Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Instruction Manual for Teaching?

Reading more of Gee and listening to Greg and Orlando today made me realize something about this course.  If we learn best by participation rather than by reading, then perhaps that explains why I feel so uncomfortable with this class.  It's like I'm reading the instruction book without having the game for context.  It can be disorienting and frustrating.  If I could be teaching and applying what I'm learning and the same time, I feel that would be more comfortable and natural for me.  Now you guys are all in varying stages – not teaching, observing, student teaching, co-teaching, teaching independently, etc.  So what do you think?

4 comments:

Hali Resney said...

I agree Grace, I'm not currently teaching have not experienced student teaching yet, so it is hard to take the theories that we are reading about and apply them to a classroom when we don't have experience in a classroom. I liked your analogy of it being like having the instruction manual but no game. I think we need to just take in what we can right now, and go back to our notes and readings once we are student teaching/teaching on our own.

Pierce said...

I must say that I understand what you are saying, Grace. Although, I have already done my student teaching. I am not in charge of a classroom at this point, so I can not put the theory into practice. I can however see where the theory would have a place in the classroom. I would just say to do as Hali said and take notes and look back at them and the theory when you are in front of a classroom and then find ways to incorporate that information into your practice.

Shannon said...

I'm in a similar situation to Pierce, and I would have to agree with what he said. I think these courses on theory are more or less to implant basic ideas and attitudes that will carry through in everything you do later on. My undergraduate program was based on very similar ideas that the Warner school holds, and I remember feeling the same frustration before my student teaching experience. But then, when I went into my student teaching, even though my CT was a very traditional, authoritarian type teacher, when I took over the class I was able to create, hands-on activities in which students were constructing knowledge for themselves. It just came naturally because of all the theory classes I had endured...

Cassandra said...

Grace,
I hear what you are saying. It is frustrating to be learning all of this material and not be able to use it. However, I would encourage you to think about how you would integrate this into a classroom.

The time will come quickly when you will be in a classroom student teaching. However, even when you are student teaching you don't always get to try out the things that you are learning in class due to your cooperating teacher and their ways of teaching.

While I know that your situation is frustrating, and were complete in your shoes last year, enjoy this chance to immerse yourself in theory. Get as much from these summer classes as you can...because come fall, when you are student teaching, you aren't going to have the time to read as much as you do now.