Posts Tagged ‘teachers’
The Teachers’ Curriculum Institute guys came by our school the other day. TCI writes curriculum and, by previous experience teaching with their world history curriculum, TCI writes it pretty well. There’s a lot of “Figure Out Why I’m Showing You this Period-Appropriate Picture,” but they write that very well and many different ways.
They had just finished up their prototype U.S. history lesson on my kids when they called forward myself and my master teacher. See, part of their sales pitch is to get the kids to tell their teacher how much better they like learning the TCI way.
One of my seniors considers me his mortal enemy, apparently, as he took full advantage of this opportunity. He immediately walked up to me from across the room and, with a mock-patronizing tone of voice he sure wouldn’t use with his grandmother, he told me just what he thought.
I think you should take a few tips or lessons or something from these guys. They actually know how to teach.
Cue down slope.
I didn’t have time to respond or reprimand before he abruptly turned around and went back to his seat to high-five his buddies at the back table. I had the sudden urge to give him a hardy “Up yours.” I mostly suppressed it.
Instead, I told my master teacher. Not to be outdone, she agreed.
You can talk better than any of our kids.
Where’s the support when you need it? Sigh.
Disregarding that American history is infinitely more interesting and fun to teach and learn about than government or economics, I’m a student teacher. I know I’m not the best — the TCI guys are close — but I’m not all that bad.
It can take a year to create a curriculum and years longer to fine-tune it. I haven’t finished yet.
I was happy because my classrooms are mostly under control. From what I’ve observed of my fellow student teachers, that’s a whole hell of a lot more than quite a few of my peers. Even with that hurdle cleared, we’re not even close to approaching honestly good teaching, yet.
We’ve still a lot of improvement ahead of us
Moral of the story? Ahead of the curve isn’t good enough. Good is good enough.
I just grew up a little. I blame student teaching.
It seems so very silly, this adolescence. As I finished my fifth straight week of student teaching, I realized that my initial observation of college remains remarkably apt. It went to the effect of:
College is high school without parents.
What struck me today was that both high school and college are so petty.
Sure, high school and college have two different flavors. The former: mandated, day-in-day-out desperation. The latter: absolute, unrelenting freedom. After all, if you sleep in during high school, Officer Truant knocks down your door. If sleep in during college, nobody cares.
This seemingly absolute freedom from daily responsibilities is the only real difference between the two archetypal experiences.
This difference matters a lot, because just about everything else is the same.
The stupid 17-year-old divas in the government class I teach will become the stupid 20-year-old divas with children in my undergraduate classes.
Bookish 15-year-old nerds in my world history class transition to bookish 23-year-old nerds with a triple major, now working as grad students in the education department.
“I can’t believe he just broke up with you,” magically translates to “I can’t believe he just broke up with you,” except now the subtext of “He used you for sex” is assumed rather than immediately inquired.
There’s an ever-irksome connection. I cringe now every time my 15-year-old sophomores whine about how I’m so unfair. In my mind’s ear, I hear myself saying the same thing at 19 years, and my peers echo it at 24.
I feel satisfied, though, that I’m actually doing something worthwhile. Kids four years my senior just now figure out how to combine their party lifestyle with the secondary responsibilities of studying and going to classes.
They stare at MySpace for hours at a time while I find joy in reading my students’ essays.
I almost feel I should ask them why they haven’t figured it out, yet.
Public drunkenness isn’t life’s highest achievement — get your degree and get out. You could make something of yourself if you stop thinking like you’re still in high school.
The best part is that this isn’t my usual self-righteous frustration. I’m satisfied and things are working out — all because I ditched the pettiness.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out what they see in it.
What a silly question. I can’t even remember what I saw in it.
Moral of the story? Work is work until you finish it. That’s when it dissolves into satisfaction.
In yesterday’s “Understanding by Design” department group collaboration sessions, my department group did the absolute minimum, while retaining our signature quality.
I say this because they said it first, if not in so many words.
The format requires seven elements. We provided exactly these seven, the whole lesson format shorter than a page. I like the way this department thinks — the shortest lesson plan I did in the credential program was at least three times that.
This format jettisons a minute-by-minute outline, listing state standards, assessment guidelines and listing of our students’ individualized needs in favor of a two-column format that favors brevity over verbosity.
Neato. Here’s how it broke down. Continue Reading »