Not seeing the fire

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SuperFudge, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. SuperFudge

    SuperFudge Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Does it ever bother you when you DON'T see the fire and passion for teaching in someone? I have an observer this semester who is about to do her student teaching next semester. She has spent about 50 hours in my classroom thus far and I really feel that she is just "doing her time." We get along GREAT as people. I have opened up my classroom and students to her and make it as fun and inviting as possible. I make sure to include her in everything and even joke with her. I offer to help in all ways possible. However, here are the things that bother me:
    -has taken 0 notes
    -does not ask any questions about teaching, strategies, methodologies
    -does not ask for suggestions
    -leaves early every time
    -cancels observation days
    -does not try to do anything different in lessons other than what I have modeled for her
    -sits there. I have to encourage her to walk around, help students, etc.

    She's really only fulfilling the basic requirements. After 9 years of teaching, I still ask questions and I am still so eager to learn more, more, more. When I was in her shoes, I was so excited about my possibilities and wanted to get my feet wet. I'm SURE that you are going to criticize my post for this, but I can't help but be bothered by the fact that I don't see the fire and passion. Thoughts???
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2011

    When I was that young I didn't know what questions to ask! okay, I'm just assuming that she's young. But when I was observing/student teaching I honestly didn't know enough to know what to ask.

    As she done observing before? Maybe, if it's "observing" that's what she feels she should be doing, not moving around. Maybe she's realizing that teaching isn't for her.
     
  4. SuperFudge

    SuperFudge Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Ok, I guess I can understand not knowing what to ask. However, did you take notes? Skip observations? Do the minimum requirements? And yes, she has observed before. She is about to student teach.
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2011

    I will say that I felt awkward asking questions when I was observing and student teaching, I felt like they were stupid questions.

    I never skipped, I rarely took notes (visual learner here, notes do me no good since I lose them) and... I wouldn't say I did the minimum, but I know people who did and became excellent teachers. They just felt weird going above and beyond the call of duty when it wasn't their own classroom.

    Not that I'm defending her, let her "sink or swim" so to speak in student teaching. She'll learn it is what she wants to do or not and if she doesn't have the passion (or want to) then she probably won't last long.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Even thought I jumped in, taught lessons, helped, asked questions, I learned that teaching high school students was not for me. Maybe her behavior is an indication that she is not happy with teaching.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 12, 2011

    When I was in her shoes, I was so eager and excited. I can still remember being at the park with my sister (we had taken our daughters there to play together) and telling her I would be doing my observations soon. I was so excited about just being in a classroom. It's scary for someone to not be on fire that early on, because she has a long haul ahead.
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Since you get along well as people you might consider sitting down and having a heart to heart with her. Find out if teaching is really want she wants to do. A lot of people become teachers because they don't know what else to do with their life and they think it's an easy paycheck.

    In some ways I was one of them -- when I first considered teaching I literally remember thinking, "I'll just go in, teach some stuff and go home. If a kid cusses or acts up I can send them to the office. Sweet!" :lol:

    I was one of the lucky few who did not start with a fire in my belly, but developed it over time to the point that most people are shocked when they learn I never went to college for education and that I had another career prior to this.

    Also you should talk to her about your struggles when you first started teaching. No one did that my first year or when I was a student teacher, so I felt so alone and like I was stupid and not worthy of the profession.

    I WISH my mentor teacher had sat me down and talked to and encouraged me.

    Just my opinion :)
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Yes, I'd be concerned. I think you could discuss with her what her hopes and dreams are as a teacher. If there were no limits on $$, administration, or time what would she do to make a difference? If she has answers to these questions, she just might need some help putting ideas into practice. If she doesn't have any hopes or dreams as a teacher--yikes!

    If you had a few warning signals, it might not be a big deal. However with all that you listed, I personally would be very concerned. I'd get her to share why she wants to be a teacher, what she wants to accomplish etc. A teacher with no passion is going to be one unhappy teacher with one unhappy group of students. I see it too much.
     
  10. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Oct 13, 2011

    Well not very long ago, I was doing the same type of field experience before my student teaching. In one experience, I didn't get along well with my cooperating teacher. It wasn't a terribly bad relationship, I just felt awkward asking her questions. Overall, we just never really "clicked." Although I felt teaching was right for me at the time, I found out in that experience that the grade level wasn't right for me. If it continues to bother you, you could talk to the person supervising.
     
