Posts Tagged ‘new teacher’
There’s this one cross-eyed, big-nosed, eyepatch-wearing peg-legged teacher at my school who is about to finish his “Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment” program. While the contracted last-chance-to-fire-beginning-teacher-on-circumstantial-evidence date has passed, I’ll keep him anonymous.
BTSA is a requirement for new teachers, as it works on staff development and that sort of thing. Beyond that, it’s a mystery to me, so I asked him very casually what he thought about it.
Could you elaborate?
While he spoke in a higher register this time, the answer still didn’t help me. I said so.
It might be good if I hadn’t grown up around all this, or if I hadn’t been a high school student. It might be good for new teachers who didn’t go through a credential program. It might be good for teachers who somehow didn’t pay attention during their credential program.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s useless. It’s just more of the same credential program crap.
He didn’t elaborate much further.
I used to think that graduation meant I didn’t have to put up with inherently worthless exercises in busywork. I more recently used to think that getting out of the credential program meant that I didn’t have to put up with an excessive workload of exercises that have very little to no practical benefit in the classroom.
Nope. Two more years.
This tightly cropped and messed-a-little-with picture, courtesy of Kate, describes the student teaching experience.
I’m somewhere around week five’s upward trend. Little comfort, because it won’t last very long.
I’m feeling confident about my ability to keep the rapscallions under control, and I’m feeling more and more confident about my ability to plan a lesson that might even teach something they end up learning, but despair is on the horizon.
I’ve already begun to start planning curricula for next year, and it takes a hell of a lot of time. I’m only three weeks into 11th-grade U.S. history. I’m thankful that its three weeks on presidents, maps and timelines double as the first six weeks of 8th-grade U.S. history.
I’d be fine if I didn’t have anything else to do. The chances of nabbing a job teaching American history are slim to none, so I’ll probably end up teaching a different subject while I plan a whole new curriculum.
It’ll be harder, as I’ll have other obligations. You know: making copies, answering phone calls, doing paperwork, grading papers and homework. Oh, and because I’m a new teacher, I’ll get to coach, sponsor or mentor something.
I’ll be busy enough already with contractual obligations. Inevitably, good teaching will have to wait. How depressing.
Moral of the story? Teaching would be an easy job if we all had secretaries. That would leave us time to plan new, exciting or even worthwhile lessons from the get-go.
a. The competent geometry teacher who knows not much more than first-semester calculus, one who has quite a lot of charisma.
b. The resident whiz who knows his math stuff — whatever that entails — but lacks so much charisma. Think Steven Hawking.
Ideally, of course, you want a teacher with the both good qualities and neither caveat. Unfortunately, gene splicing our clones is still morally reprehensible.
For another game, switch out “charisma” for “verbal acuity” or “math” for “a subject area lacking a teacher shortage.”
You have absolute control over the fates of these young people. Scratch that — you have absolute control over the fates of these young gentlemen.
To complicate the issue, in staff meeting behavior and non-pedagogical usefulness they are identical, including the wideness of their smile at the perpetually frustrated secretary who really can’t be bothered right now. If ever in the same room, they’ll say exactly the same thing at exactly the same time, discounting intonation, delivery and personality. It’s starting to annoy the department chair.
Hypothetically, who would you fire?
Oh, and don’t worry; they’re math teachers. Their equally qualified selves will get hired somewhere else.