Education professor advises students to keep the passion burning
Published Dec. 12, 2012
The Palm Beach County School District and the teachers’ union reached a tentative bargaining agreement recently that would give most teachers raises of $1,500 this year, the largest they have received in several years.
But pay isn’t and shouldn’t be top of mind for students joining the teaching profession, said Priscilla Boerger, assistant professor in the Lynn University’s Ross College of Education. She recently doled out advice to undergraduate students and possible future teachers as part of a panel discussion titled “Why Be A Teacher.”
“It is without a doubt that people who choose this field do not make that decision for the money,” she said. “We find people are going into the teaching profession to truly make a difference. They've either had a wonderful educational experience themselves and want to pass that on to other children, or they are simply passionate about teaching and learning.”
She advised the students to “always keep the passion burning. Once they find that the light has dimmed and they no longer feel that urgency about teaching they must find a way to rekindle it or take another route in their life,” she said. “It is important for our children to be taught by educators who have a love for their learning and success as a whole child.”
The teaching profession has changed over the years and though they face difficult challenges, they also have greater opportunities and more innovative resources.
“Today's classroom is no longer a cookie cutter scene where teaching comes right out of a textbook,” said Boerger. “Classrooms are now innovative, challenging, creative and busting with technology.”
And she says that state-mandated testing is a huge issue. “Florida along with many other states (45 and DC to be exact) have adopted the common core standards, state testing will be changing from the FCAT to the PARCC exam which will focus on the common core standards rather than grade level content and skills.”
“Teachers have never been paid what they're worth. This is a highly charged issue and will continue to be as long as teachers are underpaid and raises are sat on for years at a time.” Boerger says there has to be a way for districts and states to keep and reward teachers of highest quality.
“With the nation needing their youth to be able to compete globally, we cannot afford to have anything less than high quality effective teachers in every classroom,” said Boerger.
More on Boerger
Priscilla Boerger, assistant professor in the College of Education at Lynn University as well as the K-6 Elementary Education program coordinator and the Director of Clinical Experiences, began her career in the public school sector as an elementary school teacher in Miami, Fla. During that time she was a lead teacher and the secretary for her school’s ESSAC committee. She also trained teachers on classroom management strategies, held parent workshops and was involved with the school’s PTA. She is a board member of Florida Association of Teacher Educators and works closely with several departments within the School District of Palm Beach County. She received her B.S. at Florida International University, M.S. and Ed.D. at Nova Southeastern University.
Boerger can discuss: bullying and the whole child, elementary education (1st – 6th), ESOL Endorsed Areas of Scholarship and Professional Practice, organizational management and leadership in education.