Which is more important?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Which is more important?
6
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 2:23pm

In an earlier thread I mentioned changes in licensing that have been proposed for our state by the new superintendent of the DOE.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 6:29pm

IMO the content courses were much more valuable. To me, there is no equivalent to being in the classroom. I think if we could have combined a couple of the methods courses, and added more classroom experience, I would have been better prepared. Frankly, I don't even remember most of what we learned in those classes. The information that I use daily comes from my content courses.

Now this may be because I teach secondary. I think the concerns by the elementary teachers that you discussed are valid, but I don't have experience in that arena.

HTH!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 9:28pm

Thanks. Based on your comments, how steep do you think your learning curve was during your first year or two? How did you come to the point that you knew your methods were effective, that you had control and organization, and felt confident that you were in the right career doing the right things? I guess I'm wondering about the experiences that taught you what you'd missed in field/classroom experiences and methods.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Wed, 09-30-2009 - 2:54pm

I'm going to vote for my content courses being more valuable in my teaching experience, at the risk of offending many of you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Wed, 09-30-2009 - 8:41pm

In my first two years, I was at an AWFUL school. I really had no idea how to control a classroom without just sending kids to the office for whatever problem it was.

To me, it seemed like the classrooms preached a lot of huggy-lovey, self-esteem-above-all-else "discipline". I've taught in 2 different schools now, and what works for me is to talk straight with the kids. I go in with a chip on my shoulder, and until they realize I'm in charge, I don't let it go. For instance today a kid gave me attitude. My Ed professors would've said to take him aside, and ask him what is really going on, blah, blah, blah. What I actually did was tell him in front of everyone, "Knock that crap off. Don't you ever talk to me like that!" He apologized and a few minutes later, we were joking with each other.

I believe the kids know I care without having a mother hen personality in the classroom. This is my 3rd year at this school, and while I have a reputation as a witch (my word, not the kids')!, I have a lot of kids who I know enjoy my class and former students who still seek me out to say hello.

I just feel the discipline that was taught in my Ed classes was unrealistic. Maybe I've been in the wrong schools for that. I don't know...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Wed, 09-30-2009 - 8:43pm
Another reason that maybe the classroom-taught discipline strategies don't work for me is because I look so young. I've had many people mistake me for students, and I know that some of my kids look older than I do. I try to make it clear that we are not on the same level though.
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Avatar for caraleas
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-1997
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 11:04pm

The most useful courses I had were specifically my music ed methods courses - Elementary music methods and secondary choral methods, as well as my conducting courses. My general education courses (Ed Psych, Teachers and the Law, Special Education stuff) were not terribly useful. The best thing about the music methods courses were that my professor (and advisor) used her sabbaticals to go out and teach in the public schools for a year. Her CURRENT real-world experience made for practical, useful methods and discipline techniques. It also helped that my small, private university had very small classes. None of my music ed courses had more than 5 students in them. We taught practice lessons to our class every week, and got honest, helpful feedback from both the prof and fellow students. We did a couple of observation/experiences before our student teaching (through the regular school of ed - I was in a fourth grade classroom once a week for a semester), and the prof took our class out to a couple different schools to test drive lessons we developed, as well as going out and observing master teachers. She also required that we attend state music educators conferences and Orff/Kodaly workshops. I learned a ton in those workshops - and they were free for students. I think the current program requires more student teaching time (and at more than one level, which I think is great.

So, I guess the most valuable courses were both content and methods - but specific methods for my area....



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