What Was I in For?

submitted by: Janis Mathews
on Fri Nov 4 12:15:58 2005

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Course: Math 7
Topic: Teaching in general
Resource type: Tool
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What was I in for? I have spent the last two years learning what to teach, learning how to teach, learning why to teach. I have made lesson plans, studied techniques, practiced trained responses to behavioral problems, and analyzed the priorities of typical American teenagers to try to “empathize” with them – all while sitting at a desk on campus at my University. Then I walked into Mount Logan Middle School…

There were students! Real live students. These were like the students I could be teaching some day. They were short. Was I that short in middle school? They were really loud. They could not hold still. I walked into the computer lab where I would be “teaching” and conveniently made it there before the students and enjoyed a whole ten seconds of silence. Then they came streaming in, flying by me, standing there with a frivolous smile on my face. Everything I had ever learned in my meticulous studies at “The University” flew out the window. All that was in my mind at the moment was trying to get each of them to individually pay attention for five seconds so they knew what website to go to.

I choked out something like “…attention please?” Nothing happened, the noise continued to engulf the room. I said louder “Everyone look up please” and got about half of the student’s attention. With the help of other teachers and my colleagues we eventually got them all on track and at least half way through the daily task. I left convinced that the most valuable skill a teacher could have is a loud voice and I wondered why we never had a class on verbal projection.

Send comments to Janis Mathews at janibees@cc.usu.edu

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Fri Nov 4 12:15:58 2005