Re: Ideas needed.

Subject: Re: Ideas needed.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 23:56:20 -0500 (EST)

<< Subj:	Ideas needed.
 Date:	97-02-27 07:59:39 EST
 From: (Laura Bashlor)
 To: (discuss-lfm)
Hi Laura,
     In answer to your letter, not all education graduates are incompetent to
function as anything more than babysitters and video machine operators.  I am
a student teacher with the University of North Texas, and our university has
what is called a PDS (professional development school) program.   
     We spend an entire year in classrooms.  The first semester we function
as teaching assistants, and teach additional lessons as our mentor teacher
allows (and attend lectures part of the time).  Half of each semester is
spent with a different age group so that we develop experience working with
several age levels.  I've worked with 5th, 2nd and 6th grades so far.  By the
time we complete the year, we will have worked with 3 or 4 different age
groups in a variety of different situations.
     The second semester we are considered to be student teachers and are
responsible for teaching at least a minimum percentage of the lessons.  In my
own mentor teacher's case, I am doing all of the science lessons for 3
different sixth grade classes, and spelling and language arts for my homeroom
(in other words, the whole thing).  This gives him the freedom to get some of
the other things that a teacher has to do every day done.  It has been a
challenge and a rewarding experience.
     My next rotation (because I expressed an interest in working with middle
school) is to be moved to the sixth grade math classroom, where I expect to
do fairly much what I have been doing in the science room.  They are feeling
at the top of the food chain and spring will only add to the problems.
 Actually, I'm glad they already know me and my expectations.  It will make
things move more smoothly.
     I write my own lesson plans, create worksheets and instructions,  and
provide my own materials for hands on science.  The students are amazed that
I pay good money for this privilege.  The hours and days of experience day in
and day out in the classroom have knocked out any nervousness I might have
had without this much experience.  I didn't get any classroom management
training in college, I wish I had.  With some of my students who tower over
my 5 foot 10 inch frame, combat training might have been useful too (two
students are out this week after one threw the other backwards through a
door).  Classroom management has been very OJT, on the job training.  I
learned like most of us do, by doing!
     Don't sell us all short, there are lots of us out there who can do a
good job in the classroom if we knew what you wanted to teach, although to be
honest, I don't want to be a sub.  I want a day after day job with students I
can get to know and develop a relationship with.