Friday, September 14, 2018

Blame A Teacher

Everything wrong in America is because of Teachers.  If you failed to get the memo it also is because it is largely a female profession dominated by white women who are bad bad Teachers and they are failures as professionals, as educators and citizens in America.  They are racist, biased, incompetent and thoroughly useless that should be replaced by robots.

The Sunday New York Times Magazine did an entire section devoted to Teachers called TEACHERS JUST WANT TO TEACH BUT THE CLASSROOM HAS BECOME A BATTLEGROUND.

The essays and stories are about Teachers struggling to manage their classrooms and their own lives with wages that hover just above the poverty level, the same level that many if not most of their students families have.  Food stamps, second jobs, moving in with their parents or giving up entirely on the profession.  Robots don't have those needs.

Then we have the issues of Teachers personality quirks and demeanor's that of course offend and upset anyone at anytime (I have learned that incessantly and now just don't talk at all) which can lead to investigations and terminations that prove that people are people but Teachers are to be superior to all and know all, not offend, to be perfect to have no biases, no personality no ability to distinguish a situation and in turn treat anyone differently because of that or in turn just be a human being.  We need robots to be Teachers they have none of that.

Then we have school shootings and excessive violence, bullying that contributes to suicides and if Teachers were robots they could protect students and in turn not be killed if anyone has that in mind.

The same newspaper that attempted to demonstrate and provide illustrations of how hard it is to be a Teacher in today's society decided to in fact make sure that any affection is contradicted with enmity with a cover story about how students learn better from Teachers just like them.  So in detail white students learn better with a white Teacher, in turn break that down by gender.  And black children learn better from black Teachers who are in turn the same gender.  And in turn Asian students learn from someone or anyone just not at Harvard.  Oh bad joke I should not be a Teacher.  And brown students of varying brown cultures - Latina, Native American - learn better by their own. And so mixed race and add Religion in there and we have the perfect school with perfect diversity and it is perfect in every world.    Get a robot this saves time and money and can be programmed to be whatever or whoever they need to be to that student at that time.

How did anyone learn anything ever!!  Remember when you fail don't be personally accountable find out ways to succeed and overcome challenges and rise above. Resolve differences and establish rapport to build communication and overcome personality conflict.  NO!  BLAME YOUR TEACHER.

I am not against diversity in the classroom but the reality is that you have to dance with the one who brought you and the idea that children "learn" better from someone like them is giving them the message that unless you have replica's of you standing in front of you you cannot learn.  Does this apply then to all elements of live from those extra curricular activities such as sports or arts? Will it matter in the workplace?  Gosh there is a subliminal message here that is not just about Teachers with bias but families and students as well who can use that as justification for why "Johnny can't read."  I found an amazing math teacher for myself at 30. He was  young white men teaching math for women and left brain thinkers.   It was revolutionary and it changed my mind and yes my ability regarding math.  Go figure (yes pun intended).  But it was two white professors who warned me that my writing was circuitous and not good despite the fact that I had the points in the text, and another who was shocked on the final I got an A after floundering for the year.  The final was a blue book writing test on a subject given to us in advance. I went home wrote the answer three times in Pelmonism style which committed the answer to memory and was able to recreate it in the final setting.  Another Professor who said my work was so engaging that I did not need to take the final.  They were all men and all white.  The Professors I never had problems with were Black or Women.  Funny how that works out.  That is how it is.  You take it and you fix it to make it what they want. That is work, that is Education.  Lesson learned.  Thanks as those I truly  learned something way beyond the subject matter.  That is is Education and that is Teaching. 

Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?

Research shows that students, especially boys, benefit when teachers share their race or gender. Yet most teachers are white women.
Claire Cain Miller

The New York Times|By Claire Cain Miller | Sept. 10, 2018

As students have returned to school, they have been greeted by teachers who, more likely than not, are white women. That means many students will be continuing to see teachers who are a different gender than they are, and a different skin color.

Does it matter? Yes, according to a significant body of research: Students tend to benefit from having teachers who look like them, especially nonwhite students.

The homogeneity of teachers is probably one of the contributors, the research suggests, to the stubborn gender and race gaps in student achievement: Over all, girls outperform boys, and white students outperform those who are black and Hispanic.
Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts
June 13, 2018

Yet the teacher work force is becoming more female: 77 percent of teachers in public and private elementary and high schools are women, up from 71 percent three decades ago. The teaching force has grown more racially diverse in that period, but it’s still 80 percent white, down from 87 percent.

