Teaching Children

Description of Teaching:
Teaching can be defined as the action of a person who instructs, gives lessons to a pupil, student or class. One who guides the studies or otherwise provides another person with knowledge, insight or skill. Under that broad definition it would be easy to assume that there is a “teacher” through every aspect of an individual’s life: parents, pastors, elders, professors, etc. Narrowing that definition strictly to a licensed professional hired at a public/private institution of learning to enhance the developmental knowledge and skills through formal, systematic teaching of grade school to young adult aged children. This activity is supported by the children’s parents/guardians and legislation that make general schooling required. There are standardized exams that all children must prove proficient in whether publicly, privately, or home schooled. The desired outcome of teaching grade school children is to impact a basic building foundation of knowledge and skills that will serve to further a higher education and life.
Schooling takes place at home or in a publically provided building. The government is the responsible party for education as-well-as tax paying citizens. Children from the kindergarten to twelfth grade have the opportunity for free education; unless parents pay for private schooling. There are provided necessities in each learning environment; for example, there are bathrooms, lunchrooms, resource rooms, a library, and etc. When students arrive to school they either have separate desks or chairs at tables. There is a teacher’s desk, and maybe a computer in the room. The school also, provides lunch at a price, after school care at a price, office supplies, construction paper, and anything the teachers need for the students to learn. There is a hierarchy of power within school systems; for example, the head of schools is the national government, then the local government, the school district, the superintendent, the principal, the teachers and staff, the parents, and then finally the children. There is a power structure in each school all the teachers and staff report to the principal. The principal then has the authority to make rules for the teachers, parents, and students to follow. Then the teachers report to the parents, and finally, the parents report to the children. Communication is a large part of the education system.
Juridic Controls and Application:
Juridics control a vast expanse of the world of teaching. Legislation and policies (national, state, local, and institution) restrict areas that teachers are allowed to educate in, ongoing education the teachers themselves must attend, how they will be licensed, how they will be paid, hours they can/must work, what their “appropriate” interactions with a student are, and so many other areas. Here, I wish to focus solely on obtaining a license to teach at the grade school level in a public institution in Montana. These regulations are taught to most individuals wishing to apply for a licensure in teaching.
Montana state law provides that no person shall serve as an instructor in an accredited school, until they have obtained a Montana educator license. The Educator Licensure Unit of the Office of Public Instruction is responsible for evaluating and issuing teaching, administrative, and specialist certificates (licenses) for all Montana educators in grades K-12. Initial Requirement for a standard teacher’s license for a term of five years is: 1. Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree in education or have a teaching certificate with bachelors in a certain content area. 2. Applicant must verify completion of an accredited professional educator preparation program in an area approved for endorsement in Montana. 3. Applicant must successfully complete a supervised teaching experience either as part of an accredited professional educator preparation program or successfully complete one year of teaching experience in a state accredited elementary/secondary school district. 4. An applicant must provide information and material to obtain a fingerprint-based national criminal history background check to check for “good moral and professional character.” Also, when obtaining a licensure an applicant has to complete and pass the Praxis II exam in order to be eligible to apply.
To renew a re-lapsed license, one must earn 3 semester credits and 15 renewal credits or 4 semester credits of ongoing education through the Montana Office of Public Instruction within the 5 year term of the license.
According to National standards a teacher with an elementary education major must have a credited minor in which they will teach. An elementary degree entails working with K-8 grades, but according to the NCLB, also known as No Child Left Behind act, a teacher cannot teach a certain subject without a major in this subject. With this stated, an elementary teacher cannot teach history without a history major. In certain schools, a person seeking an interest in education might think about going on the secondary education plan. This plan of study, at Montana State University-Billings, states that the study plan is a double major. In other institutions, a student may want to receive a teaching certificate in their concentration. NCLB is a national run education act that states teachers are more accountable for their actions. Students will be tested at certain times with their education, to see if the school passes certain requirements. Teachers also, have to provide an equal education for all. This means that students with learning disabilities have the same advantages as for the “normal” children. This statement becomes the knowledge of special education. As a part of Montana State University-Billings all education students must complete a 3 credit course and a practicum in special education. This is because there are more children with special needs that are included into the general education classroom. Teachers need to have some background knowledge in this specific area to forward in their teaching career. With this all stated many laws come into play with the treatment of children and obtaining a teacher license.
In the teaching career a teacher must present themselves in a professional manner. Teachers have dress codes and code of conducts; they also have plans of curriculum which comes from the local level. Each teacher has their own style but they have to present this style in an appropriate way for children. There are certain laws that a teacher must abide by, for example, if a student shows up to school with bruises and has admitted to child abuse, the teacher is held responsible for calling social services. Anytime the child is in danger a teacher, who has evidence, has to call the authorities. Finally, teachers have to teach certain curriculum that the local level has provided. Before three years in a school, a teacher has to re-apply in order to have a job, but once after those three years the teacher has the option to tenure. In order to tenure, a teacher must show that their job is protected and that the teacher will soon have a harder time being fired. The educational system is also a union. This makes benefits more affordable and retiring more comfortable. A teaching career is known for its knowledge and commitment to children.
Measure of Burden:
Initial application for a license and awaiting approval from the FBI would prove most restrictive while renewal would be less burdensome. The availability of application online is reducing this burden. Most individuals outside of the teaching profession would not be frustrated by this process at all.
Waysto Escape Controls:
Anyone wishing to escape these regulations would have a few choices. Obviously choosing not to become a public/private school teacher but rather a college professor or other profession is one choice that can be made through activity. Also, one could choose not to renew a current license through inactivity.
Relating to Ethical Theory:
The regulations placed on teachers through obtaining an official license would be Deontological Theory in ethics because if you follow all of the rules, you may obtain licensure. If you do not, you will not be given one. The requirement for an initial background check is one area that in addition to the juridic controls would encourage goodness, because individuals wishing to apply/reapply for licensure would typically attempt to be “good” so that they will be within the regulations. In general, it leaves little, if any, grey areas for interpretation of what the “good” thing is that one “should” do.

Footnotes
Private Interview, September 21, 2008. Billings Montana, Montana State University-Billings, Academic Advisor

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