Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Student Teaching Tid Bits: zzzzzzzz

Welcome to Student Teaching Tid Bits. 
This is where I will do my best to document that which is my experience of being a student while also being a teacher... a bit of a paradox. Want to come along with me through my experience of Student Teaching? Well if you don't then choose not to read.

Today, I'm tired.

Students are starting to get sick. Everyone in my family is sick. I have mono in my system and chronic fatigue at that... So today. I'm simply tired.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Student Teaching Tid Bits: Agency

Welcome to Student Teaching Tid Bits. 
This is where I will do my best to document that which is my experience of being a student while also being a teacher... a bit of a paradox. Want to come along with me through my experience of Student Teaching? Well if you don't then choose not to read.

So... tell me this. What brings a person to not act? Let me paint the scene for you. I'm teaching, I give directions. I give them plenty of time. I make sure they understand what is expected. I tell them they will get points for this. It can only help their grade. I walk around. Notice many who are working. A lot of them want clarification personally from me on what they should be doing. I clarify to their understanding. I want them to succeed. I'm happy to answer questions. I continue to walk around the room. Some students are not working at all. But talking. Choosing to not take my advice. So I remind the whole class of how much time they have. Again tell them what I'm expecting. Make sure they're still able to succeed. Tell them ways they can get it done at home and turn it in the next class. This causes a few people to get to work. Time running out. But some continue to talk to their friends. I confront them. Make sure they are clear and they don't require help. They reassure me that they are fine. I know they are not. One student is in a panic that she's not doing it right. I reassure her that she's doing great. That I don't expect perfection but to see that she's working hard. That calmed her down. But still there are a few students just not doing a thing.

Do they feel they wont be successful?
Are they lazy?
Do they not understand?
Do they understand but not care?
Are they needing more supervision?
Do I need to modify the task to fit their learning style?

I will now make this an analogy.

How many times does our Father in Heaven give us direction? Well, every six months He speaks to us for 10 hours on things that we should be focusing on. Then there are scriptures. Those could be daily reminders. Does he not tell us what's expected? Does he not promise us blessings if we are to act on his instruction? Does he not provide us with plenty of time to learn and apply? Does he not provide personal revelation for clarity on things we don't understand? Does he not send warnings when time is running low? And still give you opportunities to succeed? Does he not send us comfort when we aren't sure if we're doing what we should?

And yet... How often do I act like the students in my class and just not act. But get caught up in a conversation(aka life). Now don't get me wrong. I'm not at all comparing my teaching abilities to those of our Father in Heaven. However I see many comparisons to teaching these students and how our Father works with each of us. 

It pains me to see so many students just throw away opportunities for good things. They lack the ability to look forward and plan ahead. They are so stuck in what's going on in their lives right this very second, that failing a class doesn't matter to them. But... shouldn't graduating high school be important to them? And trust me, we make it as easy as possible. The work is done in class. I make sure they can succeed. So many just do not want to.

I can only imagine the pain and well, not frustration, because God is perfect and frustration is an imperfect trait, but the pain and sadness he feels when we, his children choose not to act and accomplish good things. Things he's told us will help us and be for our good. He cannot force us. Just like I cannot force any of my students to learn and do the work. But if I'm spending my time trying to think of ways to reach these students, I'd find it hard to believe that our loving, kind, Heavenly Father isn't doing the same for each of us.. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Student Teaching Tid Bits: Swimming(drowning) in History

I don't blog. You want to know why? I'm ALWAYS reading about history. Currently I'm sitting on my floor with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 history book strewn about. Next to them are notes and note cards and teaching materials. Dag nab it, I better become the most awesome historian of all time!! Turns out though, these kids don't know much. So I already know more than them. I just have to know enough to talk for 90 freaking minutes. My professor said it himself, "90 minutes is too long" Agreed! Even college courses aren't that long. they are only 80 minutes! Sigh.

So all my thoughts consist of these days is... history. And what happened in history? Oh and how can I relate that to history? Is that something I should know for history? It probably doesn't help that I have this bloody praxis test to still pass. That adds more history. I don't think there is enough room in my brain!! What should I get rid of?... meaningless FRIENDS trivia? I mean that has been off the air for almost a decade. But, still funny. Random sports knowledge? I cringe at the thought. I think what's starting to slip out are the memories of what it's like to not be having to soak of historical knowledge.

And now to put it all on top of it... I have to know current events!! It's got to tie into today right? Make it relevant to them! Sadly for these kids I'm so far away from pop culture, my only source of information is facebook. So I find I listen to NPR more often. I LOVE NPR! Talk about responsible journalism. Want to  know what's really going on in the world and politics, listen to them! Or read it too online. By far the best journalism I've ever come across. And seeing that I have a dress in that... you might want to trust me on this.'

So there's even more knowledge I put in this old brain of mine. Seriously... how much can it hold?

Okay, I'm tired....

p.s. I'm choosing to not fix a mistake I just read in this post due to it's proof of how tired I actually was. "And seeing that I have a dress in that...you might want to trust me on this." What the heck does that mean?! Haha! It meant to say a degree. Ha ha! I just have no idea what I was thinking.