the worse-off schools. Why people don't question anything that has been done in the name of NCLB is beyond me.
I hate NCLB. NCLB required me to take test to tell me I am highly qualified or I would be laid off. It didn't matter that I had taught for five years already, had the right credential, and held a masters degree in my area of specialty. Whatever, I guess I'm highly qualifIed since I passed a stupid exam.

To the OP, sorry for getting off topic.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
NCLB required me to take test to tell me i am highly qualified or i would be laid off...whatever, i guess i'm highly qualifed since i passed a stupid exam.
I remember vividly my most incompetent teachers in high school.. they had PhDs and probably decades of experience "teaching". They were certainly brilliant and amazing in their respective fields of study if you ever got to sit down with one of them over lunch and chat, but when it came to actual teaching...useless.

Then of course, was the week or two of standardized testing...they were a joke compared to APs. I was playing unreal tournament after I finished some of the tests way ahead of time, and nobody cared.

NCLB is an honest waste of time and money..(wait, what money?). Wish it would be scrapped already, but there are actually people out there that think it's a success :confused:

Whatever.
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
0
NYC
Hey don't diss the trimester system! I quite enjoy it. What system are you on? 10-10-10 (3 ten week terms) is the setup we have at my college.

I take 3 courses at a time, 3 terms/year. More variety, less course load, most excellent. :D
 

siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
6,311
18
the OC
Hey don't diss the trimester system! I quite enjoy it. What system are you on? 10-10-10 (3 ten week terms) is the setup we have at my college.

I take 3 courses at a time, 3 terms/year. More variety, less course load, most excellent. :D
isn't that the quarter system, with the summer term counting as the fourth quarter?

related to this thread, i once knew a teacher who insisted that the square root of 36 was both positive and negative six. it isn't.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
related to this thread, i once knew a teacher who insisted that the square root of 36 was both positive and negative six. it isn't.
Actually, technically it would could be both +6 and -6.

It is just that when square roots are mentioned, it is assumed that you are talking about the principal square root, which would be the nonnegative result.
 

Spaceman Spiff

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2003
243
0
isn't that the quarter system, with the summer term counting as the fourth quarter?

related to this thread, i once knew a teacher who insisted that the square root of 36 was both positive and negative six. it isn't.
Well, -6 times -6 is 36. 6 times 6 is 36. We get taught that all square roots can be positive or negative. Cube roots, different story.
 

siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
6,311
18
the OC
Actually, technically it would could be both +6 and -6.

It is just that when square roots are mentioned, it is assumed that you are talking about the principal square root, which would be the nonnegative result.
yes, i was, indeed, referring to principal square roots. it was, after all, an eighth grade algebra class.

Well, -6 times -6 is 36. 6 times 6 is 36. We get taught that all square roots can be positive or negative. Cube roots, different story.
The square root of 36 is + or - 6
this image that i attached really is equal to 6 not -6.
 

Attachments

shecky

Guest
May 24, 2003
2,581
3
Obviously you're not a golfer.
teaching is a very, very hard job; especially high school; my understanding is the burnout of primary education teaching is quite high, so you get the kinds of teachers who just go thru the motions. thats why i teach college level instead of high school. its a whole different ballgame.
 

iSaint

macrumors 603
teaching is a very, very hard job; especially high school; my understanding is the burnout of primary education teaching is quite high, so you get the kinds of teachers who just go thru the motions. thats why i teach college level instead of high school. its a whole different ballgame.
I'm headed into my second year of teaching English in high school. I'm sure the OP is a bright individual and perhaps bored (not challenged) with the curriculum. I have found, in the little experience I have, that students are either uninterested, and, thus, rude by talking or sleeping in class; or, believe they are smarter than said teacher and are rude by questioning everything that goes on in class. There are the exceptional few who are polite, willing to learn, and respectful to his/her peers and the teacher on a daily basis. It's a continuous battle to deal with the rest, however.

Perhaps if the OP goes in to school with an open mind, and willing to respect the administrators' decision on where teachers are placed as well as the teacher him/herself, much more learning will take place.

I have a lot more structure planned for this year, so we'll see how it goes. I can certainly see how HS teachers either go through the motions, or move on to teach at the university level, where there's at least a little more interest.

And, yes, I was a smart-a** in high school. ;) :D
 

shecky

Guest
May 24, 2003
2,581
3
Obviously you're not a golfer.
I can certainly see how HS teachers either go through the motions, or move on to teach at the university level, where there's at least a little more interest.
exactly; i teach at a few universities (graphic design) and the students are engaged, they want to be there and they want to learn. i taught one class at a community college and it was a train wreck; it was just like high school as most of the students there just did not particularly care to be in the class as some took it as a required art class. for me, teaching design is primarily made up of critiquing design so to have people not engaged makes it nearly impossible.

i say again: teaching high school is a VERY hard job.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,241
1
Washington D.C
Well I had teachers who didn't even have there teaching degree, and they were some of the best teacher I ever had.


