Saturday, February 5, 2011



I'm currently a student teacher, and in an attempt to maintain some semblance of sanity, I've decided to start blogging about my experience, thoughts, and whatever else I need to put down on text.

A bit about me, I'm 26, I live in Washington, and am highly qualified in mid-level math and science. I'm currently in a masters program to get my MEd and teaching certificate, and am currently doing my practicum (teacher observation) at a middle school. I live in a house with my artist girlfriend, a roommate, and two cats, and have a (very) part time job as a case worker for catholic community services.

One of my real big interests is educational technology, and the various ways technology can enhance education. Right now I think that is one of the major areas where education is really failing to serve students, by providing excellent online options for their schools. That being said, I've also seen a lot of schools with online stuff that gets ignored by the students as well as the teachers, so I think that the online option might be something that is either a bit too ahead of its time, or not fully implemented in a useful way. Too often, students don't need to check the online stuff, it doesn't enhance their education in any major way, so it gets left alone. But for the students who are naturally internet inclined and might happen to miss a few days, I think that there are a lot of options.

Still, I think from a teacher's perspective, if you use the online stuff effectively enough, it could probably offer a lot of cool opportunities for web quests and what not. I don't know, it's something I'm going to have to do some research on eventually, as it might be something I'll use in the future, or even want to get involved with.

The program I'm currently in is a secondary science focused program, and thus far I've been really enjoying it. The head professor is a slashdotter, which I have been since high school, so we speak a similar dialect. The classes have been very intense, but I've been somehow managing to stay afloat with only a handful of mental breakdowns.

My student observation has been going pretty well. I'll spare a lot of the details in this post, but it consists of two science preps, a math-science block, and a sort of engineering class. The teacher has her national board certification, and really has a good handle on the stuff. That being said, it's incredibly intimidating to follow that act. Still, for all my weaknesses and novice skill level, I bring a passion, a genuine enthusiasm for kids and science, and a wealth of science knowledge. It'll be interesting to see how well I do going through the shredder that is a middle school classroom. They've already figured out I'm a huge nerd, but I don't deny it. Science really is my thing. And after a while, I think they somehow think it's acceptable, and seem to want to spend time talking to me about stuff. It's probably just the novelty of having someone else in the classroom, but I usually try to bring up some cool science news that they might not know.

And hell, that's what keeps me going on science. They just found a bunch of exoplanets, and something like 40 of them are candidates for life. Holy hell, that's cool. They're making more breakthroughs in AIDS research. Also awesome. Bacteria are now able to synthesize gasoline from CO2. We're living in the future, and I think kids deserve to know what this abstract stuff is going towards.

I guess I should close this on a personal note, and just say that this path towards teaching is really taking a toll on me, but it's a good sort of toll. Before I started, I was a sort of aimless IT geek philosopher who wanted to share science with the world. I've found a path towards it, and while it is burning away a lot of my weaknesses and neurosis, I think I'm liking who I'm becoming, I'm finding my way out of the labyrinth that is the mid 20s.


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