What kinds of things do you wish your credential program taught you

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peachyness, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 16, 2010

    I'm working on my next comic strip and I wanted to get some ideas from you guys on the things you wish your credential program actually took the time to teach you. My husband is in a credential program right now and his assignments are really quite ridiculous. He spent half the day today looking through youtube videos for this assignment that doesn't make sense (because many schools blocked youtube).

    Anyways, seeing him work on all of these "busy-work" type assignments made me think about the things that they should REALLY be teaching him/preparing him.

    For me, I wish my program took the time to teach us about:
    1) IEPs/SSTs
    2) How to organize paperwork
    3) What to do if a student begins to pout and cry and refuses to do his work (NOW I know what to do, but back then, I was at a loss)
    4) What to do with an irate parent
    5) My rights as a teacher
    6) Smart ways to stay on top of paperwork
    7) organization tips
    8) A HUGE list of things to do/activities/lessons with math manipulatives

    ETA: I KNOW there are threads like this on this site, but the search engine just doesn't work
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think your list is a great list. I also wish that the programs were realistic with the students. Because I'm older, I have children of my own and I subbed for years I was not shocked by the behavior and attitude of students when I entered the profession. So many of my classmates thought those getting their MEds were pessimists that had given up on their job. They thought they could save the world and that if only teachers developed interesting plans and believed in their students the kids would turn around and behave for them. Of course it didn't help that the professors, all of which quit teaching in schools themselves, encouraged those thoughts.

    so, teach me... how do you deal with a pouting crying child and/or irate parents?
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I was in the secondary program, so after my few basic theory of education classes I learned NOTHING about teaching.

    I had one class in teaching, and it was the month before I started student teaching. Everything I'd done up to that point was either "education fluff" or content classes.

    I also did my student teaching with 12th grade and 9th grade, and then I ended up with 7th graders . . . and nothing really gets a person ready for kids that age.
     
  5. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Behavior management.

    More behavior management.

    Maybe a little bit of behavior management.
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    What to do when there is a rattlesnake in the hallway...

    During your formal observation
     
  7. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Throw a coat/ blanket over him then push him under an upended plastic trash bin with a broom handle and stack about 15 books on top of it. But then, I've handled poisonous snakes before.
     
  8. Harper

    Harper Companion

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    Oh sweet heavens to Betsy - I would just DIE!!!!:eek:hmy:
     
  9. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2010

    I'm in a credential program right now, and I really wish they would teach us how to take the state curriculum and break it down into lessons. The district where I'm student teaching has it broken down into units, but I'm still having trouble with it.

    Also Classroom management please! Everything I know is from trial and error while subbing.

    How to deal with parents, what to expect during IEP/ARD/504 meetings, how to keep a straight face when a student says something that is inappropriately funny, the list could go on.
     
  10. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2010

    How about dealing with a group of children who CAN'T go into the building and use the bathroom, because there is a nest of squirrels in the closet next to the bathroom...and animal control is in the building to get them out.
    We're outside for extended recess until they finish.

    Same deal, but you can't use your classroom, because there is a bat in it.
    Or a bat in the bathroom sink.

    Then there was the cute one, a sleeping mouse on the bookshelf. I got an oatmeal box put it over it. Maintainance came and got it. Seems there was a gerbil loose in the building...and it fit the description...unfortunately it wasn't the gerbil.
     
  11. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    WOW, with the exception of #5 my teaching program (the brick and mortar) taught us everything on that list. It was really a great program and I didn't realize other programs are so bad off until I started reading here and other boards.

    They may be teaching #5 now. Hope they are because the contract issues ended up being my problem, I had no clue about the roughness or oppression (IMO) behind teacher contracts. They did touch on other legal matters though. Like, how to handle a parent who is an irate lawyer and they are trying to set you up using their legal expertise...

    We role played being a hostile parent etc. The professors always gave real life examples of what we would see. And it was a graduate program, so half of the people in there were already experienced teachers and were always allowed to share their expertise.
    Everybody had to do a presentation for every class, so that way we learned a lot from each other also.

    So even though the main focus was on lesson plans, but creative and engaging lesson plans and instruction, they still taught other issues. One class was Classroom Management, and the other was dealing with all Special Education issues and so on.

    But despite all of that, if it wasn't for years of subbing I still would have been and felt extremely unprepared.

    The only thing I would add right now is working in tough urban populations. And the politics of the field. That could use more focus. But with RTTT and other political mandates, I don't know when or if I'll ever feel prepared.

    It was a private college btw, don't know if that makes a difference.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 17, 2010

    Time management

    Practical things, like grading scales, and how to weight grades, and when to weight grades, and deciding what grades mean.

    Making good decision regarding curriculum.

    Much more about assessment. I had one good class which taught me a lot about assessment, but I needed more. Like how to continually assess and make changes based on that.
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I'm in the middle of a credentialing program. It's all right. I only spend one day a week in courses, and the other four days I teach at a training school. I feel I am learning all this great theory that's not actually getting applied in the Real Life Classroom. :lol: I would like some more clarity on how X, Y, and Z specifically looks every day. Cause once you get in there it's SO hard to do it all.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Egads! Snakes and bats!!! Good list so far!!