There are many things that contribute to children’s academic achievement, including teachers’ experience and training; school funding and zoning; and families’ incomes and home environment. And teachers have long been predominantly white and female. But new educational opportunities for girls may mean that they can take more advantage of the benefits of female teachers. And studies show that teacher diversity can make a difference in students’ performance and their interest in school.

The effect is stronger on boys. Research has found that boys, and particularly black boys, are more affected than girls by disadvantages, like poverty and racism, and by positive influences, like high-quality schools and role models. Yet they are least likely to have had a teacher that looks like them.

“We find that the effect is really driven by boys,” said Seth Gershenson, an economist studying education policy at American University. “In the elementary school setting, for black children and especially disadvantaged black children, the effect of having even just one black teacher is fairly big and robust and a real thing.”

When black children had a black teacher between third and fifth grades, boys were significantly less likely to later drop out of high school, and both boys and girls were more likely to attend college, Mr. Gershenson and his colleagues found in a large study last year. The effect was strongest for children from low-income families. The study included 106,000 students who entered third grade in North Carolina from 2001 to 2005, and it followed them through high school. There was no effect on white children when they had a black teacher.

Teachers’ gender does not necessarily have a big effect during elementary school but seems to make more of a difference when children are older. Then, girls do better with a female teacher and boys with a male one, said Thomas Dee, a professor of education at Stanford.

When eighth graders had a female teacher instead of a male one, boys fell behind girls by the equivalent of three and a half months of learning, according to a well-regarded study he wrote, which compared the effect of two teachers of different genders on the same students. When students and teachers were the same gender, teachers also had more positive impressions of students, and students looked forward more to the subject. The study used Department of Education data on 25,000 eighth graders from 1,000 schools.

In high school and college math and science courses, studies have shown that when women have a female instructor, they get higher grades, participate more in class and are more likely to continue to pursue the subject.

Researchers say it’s not entirely clear why teachers’ gender and race make a difference; it’s likely to be a combination of things. Students tend to be inspired by role models they can relate to. Same-race teachers might be able to present new material in a more culturally relevant way. Also, teachers sometimes treat students differently based on their own backgrounds and stereotypes. Social scientists call this implicit bias, when stereotypes influence people’s thinking, often unconsciously.

A variety of research, for instance, has shown that teachers tend to assess black students differently from white students. Preschool teachers judge black children more harshly for the same behavior. White teachers are less likely than black teachers to assign black students to gifted and talented programs even if their test scores match those of white students. When black students had both a white and black teacher, the black teachers consistently had higher expectations for the children’s potential.

Teachers’ biases can end up becoming self-fulfilling prophecy, Mr. Gershenson has found. “The high expectations actually motivate kids to do better,” he said. “Black students are hurt by that lack of optimism that white kids get, and black kids with black teachers rise to meet their expectations.”

Sometimes teachers underestimate students of their race or gender, suggesting that they have internalized stereotypes about their own group and that white and Asian-American students may not experience negative effects from having nonwhite teachers.

Girls perform about the same as boys in math on average through eighth grade. By age 17, there is a meaningful male advantage in that subject.

A new study, not yet published, found that math teachers favored boys over girls, and white students over black or Hispanic students — and that female teachers were biased in favor of boys and that nonwhite teachers were the most biased in favor of white students.

“These results indicate that enduring cultural biases may have long residual effects on stigmatized groups,” said Yasemin Copur-Gencturk, one of the authors and an assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California.

Long term, the evidence suggests it would make a difference to train and hire more diverse teachers. But researchers say there’s also something that schools can do immediately, with the teachers they already have: teach them about their biases and stereotypes. It can lead to fairer treatment of students.

The research shows that no matter their demographics, teachers can overcome some of the effects of bias, Mr. Dee said. He summed up the interventions this way: “Signal to students your deep faith in their capacity to learn, coupled with your high expectations that they’ll do great things, full stop.”

It’s surprisingly effective and simple to do, social scientists have shown. One study found that merely informing teachers about their stereotypes closed gaps in grading. An hourlong online tutorial for teachers has halved suspension rates for black students, after training educators on how to value students’ perspectives and view misbehavior as a learning opportunity.

Another strategy is coaching teachers on how their language can unintentionally signal to students that they can’t excel. Teachers are taught to convey to students that intelligence is not fixed, but built through hard work, and to talk about each student’s value and belonging in the classroom.

Retaining current teachers is also important, researchers say. More qualified people would stay in the profession if the jobs had better pay, benefits and support. Nonwhite teachers in schools with poor resources are at particular risk of burning out.

“It also matters just to have a really good teacher,” Mr. Dee said. “We don’t want to lose sight of that as we support diversity.”

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