My son is preparing to enter Kindergarten this year. As we are living in Thailand and my son doesn't speak Thai fluently, we have decided to send him to an international school here in Bangkok. We are told that the school where we would like to send him is the "best". When I ask how it is the "best", I am told that they have well-paid teachers, a phenomenal curriculum, terrific activities for all kids, and a great library. As soon as I heard the part about the well-paid teachers, I felt that maybe it is the "best". In my work, I have seen teachers make abominable pay - such that they need to seek additional part-time work to make ends meet. As a struggling new teacher 20 years ago, I held two part-time jobs - working at a dentist's office and he second at a health club. As a new teacher, I also struggled mightily with the tremendous workload of a teacher and I easily worked 60 hour weeks as a teacher and additional 10-15 in my part-time work. How can anyone expect all that that we expect of our teachers when we simply don't compensate them accordingly?
So, I say I will happily pay to send my child to a school with well-paid teachers since this is why it is considered the "best". And yes, the tuition is an eye-popping amount but my son's teachers will be fairly compensated and have the time to dedicate to making my son's l;earning experience a solid one, not worrying about what shift she has to work at the local burger joint in his/her off-hours. Education may be expensive; but ignorance carries a fair higher price.
I think educational technology/distance learning is the newest and most exciting chapter in education for a looooong time. If you look back at education 100 years ago, it is not very different at all from the way we teach now - huge classes of students of widely varying ability levels; teachers have limited quality interaction with their students. But distance ed allows for more targeted instruction and is incredibly stimulating for students. And while I don't recommend it as the only mode of instruction, I think it's a strategy that is simply long overdue. Looks like we're finally moving ahead in how to best teach so that kids actually learn...
An educator nomad traveling and teaching her way around the world. Fun stuff.