Reading the text from Zhao and watching the videos with Robinson & Pink, led me to believe that all three would agree that education is focused on standardization for all students which prevents students from having an entrepreneur spirit. Also due to the standardization, there is little opportunity or encouragement for students of focus on what they like or find their passion because they do not get the opportunity to explore. How can students be free thinkers when they are continually being conformed to one way of thinking? How can students find their interests if they are never allowed to explore outside the box of successful careers? How can students find a passion that will continue throughout their lives if they are not exposed? How can students figure out how to use the passion they have as part of the future career? How can we as educators lessen the stress of assessments to allow our students the time to develop an entrepreneurial spirit with all the requirements that we are given?
Zhao discussed many aspects of our changed world and the reason for such high unemployment rates all over the world, even among those with a college education. Research some changes in education over the last 25 years and discuss how they have affected the unemployment of many teachers and/or why many leave the profession.
Education changes often. Various programs and assessments are implemented, changed, or never heard of again. Sometimes the programs and assessments come back around and continue changing. Educators find this very difficult with the constant changes and added programs and assessments. One statement that resonated with me was from Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016):
Stories of school curricula narrowing (i.e., “teaching to the test”), inadequate funding and depleted human resources, and psychological costs to students and educators have been the telltale results from high-stakes testing and education reform. (p. 82)
One noted change in the last 25 years is the increase of high-stakes testing. Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016) state that never before in history of education in the USA has there been as much testing and pressure for testing. The testing is pressured by the government to the school districts to the schools. The article mentions how students are losing sleep and getting sick from the pressure, while also losing interest in school. Educators are losing their jobs over scores. I personally know of teachers in other states that receive scores before the year is over, have been let go over test scores. Losing a job over test scores can have an impact on finding a new job, but it can also impact the passion the teacher has for teaching.
Another noted change was the evaluation systems. Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016) noted that with reform has been a change in the evaluation system for teachers that has increased pressure for the teachers. While the reform was meant to encourage and help teachers, many times the reforms have the opposite effect. When student scores are part of the teacher evaluation, it is difficult for teachers to not teach to the test, which is not the best way to teach.
Skaalvik & Skaalvik (2011) listed emotional exhaustion as a reason for leaving the profession. With educational reforms adding more requirements with more assessments and various evaluation systems, teachers are under more and more stress leading to emotional exhaustion for many teachers. While there may be other factors besides educational reform that increase stress for teachers, I believe that constant changes in education add a good amount of stress that is unnecessary.
While Boles & Troen (2000) did not discuss education reform in relation to teachers leaving the profession, I believe they brought up an important point. Many times teachers do not have an opportunity for growth within the profession. Without growth, many people feel unfulfilled in their careers, and this includes teachers. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, an English as a Second Language Endorsement, a Master’s in Educational Technology, and soon I will have my Rank I in Library Media. I have these degrees to have multiple job opportunities, and hopefully with the experience in multiple areas, this will come in handy for a position in the future that will be a promotion of sorts. Since I began teaching, I have taken on additional roles within the school, and it’s not about the raise for the extra jobs, but the growth and passion for those positions.
Boles, K., & Troen, V. (2000). Why new teachers quit. Teacher Magazine, 11(7), 59.
Croft, S. C., Roberts, M. M., & Stenhouse, V. S. (2016). The Perfect Storm of Education Reform: High-Stakes Testing and Teacher Evaluation. Social Justice, 42(1), 70-92.
Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2011). Teacher job satisfaction and motivation to leave the teaching profession: Relations with school context, feeling of belonging, and emotional exhaustion. Teaching & Teacher Education, 27(6), 1029-1038.