Arizona Education Association

Winter 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 39

IN DEPTH LOOK Meet the New Generation of Educators, cont. from page 19 the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) educational policies created in 2001 that focuses on highstakes testing. AEA Student Program Chair and NEA Board Member Josh Watson feels NCLB had a great impact in shaping his generation. "It seems as if the Millennial Generation does not recognize their potential in society. Some may be waiting on a handout, while others go and get it. The K-12 schooling that the Millennial Generation was a part of focused on memorization, not innovation." He believes breaking out of that kind of thinking can be difficult in a society he believes tells young people what to do and how to do it, instead of asking "what do you want to do?" or "how are you going to do it?" As the product of NCLB, millennial educators have a unique perspective on its impact on students and public education in America. Lewkowitz believes his generation shoulders an obligation to future generations to learn from the past in order to move forward. "We know the impact of bad education policy; I was a student during those policies. So, we can learn from that and I think teachers of this generation moving forward feel we have a responsibility to meet the educational goals of this country and bring our country forward into the leading world stage or sink into mediocrity." This wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have so many standards that I have to teach in only one quarter." According to NEA Research, half of all new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of teaching. With changes in state standards and evaluations, new teachers today are facing even more challenges. Cobos feels that testing has been a big change in teaching. "We test constantly on every standard that's given to us. Even kindergarten and first grade need to test. Test scores determine 60 percent of our evaluation. Teachers prior were able to teach thematic units and cross curricular lessons. They didn't have to teach in 4-hour blocks that limit lessons and exposure to other subjects. We are not allowed to teach bilingual education. We used to have well-balanced classrooms of students and now we have segregated students according to language levels." Two-thirds of Millennials in the workforce say they are likely to switch careers sometime in their working lives, with nearly six-in-ten saying they've already changed jobs once according to the Pew Research Center. Watson recently changed his pathway from high school social studies teacher to college professor because of the current education Facing Challenges New to the front of the classroom, Millennials face the same challenges as past generations as they entered the teaching profession. "One of the struggles I have found as a new teacher is time management," says Sandy Cobos, 2nd-grade teacher at Justine Spitalny Elementary School. "This includes managing time (pacing during the day) to teach lessons and assessing my kids constantly to prove growth in their data and then analyzing it to rewrite lessons with my team/grade level. Winter.13advo.indd 20 20 Winter 2013/14 x AEA Advocate 11/4/13 3:23 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Arizona Education Association - Winter 2013