Discussion in 'General Education' started by Grover, Apr 3, 2010.
Apr 3, 2010
I would add a semester on the Tao Te Ching.
I wouldn't add new courses exactly, but I would change the classroom management courses so that they actually taught you to manage classrooms. They teach you that if you use these magic strategies and always follow these principles, that you will never have management problems ever. That is just not realistic! I wish they did more role-playing, more watching videos of master teachers defusing situations, etc.
I would also like for one course to touch on conflict resolution.
More sped courses for gen ed teachers. I do not know how it is in other states, but in NJ, teachers-in-training are only required to take one sped course (This is the first year the law is in effect)
I think there should be more classes about classroom management. My program had exactly zero classes on that subject.
I'd also like to see a class or two on educational law. I remember that a few of my classes had units on ed law, but most of the material was focused on older laws. I don't recall learning anything about the law in regard to searches, IEP/504 accommodations and enforcement, paperwork, and all sorts of other things.
I think there should also be a class or two on scope of practice and professionalism.
I agree. Nothing about classroom management was addressed in my undergrad program. Also, very little about special education was addressed too. There needs to be more about teaching strategies for students with a wide variety of disabilities.
Cassie, you hit it right on the head. A class on professionalism and collaborating with parents/staff would help teachers a lot. It seems like colleges are falling into the stone age and not giving future teachers the skills they need to be successful.
I disagree about more classes on classroom management, actually. I think one class on classroom management is sufficient.
What I do think (and of course, this is based on the education that I got) is that there needs to be MUCH more time spent IN the classroom practicing that classroom management. I lucked out and worked in a daycare all through university, so I didn't have as many struggles as I see other people who graduated at the same time as me have. You can talk about effective classroom management til you're blue in the face, but until it's practiced, you've just got a lot of head knowledge.
I, too, would like to see more on effective classroom management. Not just theories, but it in practice - such as role-playing, observations, in the classroom, etc. I also would like a special ed class - I didn't get one because my degree was in Latin, and I feel it would have been very useful. An Administrative course would have been good, too - how to deal with the administrative type tasks we have, including parents, guidance, administrators, duties, etc. What the legal ramifications of things are - not just horrible things, but the other stuff, like logging behavioral problems, how to protect ourselves from parents angry over grades, how to handle our reviews, what our rights as professionals are, etc. Schools don't teach us that, and I think it opens new teachers up to a lot of possible bad situations which we do not know how to handle. It's fine if you have a strong union or a good mentor, but what do you do in the absence of either?
I agree with previous posters. I would want way more useful, practical, realistic information and practice by people have taught in the classroom in the last 20 years and have a realistic idea of what is going on. I swear I didn't use hardly anything of what I learned in school in actual practice. I am taking some classes now and not much has changed in 25 years - it is still shangrila type teaching talking about things that would happen if you had all the money, resources and support in the world and very little practical stuff. It bothers me when I sit in a classroom of mostly inexperienced people and think it is a waste of time for them - they should be learning practical skills. I also totally agree about management - that is 90% of the questions the newbies ask and 1% of the curriculum. I also want to say they preach not being a "talking head" and lecturing all the time but 95% of what they do is just that - ugh!
I agree that there should be more on classroom management. I took one class as an elective. I also would have liked one on grade keeping. I was clueless about grading my first few years and thought I had to enter all grades for everything they did! I ended up boring myself almost to death! Not to mention the amount of time I spent with piles of papers to grade, an E-Z Grader, a calculator, my green grade book, and a pencil and red pen! No online grade books 10 years ago in my school district! LOL
I think there should also be a class on dealing with parents and colleagues as well as one on conflict resolutions between kids because to this day I find myself not giving a poop if "She doesn't want to be your friend!!" I play along and give the right advice but I really don't care. I WANT to care! LOL
Methods courses where instead of just writing papers you design units and other materials that you can use in the CLASSROOM!
YES! Teacher Ed should really be more like an apprenticeship program, with continual in-classroom application.
Most courses in my program were useless. I would love more classroom management, special education, something dealing with union/contracts, using assessment effectively.... the list can go on.
Most of my classes were a waste of time.
Wow, most of the things you guys are saying you wished you had were key parts of my degree program!
So, did your classroom management course cover chapter 61 (Ma-wang-tui)?
I meant more the things about making things that were practical and getting hand-on experience in classrooms and having professors who are teachers. We also had a course on law, and three about special education.
I think they should include as much practical info as possible.
But I think my biggest suggestion is that new teachers should be comfortable with ALL the grades/courses within their area of certification.
