I’m pretty sure that my articles for this website are going to be hit and miss this week, as well as the next, but I actually have an excellent excuse this time. I’m doing my observations!!
What are observations? Well, I’m glad you asked. They’re a practice all aspiring teachers (like myself) must undertake. They entail teaching students sitting in the back of classrooms, doing nothing, and trying not to cry from the boredom. I’m lucky that I’m working with some awesome Social Studies teachers (my endorsement), but I still hate to just sit there. It’s never been in my nature. Eventually, I have to start getting involved and have some “active engagement” with the students, but I’m hesitant on that score. For one thing, I’m pretty sure it encroaches on those poor teachers, and I already feel like I’m overstepping my bounds. I’ve taught in classrooms long term before, and I hated sharing my classroom. I couldn’t imagine having a classroom for years then sharing it with a stranger. I’d loathe the very sight of them.
Such is the life of a teaching student, however. I lose two weeks of work while annoying some really talented teachers. All the while, I have to type up notes and write papers about the experience. Yup. Not frustrating at all. It’s all in preparation for this fall when I have to give up 12 weeks of work for the giant headache that is student teaching.
I get the apprentice-like aspect of these teaching requirements. I really do. It makes sense on the surface that you’d want your children’s educators to be put through their paces like this. Teachers need to study other teachers. They need to really know what they’re doing. Unfortunately, I think it might also have the negative effect of deterring some genuinely excellent and smart people. I mean, seriously: who can actually afford to lose so many months of work while still attending college full-time? Not many people. Smart people are likely to take a business-type job right out of college.
There’s not a lot of gratitude out there for good teachers, either. If you’re doing a good job, no one says anything. If you’re doing a so-so job, then parents are all up in your business. So, I think student teaching might not necessarily produce the best teachers, but it does produce the most stubborn. Stubborn people have their place, and this is a beneficial trait for a teacher surely, but it really depends on your reasons for becoming a teacher in the first place. If you’re stubborn because you just want to help children learn that freaking much, then you’re going to be a great teacher. If you go through the process because you want a job with academic ambition and your summers off, you’re probably not the best example of the profession. I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere between these two, so I’ll probably be an okay teacher at best.
Oh, well. At least I enjoy the subject. Social studies rocks!