Hi there. In this education post, I talk about how schools may not hire good teachers for certain subjects. This does happen from time to time unfortunately. It is just bad luck for the students and the parents involved.
The motivation behind this post is based on when I was working. A Mathnasium student was telling me that her French teacher actually did not know any French. (French is Canada's second official language. In the province of Ontario, every student is required to learn French from Grade 1 to 9. Some people like this and some openly do not.)
I also recall having a Physics teacher from both grades 11 and 12 (high school). The teacher was not very good, confusing and kind of weird. A few classmates suspected that she had no real physics knowledge as they had her back in elementary school. I went for Physics again in grade 12 for the subject and not the same teacher. After grade 12 Physics, I decided not go for engineering at the time. I thought I wanted to be an accountant at that time.
- Bad Teachers Hurt Students
- Possible Reasons For Bad Hires
- Settle For "Bad" Teacher Or No Specialist Teacher?
Bad Teachers Hurt Students
Regardless if a teacher is of the generalist type or of the specialist type a bad teacher who is not knowledgeable, not friendly nor fair and does not take his/her job seriously hurts the student. The students will not learn the subject(s) properly. It ends up being a waste of time and money (taxes or out of pocket).
If a teacher is not good because he/she is new then that is not a big issue. The teacher in this case can learn and improve on the job. Teachers who are consistently bad and don't seem to get better are a problem. School for the students becomes annoying and a major chore.
Bad teachers for certain subjects give a negative impression of subjects. Bad teachers can influence students away from certain subjects and even certain industries related to those subjects.
Possible Reasons For Bad Hires
Both public (tax-funded) schools and private schools make hiring decisions based on budget and hiring credentials of teacher candidates. Reasons for bad hires are not always known. Here are some possible reasons:
- Hired Teacher Looked Great On Paper & Interview But Turned Out Bad On The Job
- Poor Hiring Practices (Example: No Teaching Trial)
- Bad Pool Of Teacher Candidates
- Can't Find Anyone Else For That Subject
- Budget Concerns
From the list above, the one reason that is a mistake from the school side is poor hiring practices. Choosing a bad teacher is not just bad for the students, it is also a reputation risk for the school and for the teacher too. In the teaching sector, service and reputation is worth it's weight in gold.
Settle For A "Bad" Teacher Or No Specialist Teacher?
With all the material that is presented on this matter there is a philosophical question in mind. Should you not have a specialist teacher or settle with a bad specialist teacher who is either not knowledgeable nor professional nor friendly. I don't think there is a clear answer. Having no teacher is not good as the time is not being used learning while having a bad teacher provides a negative learning experience which ends up being a waste of time. With whatever option that is chosen, there will be people that will be disappointed and maybe angry. A lot of money is spent (from out of pocket or taxes) on education so there are expectations from the return on investment sense.
As much as I am being critical on this issue from the outside, the decisions made are from the schools themselves. They would know more of the internals and decision making factors when it comes to hiring before the start of school seasons.