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Children Deserve Professional Teachers

* I found the tone of the article regarding having teacher aides absorbed into the classroom as teachers in an on-the-job training process (May 27) somewhat disturbing.

It was expressed that since the TAs are familiar with the community that they are better suited to meet the needs of the pupils. Are not all students deserving of professional teachers who have attended rigorous academic institutions, have earned high grades, have gone through quality, systematic credential programs complete with theory, curriculum and methodology courses, not to mention student teaching experience and master-teacher evaluation?

Teaching, not unlike law or medicine, is a profession; a finely honed collection of skills and knowledge that is acquired through years of systematic and challenging study and evaluation. It is not a job to be taken lightly nor assigned to those without sufficient college degrees or proper credentials. As a parent, I would be very hesitant to have my children placed in a class under the direction of a paraprofessional teacher who has had classroom experience as an aide but lacks sufficient course work and degrees to qualify as a certified, bona fide teacher. Having experience as a teacher assistant should not serve as a replacement for quality course work, evaluation by colleges or universities and proper accreditation.

ANNETTE HALPERN

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Ventura


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