YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Know What to Teach and How to Teach It

March 25, 2004

Barry Smolin (letter, March 20) referred to teachers at his school holding master's degrees in their subject area, as opposed to a graduate degree in education. I took this as belittling those of us who earned advanced degrees in education. I teach U.S. history at Paramount High School (my undergraduate degree is in history) and have several units in history beyond my master's, which will be applied toward a PhD.

Masters of arts programs in education offer teachers opportunities to develop classroom strategies that enrich a student's learning experience. In my 27 years of teaching, I have always enjoyed the challenge of finding the most effective means of enabling my kids to have an appreciation for learning. Smolin's seemingly myopic views are unfair to teachers who may not hold master's degrees in their teaching area but nonetheless are excellent educators.

Lynn Robert Fairbanks

Diamond Bar

I teach chemistry and biology at Simi Valley High School. It does not make any difference to me what other people think about teaching. What is important are the students. They are the ones I need to answer to. I go to school each day looking forward to seeing my students. In order to be a good teacher, I think you need to love the kids. They are the future, and we need to get them going in the right direction.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I am getting paid for doing something that is so fun and rewarding. Please don't tell the school district! I hope I have influenced my students in a positive way.

Thurlow Partridge

Simi Valley

Los Angeles Times Articles