I guess it goes to show you, those degrees aren't everything!
 

Coolnat2004

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2005
478
3
I'm headed into my second year of teaching English in high school. I'm sure the OP is a bright individual and perhaps bored (not challenged) with the curriculum. I have found, in the little experience I have, that students are either uninterested, and, thus, rude by talking or sleeping in class; or, believe they are smarter than said teacher and are rude by questioning everything that goes on in class. There are the exceptional few who are polite, willing to learn, and respectful to his/her peers and the teacher on a daily basis. It's a continuous battle to deal with the rest, however.

Perhaps if the OP goes in to school with an open mind, and willing to respect the administrators' decision on where teachers are placed as well as the teacher him/herself, much more learning will take place.
This school definitely doesn't offer anything in this area that 'challenges' me. They teach only the basics, because most of the students don't care. But, I would expect an elective class such as this to be taught by someone who at least has experience in the area. They have other teachers who are more qualified for this.

I'm never rude to teachers, by the way.

But, the administration in this school is totally clueless as well. They continuously fail to inform the school of important events and deadlines. They are rude to students, as well. Whenever a student approaches the main office, no one asks if they need help. The student could stand there for 5 minutes without being noticed. You have to walk up to someone and ask them, where you will get a hurried, rude response. Regardless, they have seriously messed up schedules before. This had me taking 9th grade classes the next year, and so on.

Hey don't diss the trimester system! I quite enjoy it. What system are you on? 10-10-10 (3 ten week terms) is the setup we have at my college.

I take 3 courses at a time, 3 terms/year. More variety, less course load, most excellent. :D
The trimester actually doesn't seem so bad. It's like 3 11-week terms or something, and 5 classes a day. The only problem is, that for most classes, one 'slot' only counts as a half credit. The "schools of study," basically a poorly implemented 'early degree' plan, is stupid. They are splitting the students into these 5 vague 'degrees' which is supposed to prepare them for college or something. It's not going to work because the class registration process is unchanged, as are the requirements.
 

ErikCLDR

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2007
1,795
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I think that there are some unqaulified teachers out there, often times found in the technology departments. I also had a math teacher last year that was horrible. Students could do math better than her, I dunno if she was bad at math, or just made a lot of careless mistakes. She was a bad teacher, in the way she taught. Since she has 10 year I don't think she was allowed to be fired, but I think she was asked to leave. She mysteriously decdided to "retire" on the last day of school.
 

iSaint

macrumors 603
There are several students at our high school who are taking English Composition and College Algebra at a local university during their senior year, instead of Senior English and a Math at our high school. Maybe you could look into something similar that will challenge you more.

The culture of public schools in the US is in a sad state. It's because most students don't care. There should be an accelerated degree program for those who want to work or go into the armed forces. Then serious teaching and learning could take place for those who care.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
You are correct, the square root sign is used for the positive square root only.
No it's not. The square root sign with no sign in front is assumed to mean the principal square root.

That does not mean that the answer of sqrt(some_number) where some_number^2=x cannot be +x and -x if not explicitly defined as such.
 

ErikCLDR

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2007
1,795
0
Don't even get me started with my school system.

Just for kicks I read the school's budget report for this upcoming school year. They are spending $54,000 installing 18 more interactive whiteboards.

Does ANYONE realize the teachers do not use them. I would say 50% use the LCD/DLP projectors, but maybe 2 teachers use the $1000 + installation specialized white boards, mostly because they don't how to use it and everytime you turn it on it has to be calibrated which takes time.

Urgh.... And don't even get started with me with parking. For the first time ever there isn't enough room for even all the Seniors to park at school. Seniors are guarantied spots if they share a parking spot with a friend.

I am a Junior which means I don't get a parking spot. Even more annoying they completely refinished the school 5 years ago. Its not like they didn't see this coming either, they've known how big the senior class is for 13 years. I have afterschool activities and my parents aren't around to pick me up when they are done (they work 45min and 1.5hrs away). There is no late bus like many school have, walking is not feasible at all, no one lives near me that participate in the same sports. People have parked off campus but the police is cracking down on it because they have nothing better to do.

Why don't they spend that $54k on building a new parking lot. Oh wait, they can't do that, there's no room because they built the middle school on the high school's property.