Better preparation for the profession

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mbvillanueva91, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Jul 21, 2018

    For those who have their own classroom already, what do you feel could have been done to better prepare you for the profession? I'm doing a homework assignment on teacher retention and burnout and would appreciate any insight you may have.
    Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,315
    Likes Received:
    1,274

    Jul 22, 2018

    I wish my content knowledge had been better. As an elementary teacher, I took one or two classes in each content area, but I still didn’t really feel like I knew how to teach the content once I was in the classroom. I was good with writing formal lesson plans and classroom management, but the deeper level of knowledge was missing for me. I’ve acquired it over time, but it’s taken a lot of time, money, and coursework outside of school on my part in order to make that happen.

    I also think that knowing about school mandates before becoming a teacher would have been helpful. During my teacher prep program, it always seemed as if teachers had more of an opportunity to be creative. After I got to the classroom, I found that not to be the case.
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    207

    Jul 22, 2018

    Dealing with difficult parents and principals. Luckily, due to earlier career experience in a different field, I had tools for this, but it was barely touched upon in my program.
     
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    522

    Jul 22, 2018

    I wish my program had talked more about how to teach students who are not on grade level.
     
  6. That Business Guy

    That Business Guy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jul 22, 2018

    I wish my college would have shown me a realistic way to lesson plan. My school focused on every small detail of how to develop the perfect lesson (news-flash, there is no such thing as a perfect lesson) and when I had my first classroom, I spend hours creating one-two lessons. That led to me getting very burned out and hating the profession.

    Also, my college gave many “busy work” assignments. My senior year of college, I remember receiving a writing assignment that I had done my sophomore year. THE SAME EXACT WRITING ASSIGNMENT. More work does not always equal more value.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,839
    Likes Received:
    694

    Jul 23, 2018

    I think this might go along with content knowledge, like Bella was saying, and this may seem dumb, but my college program didn't teach us how to actually teach kids how to read. They had us out constantly doing field experiences, which was great for many other areas (planning, management, seeing the reality of teaching,etc.) but since we were constantly changing grade levels and settings, I only got snippets here and there.

    My college classes focused more on big ideas- like how to get students engaged, choosing texts, how to get kids interacting with texts, etc. I remember doing more comprehension based activities or read alouds and things like that. I did take one class that was really helpful around reading assessment and how to drill down to figure out which skills kids need- but I never got any instruction on how to actually teach kids based on those assessments. My full time student teaching placement was with 3rd grade in a higher SES school, so even my students for the sped portion were already reading and we spent all of our time doing guided reading.

    Thankfully, I went to an orton gilligham based workshop my first year of teaching and learned some basics- but I can honestly say it wasn't until 3-4 years into my teaching career that I would say I had a very solid grasp on exactly how to teach struggling readers how to learn to read in the first place. I just finished year 8 and would say I've just gotten to the point in the last two years or so where none of the PD or anything like that contains anything "new" to me. My school got a literacy grant and has done tons of work around early literacy the past several years. Pretty much every teacher has said the same thing I did- why didn't I learn this in college? One is even currently getting her MA in reading and says that she's still hearing only whole-language based stuff in her MA classes.
     
    bella84 and Leaborb192 like this.
  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jul 23, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,315
    Likes Received:
    1,274

    Jul 23, 2018

    Yes, this is what I was trying to get at. I'll even add on math to that. Teaching kids how to develop number sense was such a challenge for me in the first few years of teaching because I didn't know how to teach them things that were so natural for me. I took a math course in my teacher prep program, but it was all about theory and writing lesson plans. Teaching conceptual understanding just wasn't a big enough part of it. I've done a lot of reading over the last few years to get a better grasp on this.

    I've had the same experience with reading. I learned surface level phonics and phonemic awareness in my teacher prep program but not enough to be an effective teacher of reading. I learned how to teach phonics more in depth when I started teaching sped and had a scripted program put in front of me. After that, I spent a lot of time and money to get Wilson certified. I'm now in a grad program working on a reading specialist certification, and, so far, it's all been whole-language driven. I had to stop myself from getting in an argument with my professor when he told me that I wasn't pronouncing a blend correctly (I said it was /d/-/r/, and he said it was "druh"). Even with the whole-language aspect, though, I still think that I should have been taught this in my initial teacher prep program. Why is it that only experienced teachers looking for an additional degree or certification should have access to this information?
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jul 23, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,374
    Likes Received:
    892

    Jul 23, 2018

    I had a great background in content area as a secondary major. However, I only got minimal instruction in actually managing a classroom. They talked about working with kids who are on grade level, for the most part. When they did mention kids not on grade level, they talked about working with kids who are motivated to improve. It appeared that nobody realized that some kids hate school and will buck you at every turn. My MA is in English, not education because I couldn’t see myself wasting time on useless classes again.

    I have kids in middle school who do not know how to read well, and they need instruction in HOW to read. I have zero training in that. I can improve their comprehension level, but not their basic word understanding.

    I did take one useful class. The National Writing Project was amazing. We actually learned how to teach kids so be better writers. I took it many years after I finished my MA, so it didn’t even count toward any degree.
     
    bella84 and Leaborb192 like this.
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,411
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Jul 23, 2018

    Honestly? Sometimes I wish I could've done more of the courses after a greater amount of experience. The most learning seems to take place not during college, but during your first couple years in the classroom. I'd love to see the universities somehow connect with districts to support those teachers in their first couple years (especially for districts, unlike mine, that don't have mentor programs).

    In addition, I feel like - while not for myself - math education is a key weak area. Honestly, between mindset work and between lots of the basics around teaching math -- I think that needs to be massively beefed up with more hands-on experiences in the classroom (our literacy ed classes did more of this than the math). Some of the teaching and mindsets by teachers worries me at times!

    Finally (though there's plenty of other things, I'm sure), for me, that life/work balance has been highly difficult - and with the unrealistic lesson planning that we do in college to the workload that we never really feel as much during student teaching...better navigating that from the get-go would've been helpful.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,762
    Likes Received:
    1,014

    Jul 23, 2018

    That’s why I think colleges should adopt a model of performance-based AND assessment-based learning. Students should be actually be given tasks they will actually encounter in their intended fields. That’s what I liked about my math program in undergrad. They would give us programming projects and other tasks that we would actually have to do in public/private industry and make us attend workshops at job fairs and such. I feel like more programs should be designed around skills you will need to acquire in the workplace, such as interpersonal skills, and issues that you will encounter and ways in which you can rectify them. This should be included in addition to the subject matter knowledge you will need to learn.

    In short, college programs should be multifaceted and not centered on the theory involved.
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jul 23, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    bella84 and futuremathsprof like this.
  15. Elisabet Esteva

    Elisabet Esteva Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2018

    Yes youll learn most things in the classroom in the first few years
     
  16. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    Jul 23, 2018

    You're all spot on! My multiple subject credential failed miserably in preparing me for the teaching profession. Fortunately, I continued to earn special ed. certification and an M.A. to work with orthopedically disabled individuals which covered everything and more that was lacking in my basic credential program. Based on what I've been reading here, it doesn't sound like they're doing a very good job preparing graduates to pass the many certification exams - no accountability.
     
    futuremathsprof and Leaborb192 like this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. bella84,
  3. QueenBee4th,
  4. YoungTeacherGuy,
  5. Tnteacher2,
  6. vickilyn
Total: 392 (members: 11, guests: 357, robots: 24)
test