Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summer Reading

I doubt I need to argue that good teachers keep up with what their students enjoy reading. Tim Fredrick has done some of the work for us by reviewing three pieces of YA literature. One of the books, Cut, was a hot comodity among my female students last semester, and it definitely addresses some major issues teenage girls are going through. You should consider checking it out (I still need to!)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

What I Do Now

I don't usually write about my life outside of education in this blog. But then, I haven't had much of a life outside of student teaching until this summer. I had hoped to keep up with my education by doing a podcast each week, but as you can see that didn't make it very far.

I just started a new job as a marketing assistant for Exito Travel. Definitely not something I ever thought I'd be doing. But it's a good job for the next year since I have to go back for one more class in the fall before Jennie (my spouse) and I head off to Africa with the Peace Corps next May. I've also been doing a lot of work with some friends starting a local chapter for the ONE Campaign.

Since finishing up student teaching I've had some time to think about the semester and what I learned a little more in depth. The majority of my students really didn't like me very much at all. I left Boltz with some nasty notes in the giant all class thank you cards. I did have one student who I had worked some with who said she had never gotten an A in English before my class. That made up for all the other notes.

Nancy Beauprez is an amazing teacher. Seriously, she is incredible. Watching her during my last week I was able to see all the things she was doing with the students and all the dynamics and how she dealt with them. A big part of me wishes I hadn't been so gun-ho! at the beginning and could have watched her for a while before I started teaching, but I also realize that I wouldn't have gotten to know the students and wouldn't have noticed the way she dealt with all the dynamics.

I also think maybe I wasn't true to the kind of teacher I am, even though that is still developing. It's interesting, I am a totally different teacher when the "real" teacher is in the classroom and when I'm "in charge." It's like I think I have to completely change my persona when I'm alone with the students. I think maybe the discipline scares me or something, or maybe I'm just trying too hard to be the kind of teachers I've had in the past. But it's definitely something I have to be mindful of in the future.

I think a lot of us student teachers, or at least me, get real psyched about getting into the field and we've been in school for four years and we think we know all our pedagogy and all this awesome theory and we're going to go out there and take out the trash. And then we do get out there and reality hits and we really don't know hardly as much as we thought. It's kind of heartbreaking in a way. A real innocence to experience archetype.

But here's a thought. Instead of Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs, maybe a network should make a show about student teachers. It's pretty much the same thing, students practicing in the field. Just without the extra 8 years of school and all the drama of hospitals (but I've been in hospitals, and personally, I think the classroom has way more drama).