Wednesday, December 14, 2005

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I was almost done with the last post when I got a reply from my mentor teacher, saying that Night is required reading for all eighth graders - which is totally cool and something I partially expected.

I bombarded her with another three questions in my reply (I hope I'm not coming across as too much of a boat rocker).

In Cindy O'Donnell-Allen's Methods for Teaching Language Arts we discussed a study she did while working on her doctorate (I think?) where they trained educators and then met up with them again after one year. The majority of the teachers implimented traditional pedagogies in their classrooms instead of new strategies they had been taught in college. I don't want to lose what I've been taught.

At the same time, in his book Teaching English through Principled Practice (the main text for the same class), Peter Smagorinsky talks about how many teachers lose their jobs after their first year because they go into schools and alienate themselves from the other teachers by trying to impliment entirely different teaching methods - and are very vocal about it.

I know I have a lot to learn. I know that many of the teachers I'll be working with next semester can teach me a great deal. I also think that because I've just spent four years reading about all the "radical" new pedagogies that maybe I can show them a trick or two as well.

So how fine is the line that I need to walk? Or is it really three lanes wide and I'm just freaking out?

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