Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Last Week of Prac - 3 days to go!

This is my last week of prac. I have about, oh, three days to go. One is exams, and the other two are preparing for exams, so aside from about three lessons I'm actually done as far as the whole preparing for lessons thing goes.

How have I found it?
1. Teaching isn't easy. I've had a lot of experience teaching previously, but I've always been teaching things that I've known backwards, where my biggest problem has been behaviour; here, my biggest problem is content knowledge, because I'm teaching topics that I don't actually know before preparing for the class. I'm a little worried about going to a school that actually has behavioural management problems, to be honest, if I have to teach topics that I know nothing about. Of course, behavioural management problems mean that I don't have to know a full period's worth of knowledge, but still.

2. The teachers have been supportive, each in their own way (people are different, after all).

3. The girls are really...quiet. It takes a lot for them to get going. The only time I've had any difficulties controlling a class has been a year 9 class (14 year olds) in the last period on a rainy day, and it was right at the end of the class - and it took maybe two sentences to have all ears on me. I do enjoy the interactions - the young can be so full of life that it's refreshing to see and, even if obliquely, be a part of, and that's particularly so in debating (or, at least, with the debaters).

4. I like teaching something that I know. That's my reason for getting into teaching, after all. I'm a little put off by the reality that during prac, I wasn't able to teach anything that I knew something about - apparently good training for the real world, but it's not doing me any favours. It's also kinda annoying that I've been teaching in schools since 2003, and in schools full-time for a year, but I don't feel that I've really made a difference anywhere. Maybe my bar is set too high, I dunno.

5. Generally, my teaching methods worked - go through a bit of content (off my own head or through a textbook), answer questions as well as I can, generating some teacher-led discussion, affirming student answers, going through a movie and stopping it occasionally to discuss some salient points. The older grades particularly like content teaching, the younger particularly like discussion - it's a matter of realising that you're there to teach them, so the best teaching methods are the ones that they respond to.

6. I'm not totally sure if I'll get into teaching as a career. I know, it's a big thing to say, particularly when I've thrown a year at jumping through the requisite hoops. But I may use supply teaching as a means of supplementing money while I continue postgraduate work.

6a. I'm considering doing something in Public Theology, which would be totally awesome. I'm studying Applied Orthodox Theology now, but that won't give me an academic qualification (it's an ecclesiastical qualification), and I would like to get an academic qualification in theology that doesn't require me saying that The da Vinci Code was solid theology - and moreover, the Public Theology course is about applying theology to the outside world, which is something that I'm both interested in and will need to know.

I know that I've been doing a lot of reflecting on prac, but I'm going to be using this blog as a basis for the reflection that I have to submit after prac is over - it's only 500w, so I think I'll be okay :)

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