Posted by: Magistra | September 8, 2006

Head’s Still Above Water

I’m tired. This has been a long week. One of those weeks when it’s not just one new thing, but five gazillon. First, I committed to always being at school for 1st period. This makes sense because I’m learning that just dropping by and seeing a random day or two doesn’t really do anything. It leaves me always sitting on the sidelines, passive. It also makes sense because it will be the same group of students next semester, when I play teacher the whole time. Then my official cooperating teacher dropped his sixth period prep in turn for more money teaching another geography section. So I felt it was necessary to stay until the end of the day. So now my day at school is another hour longer. And I’m also in more classes where I do things. Yes, it’s better than being a lump in the back, but it adds up. And of course leaving later means that my afternoon drive home is a bit longer. I officially hate the commute. Longest one of my life. If it’s not a logging truck in front of me, it’s a jerk two feet off my bumper going down the mountain road.

The university also decided that it was time to start coming up with written products. *sigh* I really don’t know what I learned by writing an “essay” on three instructional strategies that I didn’t learn when we did some group work and went over the “Magnificent Eleven” in class last weekend. And today we’ll talk about assessment. Ever feel like education programs like to talk about authentic, alternative assessments, but then require essays on those topics, with no touch of irony?

And today’s most annoying habit in education circles: acting like you don’t have any understanding of anything outside your subject area. Example 1: Prof is dividing us into groups, and calls on the “math people” to help him out. Please, like it requires multivariable calculus to divide 30 people into groups of 2 and 3. Example 2: Prof assigns an “essay” where the directions call on one to select three instructional strategies, define them, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide examples of how one will use them in a classroom. Stop me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t an essay require making an argument? In other words, mere description is not enough. “Essay” is not code for “more than one page of writing” and not all expository writing is an essay. But I guess I can’t be relied on. After all, English is my least favorite subject.

And there was some stuff I enjoyed doing that took up time and energy, like drawing up a retest for the freshmen’s first test on the world map (a selection of cities, mountains, rivers, etc.). Or working on my plan for next Monday. Still have a lot of work to do there. I’m most worried about timing. I know that things can take 30 seconds or 10 minutes, and I’m just not confident in my ability to move closer to 10 minutes. Ah well. The teacher was kind enough to turn it into an extra credit opportunity, so maybe students will be a little more attentive. Or maybe not.

Time for this student teacher to drop the teacher part and get herself to class.

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