It's fine to prefer one grade or subject or class over the others. But I think that new teachers should be prepared to teach whatever class they're called upon to teach, even if that assignement should change between the signing of the contract and the start of school. Lack of exposure should never be a reason for not being able to teach a particular group of kids.
And I think teacher ed programs should be incredibly practical. So, yes, talk about the laws: about SPED, about being mandated reporters, about internet safety. Make sure all new teachers know about the privacy laws involved in posting pictures online. If local schools include a morals clause in teachers contracts, new teachers should know that. If there are unions, or a "Taylor Law" such as the one in NY, they should know that.
They should know how to get a bee out of the room and what to do if a student passes out or has a seizure.
But, big picture, I'm not sure that any of these will prepare somone for the realities of teaching. I think it's something you learn by doing, and get better at as you learn more by doing more.
Here is what I don't understand about my college's program: We pick our major (Elementary, Secondary, SPed, Or K-12 Special Subject), then we pick a concentration (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Languages, or Multicult studies). In your concentration you take 18 credit hours. 18 credit hours is the same amount as a minor at my school. I asked if I my concentration could be Special Ed, child psych, behavioral sciences or something different like that. The answer was a resounding no. Even though the credit hours the same and none of the classes would overlap. Having a concentration in Special Ed seems like a great way to spend my undergrad. But, for now, it's not an option.
I agree- which is why apprenticeship-style programs make a lot of sense to me.
My SPED licensure program was in the apprenticeship style format. Most in my program were working in SPED while working on licensure. The courses in my SPED program were a lot more reality based. We were required to attend IEP meetings, staff meets, etc. as part of our coursework. We also did a lot of adapting and modifying...and learning about law....difficult parents, etc. We had an entire course on management and behavior and nothing else. But, this was also covered in each SPED course we had to take as well. It was a lot more than what we got for management as undergrads in general ed. As far as my undergrad Soc. Ed. program, we did actually design a lot of units and lessons. Not a lot on management. SPED was more useful definately. Now, in the undergrad program I did, 1 sped course is required of all students, but when I was an undergrad, it was not required at all.
STATISTICS! (or economics or logic or some course that teaches rational decision-making)
I'll admit, my undergrad was not education, it was economics. It frustrates me to no end to have superiors who obviously don't understand statistics make stupid decisions based on faulty logic. With all of the focus on using data to drive instruction, it would be nice to work for people that understand data.
Apr 4, 2010
The college I am going to this fall for their school of Education have 60 hours of observation sophomore year, 90 hours of observing junior year, then the student teaching.
Not a "course" per say, but more field work with children that are school aged and the type that would be in public school. A lot the students I have now don't fit the mold of children I've worked with in the past. I'm hopeful in that one of the people in charge of the education department are my univeristy tells me they're looking to work a deal with a local school to have students go there one day a week from their first semester starting the major. I think if this was possible and done in more schools, if it even gets done here , there wouldn't be as many management issues.
I agree with you. However, I've worked a while in a daycare. I have to say, the students I got in my practicum were daycare aged, 4-5, and were different from the children where I worked. The students I have now, third graders, are NOTHING like the children I worked with. I think mangement for teachers is more about working with different types of children. I aslo think, at least in my daycare experience, people need to be exposed to just how much students you'll be working with. There was a set number of teacher per child at the daycares I've been at. I know a few student teachers who are in class rooms with over 30 students. That's not something you an learn in a daycare.
I would have liked someone to show me how to put grades in a gradebook. Should I weight grades or not? Use pencil/pen? Skip lines? Categorize by assignment? How to signify a missing/late/incomplete assignment? Keep track of attendance? Record midterm grade? How long should I keep my gradebook after the year is over?
I have long since developed my own method, but it would have been nice to see some examples or to get some suggestions.
I would like to have had a course on the realities of teaching in an urban school. I guess this would fit into a behavior management class. I wish they would have sent us to the toughest schools in the district to do observations or student teaching. We were sent to the best schools the city had so I didn't know the reality of things in the city.
I would love a class that was broken into 3 parts: classroom management (behavior), management of paperwork (has killed me from the beginning!), and educational law.
Tell us your method! I struggle with this, too
Pisces, here are my answers:
Alice, what do you mean you indent every other row? I can't picture that.
Tips of my own I've picked up:
1) Highlight the assignment once you've put it in your grading software.
2) Write the date only at the top and the assignment on the very bottom. There's too little space to cram it in.
