Sunday, September 04, 2005

Back To Skool!

I'm Chance. I am in my early 30s (ancient for my station in life, but quite immature at heart). I have a BA and a Master's for some goddam reason. On paper, I suppose I'm qualified to teach college, but I have just started attending state school to get public teacher certification, because I want to teach elementary school. It's been a long and winding road to discover what it is I want to do with my life, but this is indeed my calling.

I am also currently working fulltime at a private daycare / pre-K / kindergarten. I have mostly worked with 4 and 5 year olds, but unfortunately our current crop of kids is skewed more toward the 3 range. I could rant and rave endlessly about my place of employment, but I'd rather avoid negativity and stay focused on my career path goal: to be a first or second grade teacher.

As I've just started, I'm taking two mandatory core classes, both once a week from 7 to 9:45 p.m. I've attended both classes twice now (at, I reckoned, $53 per session). The first is the Psychology of Education. It is taught by Mr. S, who wrote the textbook and thus considers himself a pretty big lasagna around these parts. he lectures off the book and tells us the updates he's writing for the new edition. After about an hour, he leaves the room entirely, letting his TA do all the grunt work of handing out and grading assignments, bringing in videos and guest speakers, etc.

The second class is American Public School, taught by Mr. A. He is an ebullient, enthusiastic man with a true love for the profession of teaching. He loves to put students on the spot, call on them unexpectedly, make them answer a question in five (or three!) words or less --- not to inflict some kind of power trip on them or to be derisive, but to try to get students worked up, to participate, to think about and even unconsciously apply what we're studying. It seems to work.

Starting the Monday after Labor Day, I begin my first session (of a total 20 hours) of in-class tutoring at W Elementary. Now, my job history already includes public school teacher's aide, after-school care teaching assistant, Montessori teacher's aide and head Pre-K teacher, so this ain't my first ro-day-o, as they say. Still, I'd be lying if I said I weren't a little anxious.

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