Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Following the White Rabbit...?

Good Evening!

Well, things have certainly been interesting lately, I can tell you that!

Friday, my co-op was going away for a wedding, so class was basically left to me to handle. Now, because of college rules, I need a certified teaching in the room with me, so there was a substitute. But my co-op basically told me that what I said went. I wasn't too nervous though.

All we did was go down to the computer lab and we started a benchmark test on the software that the school uses. The catch (because when isn't there a catch?) was getting the students to follow the directions that I gave. Since the test would take two class periods, I instructed the students to click the link at the top that said "Save Test To Continue Later" as opposed to the link that said "Turn In Test." I made sure that all eyes were on me and there was silence as I gave these directions. Upon returning to class on Tuesday, there were at least three or four students in each class that clicked the wrong link.

The test was what we call "calculator inactive," meaning no calculators. The test made this very clear in its directions, and I reiterated this item of information. However, every few minutes, a student would raise their hand to ask if they could get a calculator. Also, I knew that there would be some students in every class that would finish the test early. So I gave explicit directions that if they finished early, they should take out a book and read, which is what we always do in class anyway. Of course, there were some students who still didn't know what to do and sat there with vacant expressions until I finally clued them in.

But all in all, the day went well and everyone walked away whole and intact.

Moving on to Tuesday, we had a co-op dinner/pinning ceremony. Apparently my college decided that student teaching is such a big step that there needs to be a ceremony as a formal beginning to the semester. Well, our was a bit later than usual, due to timing issues for our college supervisor. So, last night, we are all waiting in the room at the restaurant waiting for the supervisor to arrive. Well, we waited for half an hour before we decided she wasn't showing up.

When I got back home, I e-mailed her asking what had happened, hoping that nothing bad had happened. Well, I got a call a little while later from her. She said that there was so much going on that she completely forgot. Now, I'm not the best at remembering things, and I've forgotten about plenty of things, but nothing this big. But I do understand that shit happens and I forgive and move on. But it was another thing for our co-ops. Both left families at home and took time to come out for us, and they felt that it was rather rude.

Today, during my planning period, our supervisor showed up, very apologetic. We're in the process of rescheduling, so we'll see what happens there.

While visiting, we got onto the topic of game duty with my supervisor. She agrees with my co-op and I that I shouldn't be off doing anything by myself. I am supposed to follow my co-op and do what she does. So she decided to talk with the principal about the assistant principal's attitude towards what we were there for. It was decided that I will still do this game duty tomorrow, but I will have a walkie-talkie that I can use to ask questions of the assistant principal should I need anything.

In talking with my roommate's co-op later, the assistant principal had been speaking with him about this afterwards. He was offended that the college would come in and tell him what he can and can't do with the student teachers in the school, claiming that the other college's in the area are fine with student teachers doing game duty. He also expressed the feeling that if that was how the college was going to act, then it might be better if the school didn't take student teachers from my college any more.

Let's talk about over reacting! But I'll just take the punches as they come and do my best to remember that I'm here for the students, not the administration.

Until next time!
The Tenderfoot Teacher

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