from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Teaching is not as easy as it looks 

which is what my former student teacher decided. He knew the subject matter, as a 4.0 student majoring in history at University of Maryland. But he was in for a shock when he began first with assisting his two co-operating teachers [I shared him with another] and then when he was doing his first mini-unit for me. He could have become a decent teacher had he been willing to stick with it, but he came in thinking, as far too many do, that as long as he knew al the material he would be a wonderful teacher.

Don't get me wrong -- I would HOPE that a teacher knows the content area, although I remember that in hs one of the best classes I ever had was in Probability and Statistics [especially since it made me a far better card player!], whose teacher,John Genereaux, stayed all of one chapter ahead of the class.

Teaching requires an ability to connect with the age group in the classroom, which in this case was 9th graders. It requires patience [even if you don't always let the little darlings know how patient your really are] and it certainly requires skills at motivating others, and fear is an insufficient tool upon which to rely.

It's too bad that so many who are making policy decisions about teachers and about our schools really have so little understanding of what the teaching process is truly about. I was thinking of this because I saw what my Governor, Mark Warner, is now proposing in is capacity as chair of the National Governor's Association. Mark's a nice man, but I really do not think he gets it.

Will he be yet another Dem who has served as head of NGA that tries for the presidency? Think of his predecessors -- Clinton and Dean, to be sure. I was wondering if Dukakis was not also at some point - I do remember him being voted the most effective governor by his compatriots.

I need to make some posting on educational policy, and promise toa ttempt to do something within the next week. But as a teacher, with one more class of tests to correct, and two former students who have invited me to their Court of Honor as they become Eagle Scouts [and me someone who dropped out before Webelos] I am afraid this will be it for today's blogging.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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