Saturday, April 14, 2018

Engineer who became a teacher comments on education

Thaddeus Eugene Hughes commented at Daily Signal: "I retired early from business and industry. After I got bored, I decided to do something I had longed to do. I became a teacher. Well, first I had to get certified. I signed up at the University of Washington (then rated top 10 in the country for teacher education). Although I started with a M.S. M.E., it took me two years to complete their program and get certified. I took a lot of teacher ed courses and I wrote a lot of papers. Only four of the courses had any impact on the quality of my subsequent teaching. Of course, they had to see that we learned a lot of rules & regulations. I was the first kid in my class to get a job. I was 55.

I went to a little town in Montana to teach physics and mathematics. The kids were lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed them and we had some spectacular achievements. Of a graduating class of 65, I had ten kids who took my second year course in integrated physics-mathematics. All ten subsequently got university degrees in science or technological courses. The sharpest one got her degree in mechanical engineering and then industrial management. The next one on the totem poll got his PhD in chemistry. After the second year, I got fired because I had raised hell about safety standards and non compliance with OSHA regulations. So, I went on to another school.

One of the things that I learned in my 15 years of teaching is that we have a plethora of bright and capable youngsters in our schools. All they need is a good teacher."

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