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Lead from the Start: Pay-for-Performance

Thursday, March 16, 2006


My take on pay for performance in response to the moderator John Norton.

Many preschool teachers around the country are not certified teachers. (Though they should be) Even fewer are NBCT's and even fewer than that are men. (maybe just me?) I have a personal take that I am not sure would be universal to preschool teachers in general.
The other fact that makes pay for performance tricky at the preschool level is that testing, in the traditional sense, is inappropriate for preschoolers. I already administer 4 assessments each year and how students do on them has a great deal to do with everything but what I have taught them. So, with these two facts out of the way...
My position on pay for performance is that the structure of becoming a teacher should be more difficult and hence higher paying.
I feel like the certification process should move from a two tier system to a three tier system. Teachers could spend one year in a paid student teaching situation (possibly at 3/4 of a teachers salary) Then, teachers would move into a classroom for a three to five year probationary teaching license. (a regular teacher's pay that is 20% higher than it is right now.) If after 5 years a teacher has not achieved third tier they would need to go back to student teaching again. Finally, there should be a third tier of certification that is similar to the NBCT process with video taping, essays, documented accomplishments, the whole shebang. (the $100,000 teacher level) Until being an accomplished teacher is the norm and expected then teachers will not be payed what they deserve.

- As a side note -
At a recent Emergenetics seminar I went to at the Virginia Teacher Quality Forum the presenter commented on how it was strange that there were more analytical and conceptual thinkers than usual at the workshop. He said that usually, when he worked with teachers, there were more structural and social thinkers. After looking at who attended the workshop we realized everyone in attendance was either an NBCT, a "Career Switcher" (someone who had come to education from another career) or in higher education. I started to think that it was natural for a teacher that attempted the NBC process to be analytical and or a risk taker (a trait typical of conceptual thinkers.)

Maybe if these were the kinds of thinkers that were drawn to teaching then it would look less like it does now and more like a learning workshop, children's museum, lab school, or artist's retreat. Just a thought.


At 4:51 AM, Blogger hil said...

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