Posted by: Magistra | May 12, 2006

Game On

Last night we had an official “Welcome to the Credential Program” meeting. On the plus side, I found out where my first prac is going to be. Doing a little web search makes me think my cooperating teacher (apparently I’m going to start calling him my “CT” but for now I’m holding off on acquiring yet another acronym) teaches World History and Economics. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles World History. How on earth do you cover all that material (thousands of years! hundreds of countries!) with any sort of depth? Or maybe you just try to make a year long introduction more informative than a typical introduction? We shall see…

On the negative side was, well, everything else. The unstated theme for the night was “Teaching is a Profession.” Certainly a sentiment I can get behind, but do professionals have notebooks read aloud to them? Do post-graduate students need a color coded presentation on how to schedule classes? Did I really need to be lectured on appropriate dress? What’s worse – that they think I might not differentiate between appropriate student and teacher attire or that some of the people sitting in my room maybe needed that wake-up call?

A couple points that particularly bothered me:

  • We were told to “be nice to the office staff and be nice to the custodian.” Well, of course you should be nice to fellow staff members. But why did they tell me to be nice? Not because these people are carrying out a job that compliments my own, not because of the inherit respect due any other person or staff member, but because if you’re nice to them, they’ll do stuff for you. Are you serious?!? I’m only supposed to be nice to people who can help me?
  • We were given a packet of information for our cooperating teacher. The problem was that the Contents page listed different information than what was actually included. Not a big deal (I just made a copy of the version included for my use), but, especially coming after a big spiel on how wonderful the department office staff is (who always seem to act as if I am interrupting their very important job – silly me for thinking my queries were part of that very important job), it was a tad annoying.
  • Someone attempted to talk about the APLE program (for non-Californians, this is CA’s loan forgiveness program for teachers). I say “attempted” because she couldn’t be bothered to look up the name or contact info of the campus coordinator, answered questions with information I know to be false, and generally acted like this was a really great program and enthusiasm is enough. I think knowing that someone else could pay back some of my loans is enough to generate enthusiasm. What I would have liked from you is information.

But it’s Friday, the last day of classes for the semester, a sunny 88 degrees outside, and I’ve got a new grassy lawn.

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