  11. Unbeknownst

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    Oct 13, 2011

    I'd probably be having the same feelings as you, SuperFudge.

    First off, I think it's just absolutely amazing you're doing what you're doing to help her out and make this a meaningful experience.

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome!

    With the exception of note taking (I, too, do not take notes, as I learn better by trying to predict what will happen next based on what I've heard from the teacher thus far), I'd agree that there needs to be that "fire" there.

    Not because you need that to be a teacher, but you need that fire to be WHATEVER you wish to do as a profession.

    If there's not a fire burning, curiosity ablaze, or some sort of thirst to discover how to best to hone the craft, maybe she should consider doing something that does get her going.

    The only difference with being "ho hum" with teaching as opposed to other professions, is that when you're not in it, you're affecting a lot more people than just yourself.
     
  12. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2011


    This was me, though I had the fire early on. This is something I decided I wanted to do my Sophomore year.

    Anyway, this is my first year, but I decided that if/when college students come for observation I am allowing it because I would have LOVED for someone to be completely honest with me when I started out. I never knew the difficulties that come with the curriculum, staff, and parents/kids. I mean, I knew it wouldn't be rainbows and unicorns, but I didn't think it would be this... labor intensive. I do ten times more than I thought I would! So I want the opportunity to inform someone of the "realistic" side of teaching early on, if they want to know.
     
  13. teacher mom

    teacher mom Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2011

    Teaching is an art! All people can do it but only a few have the natural ability. For most of us teachers that have survived more than 5 years, it is our hobby and passion. Teaching is not just a job and I think this person will not find it enjoyable. Hopefully she will figure it out before students have a wasted year.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2011

    I think you're reading too much into it. You have no idea what she's thinking- maybe she's SO passionate about teaching and ready that she's really annoyed that she still has to be in someone else's classroom working under them. Maybe she is "putting in time" to get to the real thing. My college required SO many field experiences- don't get me wrong it was great as far as preparing me, but I was pretty sick of doing field experiences by the end of college- I just wanted to be a real teacher! I also ended up in a lot of classrooms where I disagreed with what the teacher or school did- that doesn't mean they weren't nice people and I usually got along with my CT's socially, but some classrooms/buildings made me uncomfortable. I spent a semester in a 3rd grade classroom where the teacher followed this extremely scripted reading progam- I mean it literally told you word for word what you had to say and it was ALL test prep. The teacher was a very nice lady and I got along with her great socially, but I hated the program and teaching something I disagreed with so much was very uncomfortable for me. I didn't ask her questions or things like that because I knew she was so opposite of what I eventually wanted to do. My parents were teachers, almost all of our family friends were teachers, and I went to a small private college where there were 8 people in my program and I had many of the same professors multiple times. I had so many other people in my life that I was so comfortable with that I would naturally gravitate to them to ask my teaching questions rather than a CT I was with for 12 weeks. Unless you see her actually doing a bad job teaching, I wouldn't worry about reading into her motivation.
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2011

    She may just feel a bit uncomfortable jumping in, doing whatever. I know I did when I was student teaching.

    She may not know what to ask

    She may not be a note taker or may wait until she's home and write in her journal (that's what I did, I kept a journal at home where I wrote everything down from the day)

    Leaving early everyday is bad

    Just sit down and talk to her about her future goals, plans, what she looks forward to, and what she is dreading. This might help you to get an idea on her feelings about becoming a teacher.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2011

    I tend to agree with this. I also agree with whoever said that maybe she just doesn't know what questions to ask.

    Not everyone displays their passion in the same way. What looks like apathy could really be a completely internalized passion that will manifest in other ways.

    There are a hundred possible explanations for everything she is or isn't doing. Maybe she has a sick family member at home that she takes care of or a job that she needs to get to, so that's why she leaves early. Who knows?
     
  17. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Oct 13, 2011

    :thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep sharing the realistic side of teaching. You have no idea how helpful that might be to someone!

    No one talked to me about the struggles, insecurities and other real stuff that goes with teaching until my third year in the profession. So I spent so much time internalizing my issues and thinking I was the only person struggling up until that point.

    If someone had had a realistic side of teaching talk with me early on, it would have made the beginning of my career a lot more pleasant.
     

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