I find it rather difficult to write every day, albeit I did try to write a poem a day for 2013. Some weeks, I would get behind and write several poems in a day. Those were usually not my best efforts.
I was pleased Dr. Kohnen could come to English 405 and give students a very explicit document that maps out what needs to be accomplished in the practicum and the student teaching. I feel like students have a better idea of what needs to be done than last semester. To all of my 405 students in the fall--"I'm sorry." You got the rookie and I know I would do things differently now (and I am!) That's the thing about being a first year teacher--everything is new! There are so many protocols and procedures that each school does a bit differently and you have to navigate your way and catch on very quickly! And that is not even the classroom! So, I keep thinking about how I can alleviate that sort of stress for all of these future teachers.
Hallelujah! We actually got to the Deep Map assignment last Wednesday. I want the deep maps to help my studnets think about their "teacher selves" and how they can develop a teacher persona. The Deep Map legends can actually be shaped into a teaching philosophy. It is always helpful to create images as that artistic act helps us think and write--it gives us time to conceptualize and form language for the ideas we conceive.
I wish I had had more time to see everyone's Deep Map today, but I was satisfied to see a few and I will eventually see them all on the website. I have just now finished reading English 725 deep map legends and I was blown away by them. I never cease to be amazed at how this activity elicits such powerful writing.
I don't know how I feel about handing out the case study guidelines without having time to talk about it in class, but hopefully, we will have a chance to talk about it within the next few weeks because they are not due unitl April 28. It was just impotant that students receive the document now before they begin their practicum experience. Speaking of that, Ms. Jordan came to class today to explain the process of evaluation when she goes to observe students. I think it is important to introduce her so each studnet knows her when she arrives. And she does a good job of explaining
The first two class sessions went way too fast. Time has been my nemesis for all of my teaching career but even more so now that I am teaching teachers! Where does the time go? I have so many things to tell everyone and never enough time to do so. I am a perfect example of someone who does not always get to everything I want to get to. I wanted to get to asking students what they feel should be on their blogs, but we ran out of time. I was happy with the responses on the Padlet wall as I gavve those questions to Mr. Reinert and Dr. Kohnen so they could offer a comprehensive look at what they needed to tell all of these individuals as they prepare for practicums and student teaching and Lord knows there is a lot of information to digest. I am just astounded by all of the things these young people have to do in order to become teachers. FBI background checks were unheard of in 1991!! Seriously?? And does this really protect students? I doubt it. We still have school shootings and we still have some perverts get into school systems. But I guess we need to do what we can to screen potential future teachers. But what's to say someone might just crack with all the pressures of teaching? I also wanted to be done with Deep Maps by now, but alas, we may get to that on Wednesday, after Dr. Kohnen talks about the practicum placements and student teaching. But we shall get to it. So, my reflection for teaching is this: How do we know how much time to allot for what we want to do in our classrooms? Do we ever get accusotmed to that? Is it bad if we rush things or feel we must absolutely get to everything when we might actually be having a great conversation or students are asking very good questions? Do we have to be slaves to our timeline? No, emphatically, no. If we do, we are going to die a little inside as teachers. And will some teachers start teaching to the test so his or her students can score well? I hope not. I don't want robots in the classroom. I want humans.
Well, tomorrow is the first day of class for English 405 and it never fails--even after 22 years of teaching, I still get the jitters and worry over just about everything. I suppose I will always feel this way until I stop teaching. Of course, I don't know if I will ever stop teaching. Whether we are in a formal setting of the classroom, we are still teachers. It is so difficult to separate who I am as a human being from who I am as a teacher.