I need some advice

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Geologygirl, May 19, 2010.

  1. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 19, 2010

    For one of my classes at National University I am required to interview 2 teachers and observe them. This class is only 4 weeks long so I usually have to hurry to contact a school in order to do this and hope they are not upset at how soon it needs to be done. So I contacted a school about a week into my current class and was told by the assistant principal to e-mail him the information which I did. A week later I still had not received any kind of response to my initial e-mail so I sent a second e-mail asking if he was able to receive my initial e-mail. Sometimes Gmail is blocked by other mail servers because they think it is junk mail. I still have received no response and my class is set to end in a week and a half. I plan to call the school next because I do not know what else to do and think it is kind of late to be calling other schools to do this exercise.

    My problem is I do not want to come off as whiney, annoying, or rude and I am not sure how to phrase my request. Should I mention e-mailing this man twice already in the phone conversation or just assume he knows I e-mailed him and ask what the status is on my being able to observe/interview teachers at his school? I realize that schools are really busy this time of year but if I am unable to do this assignment I receive an automatic letter grade and a half drop in my grade for the class.

    This is the second time I have had this time crunch problem with doing my observations within the one month period in a school due to how busy teacher’s and staff are, and the time crunch. It is really putting a lot of stress on me and making me reconsider trying to get my credential though an accelerated program. I am guessing that having a entire semester to do observations and having a longer time to hear back from schools would make the classes less stressful. How do other people in one month per class program deal with this problem?
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 19, 2010

    Honestly, the way most people "deal" is by knowing someone and having them sign off on the hours without you really doing them. In NYC to get your license you have to do at least 100 observation hours prior. Sooo many students I knew had teacher friends already and they didn't do any work. :(

    How would a teacher in NJ work for you? I'd be happy to do an interview with you and I have some videos up of my students having a class discussion that I could show you... better than nothing :)
     
  4. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    May 19, 2010

    I'd follow up very nicely with the school and explain that you would like to have an observation but have a hard deadline. Sometimes they have a lot of things on their plate.

    Sometimes, scheduling or other issues may make observation a problem, such as spring break, testing, and other issues. If that is the case, an alternative is to go to a library, for the school of education, and view videotapes of classes in the relevant subject area, and write observations/reflections on it. I've done that for a observation requirement when I couldn't get an observation due to spring or winter break getting in the way.

    If you can't get an observation live, talk to your instructor about your predicament and see if you can come up with an alternative assignment that will meet your needs.
     
  5. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 19, 2010

    The main requirement for this class is two interviews with teacher's in my subject area. The observations are kind of second to the actual interviews. I have contacted my professor, and I will call the school again tomarrow to see what is going on. I beleive Summer will be starting soon for the students which may be why I have not heard back from the school.

    Bioangel, I appreciate your offer of letting me interview you. I will discuss it with my professor and see if she will accept that as a viable alternative.
    Thanks
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    May 20, 2010

    I never had luck with phone calls and emails. Choose a school nearby, go in and introduce yourself and request to do an observation. Dress professionally and be warm and friendly. I had to do multiple observations at different schools and I found numerous schools happy to let me do observations - but only after introducing myself in person - zero responses to calls and emails. While doing observations most teachers are also happy to answer questions.
     
  7. chasingdreams

    chasingdreams New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Re:

    I go to National University as well. The professors are usually open to granting extensions on assignments if you ask for it and explain your situation. Also, I'm going to agree with the person before me. Being in person (and much more persistent/ pesky) in combination with your emails would work better. Sometimes talking to secretaries and administrators other than the principal can get you in to the principal's office. (They can help send him or her additional notices). Also, I've also talked to connections at the district office and gone about by calling and/or visiting multiple district offices and/or principals until one gets back to me in a timely fashion. Then, I call the other ones back and tell them I already got someone else to sign me off on observations because I had a time limit. Good luck to you!
     
  8. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 27, 2010

    Hey guys thanks for all the help and the suggestions. My professor was awsome and was able to help me find a school to do my interviews at locally after having three not get back to me. I plan to follow the advice of going into a school in person. The reason i had contacted one school at a time before was because I thought it might come off rude to ask to observe then say I found somewhere eles to do it. I guess when all you have is 4 weeks you can not worry about stuff like that. Anyways thanks to everyone again and I hope you all have a wonderful end of week.
     

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