Millions of dollars are being spent by right leaning political interests to demeanize and diminish the teaching profession and their unions. What can we do to challenge these attacks?
by Jim Gust2/28/2012 4:14:58 PM
I thought this was a little silly until I remembered how often I was irritated by being discounted as a "schoolteacher" because I had taken a graduate degree enabling me to work with secondary students rather than pursuing college teaching with my fine undergraduate degree...
by Moira2/28/2012 4:15:31 PM
The teachers' reliance on unionization has changed our perception from "learned professionals" to "hired hands".
by Jeff2/28/2012 4:15:43 PM
@kerrimpr while watching the Academy Awards I realized all these actors aren't in a union they are in a "guild". Why not teachers as well?
This is a perception but not reality in my experience...in Minneapolis, the whole thrust of union activity in recent years was on increasing professionalism.
by Moira2/28/2012 4:17:16 PM
Joe in Minneapolis - "I'd change the teacher symbol to the light bulb or the lightning bolt, to demonstrate the critical role teachers play in the enlightenment of student."
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:18:02 PM
While traveling in Nicaragua, I notice that every school I visit the students stand when I walk in with my friend from the area. That will never happen here anymore if it ever did.
This was just a piggyback on the guy talking abut those Russian students. Luv the show.
by Kim edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:18:32 PM
Caller is totally true. I'm from Sri Lanka and back home students always getup when teacher comes to the class. there is lot of respect to the teacher. I don't think in US its same. You have to respect to the person who teach if you need to learn something from them.
by Avatar2/28/2012 4:18:37 PM
Unionization has not changed teachers to "hired hands." Unionization changed teaching to a profession. Before unions, female teachers made less than male teachers.
by Ruby2/28/2012 4:18:41 PM
I have a daughter who is in Kindergarten and her teacher is at least 10 years younger than me. In my head I had pictured someone who was going to be much older than me to teach my daughter (because that was the mental image I had of teachers).
However, I quickly realized even tho the teacher is much younger than me, she has been educated and taught to be able to teach my daughter.
by mai c edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:18:45 PM
@KerriMPR The symbol: Mother Theresa. The Slogan: "Working for Extraordinary Results: Working for Free. " #PardonMySnark
In my experience as an educator it seems like teachers aren't recognized as professionals. I have worked as a substitute and hourly teacher for six years.
I have tried to find employment outside of education and have heard time and again that my skills as a teacher aren't that of a "professional". With the "abc 123" branding it's no wonder employers think we simply sing songs, make snacks and facilitate nap times!
by Megan edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:19:37 PM
@KerriMPR Russian educators also use the threat of public humiliation as a motivator. Beware when emulating other cultures.
We remember being embarrassed by bad teachers, we forget being inspired by great teachers. A new generation of parents says, "Make learning fun" rather than "Challenge my child to learn a lot". The compact light bulb which comes on slowly is a good idea, I think.
by Karen2/28/2012 4:21:15 PM
One of the proposed re-branded images. (Courtesy Hyperakt)
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:22:08 PM
Education is an essential part of our nation's infrastructure. Learning/discovery/ curiosity is universal and we need to encourage that. Perhaps a symbol indicating the interconnectedness of everything is a possibility.
by Amy2/28/2012 4:22:12 PM
There was an era where teachers were more educated than most people, and parents and the community respected that. Now they've been pictured as the lower rung of the educated class, and there is some data that bears that out in terms of who goes into education, so that is what needs to be addressed.
by jonesotr2/28/2012 4:22:51 PM
Remember the Academy Awards - they had celebrities reminiscing about their first (best) experience at the movies. How about using a similar tactic with teachers - public figures waxing poetic about a great teacher that made a diiference for them?
by Elizabeth2/28/2012 4:23:00 PM
I would welcome changes in teacher evaluation and higher standards. As a motivated teacher with a set salary schedule with very few opportunities for recognition, reward, or growth, I and others don't have the incentive to go above and beyond, even though most teachers in my school do.
by mariep edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:23:25 PM
The rebranding needs to start with public perception. Too many parents today see the schools as a drop off zone for children.
by Joel Hansen2/28/2012 4:23:32 PM
I believe the brand can help drive policy changes. If there is a public perception that teachers are a highly valued profession this will increase public pressure on officials to increase salaries and prioritize education. Business does this all the time and it works.
by Tonya2/28/2012 4:23:53 PM
This Yellow School sign rebrand isn't going to work. Too elementary. Think bigger," Unified Mathmatical Theory of the Universe."
by Jim Gust2/28/2012 4:25:47 PM
How about the moment a child learns to ride a bike with the teacher giving them that last push, before they "get it".
by Claire in Apple Valley2/28/2012 4:25:56 PM
@KerriMPR the symbol should be a donkey pulling a large plow while being whipped.
