Friday, May 23, 2008

Review of Prac Wk2, with a bit of introspection that needed notarising

I'm slowly learning (and by learning, I mean 'incorporating into my life') the fact that I don't actually have to rely on any given person. Unfortunately, today's lesson of the day is coming by problematic means - this exact same thing happened a few years ago, and by a remarkably similar method.

I'm definitely afraid that this will be a recurrant feature in my life. I'm hoping that it won't, but I've got the suspicion that by the time the next opportunity to break the pattern comes along, I'll have forgotten what I need to do. But, in some ways, I'm not sure what can prevent this particular occurance that's giving me the lesson: it may feel like I'm repeating the pattern when, in fact, I'm just doing something and then creating a pattern (much like people who read astrology and say 'well, I'm going to work, I suppose that qualifies as a journey...')

So: my second week of prac.

I got my interim report today, which basically is my supervising teachers' way of saying 'we like you enough to stay for another two weeks' or 'we think you're so bad that you shouldn't stay at this school'. In my case, it was the former. I got the middle-passing grade (like a B is) on everything, except 'ethical standards', for which I got the top grade (and that was the only criteria that I would have fought them on). They complimented me on my involvement in extra-curricular activities (a year-level of debating - three teams), which was nice.

In reality, the criticisms are pretty fair - I've been given classes where my content knowledge is quite deficient, so naturally I spend most of my time developing my knowledge rather than my teaching skills. However, I was surprised where the criticism was - I felt that my weak area was the seniors, who needed information; however, it seems that they're my strong area, and my weak area is the juniors - not because of content knowledge (which would just be the cherry on the irony sandwich that is my prac), but because I wasn't doing any varied activities. Fair enough.

I know it seems kinda weird that I would only debate the ethical point - I'm being graded as a prac teacher, after all, not on whether I'm perfect. But, when you're a male teacher, you have to watch yourself and how you associate with all those around you; and when you're at a private all-girls school, the opportunities for suspicion are, literally, all around you. I've been very, very careful in how I act, and the combination of that with how I conduct myself normally (and making sure that my topics of conversation are basically study-related) has, well, probably produced my rating and given me, not just a paper-trail, but reassurance that the standard of how I'm relating to the students is at the appropriate level.

I'm happy, my supervising teachers are happy, which makes me happier and confident for the remaining two weeks.

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