Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Post Gets a SparklyFace Unicorn!

    Obviously, I am taking classes to be a teacher.
    I mean, if I wasn’t, then I’m just a guy with opinions and a forum for them talking about something I knew little about and just had a passion for. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, the only real qualification for having a blog is passion and the ability to write about it. But, I digress.

    Many of my teacher in training/now teaching friends do read this blog. Hi, teacher friends. I’m going to talk about something that really annoyed me during classes. I can assure you, none of you are involved in this, because I tended to avoid the people I’m talking about.

    Teaching is somewhat competitive, but I have noticed that it reaches a broader group than most other fields. Just looking at my classes will tell you that, it was difficult to really lump them into one “group.” Well, that’s a little bit of a lie, that statement is true of my general teaching classes, the English classes were mostly... well, we’ll say not male. (that means there were an average of 3 guys in each class.) That’s not important, to my story, though, and my annoyance. (I’m building to that. I’m allowed.)

    Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. The other thing about teaching is that there really is no one “right” way to do it. The kids learn the materials (you succeed!) or they don’t (you’ve failed.) There are a million different ways to teach kids, and your job as a teacher is to adapt to each of those different ways. The problem with this is that’s really difficult for anyone to stand up there and say, “yes. that is how you teach kids. You have reached 95% on the teaching simulator. Here is your diploma.” As a result of this fact, some of the best teaching teachers I’ve had are the ones that give us open ended assignments that make us get creative, think how we may handle a situation, and won’t require one specific way to do something.

    Sadly... there are those that can’t think in those terms. They’re what I like to call the “A Squad.” Because no matter how much we are supposed to think about what we are doing, or what we want to do, they want to get that A. They want to be told the EXACT SPECIFICATIONS for getting that A. And that’s annoying as finding a hair in your burrito. Sorry, I just ate a burrito as I’m writing this. There’s no hair, but I’m like, what if there was? I digress.

    There’s no one right way to teaching. What works one day will fail hilariously the next. (I say hilariously because you have to look back in laughter and what doesn’t work. Otherwise, the crushingness will crush you.) It requires adaption, and the best and brightest I’ve seen succeed are the ones who have gone on and found ways to adapt. They were the ones when we got these brilliant, wonderful assignments would get to work, not waste time raising their hands asking if presenting it one way or another would result in an A.

    Of course, that’s just a minor observation in the world o’teaching.

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