"Where's the Beef?"Branding with no real plan to change the substance of the teaching profession is pure deception. branding is not an effort to change the substance of the product or process. CHange teaching and the brand will change but to create a brand that might influence the profession but that doesn't mean improved or innovative instruction.
by Rogier Gregoire2/28/2012 4:28:10 PM
Kerri's guest, Renee Gosline of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:30:10 PM
We need to attract top quality graduates through pay, and the prestige will follow.
Think of the smartest woman you know—a surgeon, a scientist, or an attorney perhaps. In the past, sexism (which is entirely unjust) would have curtailed her opportunities, probably putting her in a high school classroom.
We’re not going to return to gender discrimination; only money will bring us back to that quality level. Not a logo.
by Craig edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:30:16 PM
I am an early childhood teacher. In branding the entire profession, I would think it important to differentiate between teachers working with different ages / stages.
Early childhood educators often struggle with keeping policy expectations of young children appropriate. When we value "rigor" with older students (and I do), and if we were to brand accordingly, there is a tendency to push down curricula and approaches onto much younger children that are not appropriate to their stage of development.
Brand images and ideas that center on rigor may exacerbate this issue for those of us working with the very young. That said, boy do we need help rebranding early childhood folks as something other than "couldn't-do-anything-else"!
by teacher in the snow edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:30:41 PM
What is the pay range for teachers in Minnesota? How does that compare to other professions? Factoring in 2 months off in the summer which is a wonderful life style choice.
by Sarah2/28/2012 4:31:09 PM
Deroy Peraza, creative director of Hyperakt.
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:32:33 PM
We need to attract more men to teaching.
Teaching is still thought of as a woman's career. I agree we need to attract the top graduates of both sexes by improving the pay. Make the contracts for a whole year and allow the teachers to improve the skills and curricula year round.
by Jim Gust edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:34:36 PM
Branding shapes the discussion as a cosmetic to obscure or create luster where there is little real value or substance. The result is a deadening of the public understanding of the problems that teachers face.
by Rogier Gregoire2/28/2012 4:36:24 PM
The pay ranges in MN are around $30.000 for new teachers to 70,000 for those with masters degrees and 30 plus years of experience. You don't get paid for those 2 months off!
by Jim Gust2/28/2012 4:36:28 PM
NExT (Network for Excellence in Teaching) has been working on this issue with Padilla Speer Beardsley and were nominated for a regional Emmy for this campaign: www.youtube.com
by Brian@WSU2/28/2012 4:36:42 PM
Part of the equation is the "learning". Wouldn't it be helpful to include that aspect in any rebranding? Teaching is nothing if there are no learners.
by Tom - Roseville2/28/2012 4:36:52 PM
Is there anything we can learn from the rebranding of professional nursing in past decades?
Remember the Johnson & Johnson ads promoting nurses? Maybe we should study how that worked out.
by Ken edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:38:01 PM
I would hope in rebranding we could some how address the social/emotional development that teachers, in particular those who work in an urban setting, provide for students.
We don't just teach academic subjects anymore. We are responsible for teaching them about how to function in society. That isn't being taught at home for many young people.
by Megan edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:38:13 PM
The ever-widening spirals of the nautilus shell captures the concept of process and increased knowledge.
by Amy2/28/2012 4:38:42 PM
I'd add a Dollar Sign and advertise that teachers wil finally be well paid for the critically important work they do.
The only reason I'm not in the teaching profession myself is the low pay packages that teachers get. Good pay draws good performers.
Teaching is underpaid as a relic of the old sexist model that limited capable career-minded women to three job options only: nurse, teacher or secretary. All three jobs underpaid as a result.
by Joe in Mpls edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:39:10 PM
interesting that they chose to use school-bus-yellow.
by Kaye2/28/2012 4:39:14 PM
Why are we trying to attract more people to a profession which already had too many highly qualified candidates.
by Nina Resler-Myklebust edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:40:12 PM
I taught middle school students (junior high) for 37 years. Retired in 2006.
The biggest change I experienced in my career was the emphasis on building students self esteem. So much so that in the last 8-10 years of my career all students were given A and B grades, because it would make them feel good. If you gave them a C it was considered as an F grade would have been in the beginning of my career.
Good teachers challenged you and got you to think not just "rubber-stamped" you with a A or B grade because you would feel good about yourself. Sometimes failure teaches more than success.
by Dan edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:40:46 PM
How about $$$ = School.
by Jim Gust2/28/2012 4:40:52 PM
I think we need to emphasize that the strength of this nation, in all areas, flows from education.
The economy is strengthened by innovation spurred by math and science; and our system of government requires an educated and informed public to function properly.
by Andrew edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News2/28/2012 4:41:05 PM
This is a document on attracting future teachers from among the "Top-Third +"
On page 29 it compares the expectation that starting teacher salaries were below 30k with the actuality of a 39k average starting salary (and well within the salary range many respondents desire). The result (on p. 31) is that informing the highest performing college students of this fact could result in a jump of 7% (4,000 students nationally) of the brightest candidates entering the teaching profession.
The research also advocates boosting teacher pay to attract even more top students, but even as things are, we could do better at attracting the best.