    I forgot to add:
    9) they should prepare us on how to handle bugs and bees in the classroom
    10) what to do if a student vomits in your room
    11) steps to take if a student's desk collapses (yup, this happened to one of my kids when I taught fifth).
    12) how to handle the whole ordeal of when they shut all of the water off in your school due to possible contamination (thanks to my student who first spotted it in my classroom water fountain- our school made the news that night)
    13) how to calm a kindergarten student down on the first day of school and/or what to do when you have a runner



    Someone asked how to handle a pouter/cryer. Well, it all depends on the student and the situation. If the student is crying for attention, then they won't get it from me that way and I will tell them that. I will ask them to please go to their desk (if it's kindergarten and we are on the rug) and they are welcomed to come back after they cheered up. I also have Sammy the Bear. So, if they are upset/pouty/crying they are always welcomed to speak to him about their troubles. Otherwise, I just ignore them or talk to them if it's something serious. Just depends on the situation. Sometimes a hug can go a long ways.
     
  15. SoReady2Teach

    SoReady2Teach Comrade

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    1. What to do when the copier or laminating machine goes crazy on you.
    2. 101 crafty uses for construction paper
    3. How to handle the politics of school; how to be yourself but avoid the pitfall of workroom gossip
    4. How to survive until you get your first paycheck
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    14) one of the first things they should teach you is to become best friends with the office staff/janitors. :)
     
  17. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Oct 17, 2010


    QFT!
     
  18. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    My school did a pretty good job with lesson planning and paperwork, but I wish they gave us more real class experience. I had a 16 week student teaching placement that was split 8 weeks each in 2 grades; I felt like just as I had total control of the class and teaching, I was done.

    I know I would moan and complain about it but really, a whole year of student teaching would be more effective.....or at least a semester in only one class.
     
  19. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Makes me ever so thankful for my wonderful university!

    That said:
    --What do do when you walk into your room for the first time and are surrounded by the mess the retiring teacher left and are completely overwhelmed by all the textbooks, resource materials, etc. that you need to look through and you just want to cry because you have no idea what to do! (Whew...)
    --How to structure the first day/week of school. If you S/T in spring, you never get to experience the beginning of the year...
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I wholeheartedly agree. When I was in college, I lived off of grants and student loans, so for me, it would have worked out to spend a whole entire year student teaching. With that said, at my university, I spent three months in two grades, Kinder and fifth, so I felt that I had a decent amount of time. But, I wasn't there when school first started and I wasn't there when school came to a close. It would have been VERY nice to have experienced both.
     
  21. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Peachyness--yes! Just like PP above you mentioned, I started in the spring term so when I was interviewing this summer, I felt unprepared about how I would initiate rules and procedures in the classroom.....by the time I got there, we were 4 months into the school year and I finished 6 weeks before the end.

    Back in August, I contacted my STing school and asked if I could come in (for free) just to observe the first days of school and see how teachers organized their classrooms and kicked off the year. They were welcoming.....but then I was offered a full time para position that I just couldn't pass up. By the time I was done interviewing and ready to start, the school I was hired at had already been in session for a week! So I STILL haven't experienced the beginning of a year! :lol:
     
  22. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Oct 17, 2010

    How to keep a grade book.
     
  23. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oct 17, 2010

    My list is the same as most others.

    • How to manage paperwork
    • How to come up with an RtI plan
    • Laws in your state about teachers
    • How to live on no money (lol)
    • What to keep and what's ok to toss (almost like how to manage paperwork)
    • HOW to grade (i.e., is it "unethical" to take a grade out of 20 points if there are only 10 qquestions?)
    • How to help students set their own goals
    • More about cooperative learning and "teams"
     
  24. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    I have no idea at all how to add certifications to my license. This seems like something kind of basic that they should have reviewed with us.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Heck, I didn't learn for sure until six months after I started teaching whether or not I needed to take the Praxis exam. My advisor said he 'thought' I didn't. One professor said I did. A fellow student said I did not. Another professor said I didn't have to until three years down the road. I think something like that should be very clear.
     
  26. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    How to deal with other school professionals especially those in your classroom on a daily basis.

    I have no idea what I can and cannot ask of the para's in my room and sadly anything I ask is ignored anyhow.
     
  27. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    dealing with teachers that don't like their jobs yet sign a contract every year to come back to the same job.
     
  28. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    How to kindly explain to a child that he/she has such poor hygiene that the windows have to be opened.

    How to refocus when there are constant interruptions.

    How to keep kids quiet during a fire drill.

    How to keep 5th graders from wandering the halls when they are supposed to be going to breakfast.

    How to survive the bus trip on a field trip.

    How to keep the neighborhood dog off the playground...He keeps getting loose, and he is so friendly, but some kid are afraid of him, and he likes to leave deposits around. Sigh.
     
  29. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Well said-- I agree that planning interesting classes is important to keeping student attention and thus a better managed classroom, but I really did get the impression that an interesting class is the cure-all to problems, and if you're having them, your class isn't interesting enough. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty that I had any trouble at all-- there could have been a dose of realism reminding us that some kids are probably dead set on socializing or acting out no matter how fantastic your plan is.

    --How to sit down and plan a whole schoolyear-- overwhelming!
    --What questions to ask to get a good grip on what your particular school's culture is like.
    --Turning student work into grades that fairly reflect their effort and understanding
     

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