The books used for the read-alouds this week were chosen with an extended purpose in mind, what I mean by that is, every book was connected to something we were discussing in class or attempting to implement in the halls of DFHS. The first book, Through the Cracks by Carolyn Sollman (ISBN 9780871928771), made me realize how caught up one can become within his/her own world loosing sight of those around them as well as the kids who are “wandering”. I would use this book in my classroom to promote interconnectivity between the students and to point out to the students that there are kids out there who could use a friend and maybe a little bit of positive guidance. I would use this book in grades 1-3, in hopes that they may grasp the moral concept while still being intrigued by the story. Out of the other three stories we read My First Day of School by Margaret McNamara (ISBN 9780689869143), My Losing Season by Pat Conroy (ISBN 9780385489126), and One by Kathryn Oshaki (ISBN 9780972394642) I related with My Losing Season by Pat Conroy the most. I have read countless Pat Conroy novels my favorite being(The Water is Wide), needless to say, I loved this excerpt from his autobiography because it shows who Conroy is through his feelings about events that occurred to him during a very pivotal point in his life(High School). I would use this text as an example of uncovering a passion and exploring it. Conroy’s passion was the english languages specifically the intricacies of literature. When a student finds his or her passion it is the teachers job to guide them along the right path while taking a hands off approach, this allows the student to forge his or her own unique path. I would teach this to grades 9-12 mainly because students below that age may not have had the life experiences necessary to relate to the story, and if I am going to share Conroy in my classroom I want every student to have the chance to relate.
This week we did a lot with quilt squares it gave the class a great opportunity to get to know all of the other cadets and related with them in some fashion whether it be religion or a love for harry potter novels. My favorite activity of the week was the “A great teacher is…” activity. Although a very simple task it really allowed me(and the rest of the class i think) to get to the roots of why teachers teach, or let me rephrase, why the GREAT teachers teach. Lastly, pot notes. These positive notes allow the nurturing of a great energy among the teacher cadets and add what I believe may be the most important part of teaching to the Teacher Cadet Class, compassion.
25 percent of all students in America are failing to graduate on time(according to ABC News). The debate between the Obama administration and the education unions is not over the validity of this dilemma but over how to fix it. On the national level the general consensus is that teachers should teach on merit based salaries and accountability. The Obama administration believes teachers should be graded individually and their success should be judged based on test scores(very cut and dry). The unions believe that local education should empower teachers(i.e. school board) and this should factor into their evaluations. They say that the fact that teachers are striving to get better is common place but grading them in such a stringent way yields no substantial facts.
Quote of the Week
“The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”
Cicero quotes is important to me because I believe to be a great educator one must not talk down to his/her pupils but nurture them to success. Often we find Mr. Pickles/Miss Pickles who assert their “ALL POWERFUL” authority over their students to an extent that the students begin to feel much like slaves and not a wide eyed/fascinated researchers of education. Case and Point: If you have an ego and your a teacher, leave it outside the door to your class room and focus on your kids and helping them learn to understand the way you teach so they may be successful.
The one theme I observed this week was among my friends. Each of them has already written off senior year as a waiting room for college or their life. My friends that are taking advanced classes but should be taking AP classes were bragging at lunch how easy all of their classes were and that the work was a joke. If I choose to become an educator(and even if I dont) I will promise to myself always to push those around me to strive for their highest potential even when they can not see where this will lead them. Yes, it does mean your going to have to commit yourself to something. Is commitment to such an important subject(your education) a bad thing? I dont think so and therefore I believe that If you truly give everything you have to school you are considered successful. If you drop to a lower class to avoid a workload I believe you are being untrue to yourself and the countless educators, family members, and friends that helped you reach that point.
This past week of school has been, I believe, my best ever. I have been dreading AP Calculus since I decided to take it in the spring of last year. When I walked into Miss Lee’s class I had a change of heart. I now fully believe that a good teacher, no a great teacher makes all the difference in whether a student grasps the material. For me I have never been very successful at higher level math, this year I am the first one to answer questions, I am collaborating with the brains in the class to come up with impossible solutions and it feels like a weight of unsuccessfulness has been lifted from my shoulders. I cannot express how grateful I am that I receive the teachers I did this year. I firmly believe that every single one of them will give me the confidence necessary to make a smooth transition into college and also give me the confidence that I am intelligent enough to do whatever I desire to during my lifetime which Is why I am also now pondering a possible prospective career change from business man/lawyer to forensic psychologist/behavioral scientists which is wonderful because teacher cadet(in a way) caters to a large portion of what this career entails which is adapting to the demeanors of people so you can better communicate with them.