3) If a student is missing an assignment I circle the box. However, if the student chose not to turn it in I put an X. I also use E for exempt and C for Choices (our name for ISS.)
4) I group like assignments together in rows - tests, quizzes, center work, etc.
I think I just hijacked this thread, sorry :lol:
ETA: I'm going to start a gradebook thread....
I write the kids from the first row way over to the left in my book. The names of the kids who sit in row 2 are indented about half an inch. Row 3 is back to the left margin; row 4 is indented.
As I check homework during the first weeks of school I can picture which face is attached to which name, since I can picture where they sit.
It also helps me pass papers back early on; I can sort the papers according to rows.
I would scrap my college's program entirely and start new. I had one great professor, otherwise the professors and classes were quite the waste of time. I took a special education class online and I never heard from the teacher, despite my emails for assistance and clarification on certain topics or assignments. He is the type of professor who gives online learning a poor reputation, and that greatly bothers me because the vast majority of my Bachelor's and 100% of my Master's and Rank I were online, and it was a great learning experience.
Anyhow, my entire program was based on writing the exact type of lesson plan graduates would have to write during their first year teaching in Kentucky while they went through KTIP, or their internship. I graduated with a middle school language arts and social studies degree and we had never studied or so much as looked at the Kentucky Scoring Writing Rubric, which is quite important, had never really learned about open response and on-demand writing, which are again extremely important for Kentucky teachers...long list short, we learned very little. I suppose I should give credit to my social studies methods professor...he was good and worthwhile, but I don't teach social studies so I tend to forget that. I also never had to do any student teaching in a language arts classroom...everything was social studies. I think if you are getting certified in two areas, you should have to split your student teaching time. My job is language arts, so there was so much I didn't know my first year.
Okay, that's enough...
Things I wish I learned in school....
1. how to better communicate with parents
2. how to manage all the beginning of the year school paperwork and stuff
3. more time in the actual classroom...i only had 6 weeks of st and one one week practicum
4. more practice and experience on different grade book software
I really don't think any class will teach anyone rational decision making skills.
Statistics is a good thing for anyone to take (though I think it should be a years worth, not just one semester)
A lot of the responses would really help any education program, but I believe that most programs lack the people necessary to successfully teach those courses.
I think the best thing is to get future teachers in the classroom as early and as often as possible. Every teacher that I have ever known has said that they learned more as a teacher than they did as a college student.
Apr 5, 2010
For the most part, I'm pretty happy with my ed program. However, there are a few things that I would change.
1. More time in classrooms. This semester I'm in a classroom 3 hours a week. Next semester, it's one day per week. My final semester is student teaching. If I had it my way, observations would start fall of junior year 3 hrs a week, once a week. The following spring would be 2 days a week, 3 hours per session. Fall semester of senior year would be 2 days a week, full day. Then student teaching my final semester. Right now, I'm subbing so that I can get all of the experience that I feel that I need to be as successful as possible my first year.
2. An actual class in classroom management. Right now, the only way I'm learning any management skills is through taking notes in my observations. I practice the techniques I've seen when subbing, even though it doesn't always get the best results. It scares the crud out of me. How do you handle an out of control class? What happens if a child disregards your instructions? How can you get a class back on track? Managing a class while being supervised would be so so helpful.
3. More emphasis on technology. Right now, my program does have a class that focuses on technology. However, I feel that it could be more extensive or should be extended to 2 semesters. The tech class I'm in now teaches basic programs (word, excel, kid pix, publisher, etc). I would love to have a class to teach us how to implement technology into the classroom, even if you have a limited budget. There are so many free/cheap resources out there that I think new teachers need to know about! Fortunately, I've been learning about these through this board, and through Twitter. A lot of my classmates have no idea what's available.
Okay wow, I had a lot more to say about this than I originally thought.
*gets off soapbox*
At the college I attended, I wish we'd had more SPE classes. Actually hands-on working with a Special Ed teacher. The SPE class I had taught about the different disorders and problems kids have but didn't address how to teach these kids.
My special education course didn't even address IEPs...I kid you not!
I took four "methodology" classes and don't use an ounce of what they taught. The courses were taught by university professors who have never taught elementary school.
Everything I learned about being a teacher I learned during student teaching! Period.
That's easier said than done, Alice!
For example, I am certified to teach K-8! Yes, any grade from kindergarten through eighth grade.
I student taught for five months in second grade. I taught first grade for one year and second grade for the past four years.
Even as a substitute teacher, I normally only accepted jobs in K-3.
Although I'm certified to teach K-8, how would it have been possible for me to experience all those different grade levels?