Sadker2e_Sample_Ch01 - The Teaching Profession and You...

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1 chapter± ±1± The Teaching Profession and You Focus Questions 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher? 2. What are the satisfactions—and complaints—of today’s teachers? 3. Can we consider teaching to be a profession? 4. How has teacher preparation changed over the years? 5. What are the differences between the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers? 6. Are America’s schools a secret success story, doing better than the press and public believe? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Why Do You Want to Be a Teacher? Rate the factors infl uencing your decision whether to become a teacher, and see how other students have rated these factors. sadker brief2e
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2 Chapter Preview This chapter looks at classroom life through the teacher’s eyes. You may be thinking: I have spent years in a classroom, watching teachers and what they do. If there is one thing I know, it is teachers and teaching! But during your years in the classroom, you have looked at teaching through “student-colored glasses,” a unique but somewhat distorted view, like looking through a telescope from the lens that makes everything tiny instead of large. This chapter offers you a teacher’s perspective. We give you an opportunity to consider both the pros and cons of a teaching career. Then we turn to another question: Will you and teaching be a good match? We love teaching, but not everything about teaching is wonderful. In the past, teachers were often considered second-class citizens, pressured to conform to strict moral and social codes while being paid meager wages. Today, teaching is now cen- ter stage, a common topic in the media and in political debates. Your study of educa- tion comes at a propitious time, a period of ferment and change as teachers strive for a more professional, more infl uential role in U.S. society. What role might you play in tomorrow’s classrooms? The chapter is also about “us.” Yes, us. We are now a team, this textbook, the authors, and you. When your authors were students, we did not much like our text- books. They were far from exciting to read. By extension, we feared that we might not like teaching. In the end, we loved teaching—but still hated our textbooks. We want this textbook to be different—to be not only informative, but also enjoyable. This fi rst chapter offers us the opportunity to introduce the textbook, and in a sense, to introduce ourselves. Welcome to our classroom. Do Teachers Like Teaching? In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Linus comments that “no problem is so big or compli- cated that it can’t be run away from.” Charles Schulz succinctly highlighted a human frailty shared by most of us—the tendency to put aside our problems or critical questions in favor of day-to-day routine. In fact, it is amazing how little care and consideration many of us give to choosing a career. It is always easier to catch a movie, surf the Net, or even study for the next exam than it is to refl ect on and plan for the future. This may be one reason why questions
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Sadker2e_Sample_Ch01 - The Teaching Profession and You...

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