h1

ode to grammar

July 2, 2007

I’m trying to pack my apartment. Once I do this, I’ll take all my stuff to P-ville, where I will begin my first teaching job. So far, this job has been nothing but stressful, but its the kind of stress you feel right before sky-diving, or perhaps falling in love for the first time. A deep stomach apprehension, afraid of the fall, but full of the knowledge that it will be well worth the effort. At least, that’s what it seems like from way up here on this precipice.

So I’m packing. I’m coming across things I forgot I had. Here is a short essay I was required to write for my Education Psychology class. I’m just gonna say now that this is poorly and shoddily written, and that most of what I have to say here is void or simply immature. Here you go…

“‘D’s Field Experience Paper’ or ‘What I’ve learned about learning while learning’

“The time I have spent in the education department has been very shaky. I will admit, upfront and before all else, that my desire to be a teacher was wavered with each day. some days I can’t wait to be a teacher, some days I nevere want to enter a classroom again, and other days, I simply wish I’d picked a different field. I assume this is normal, because teachers are people too. However, this has given me a somewhat cynical view of the education process in Texas.

“I am from New Mexico, where we do things differerntly. Granted, New Mexico is considerably lower on the rankings in education than Texas, but it’s not as hositle in my home state. Texas seems to have a very harsh view of how to teach, espeically in my field, music. In the music field, there is only one way tot do things, and to do them differntly, even when they are better, is almost sacriligious.

“My experience with the teaching side of things has been less than pleasant, however. I taught private lessons for a year and hated it. I go to observe a very angry teacher for a semester, and resolved to not let my anger get the best of me in the classroom. I obcserved a teacher in the area that had no control over hre class, which led me to believe they could not be actually teaching. Other classes I’ve observed have proved nothing to me other than the complexes of the directors of the discipline problems they have allowed to continue. Perhaps my distance from that type of classroom has prevented me from realizeing, maybe that his is the way things are, and that these classes are some of the best in the state. However, if it is this way, I am saddened, and I don’t wknow if teaching is for me. I could do better than every one of the teachers i’ve seen thus fra, and that makes me sad because I’ve only been half-hearted about this so far.

“Pulling it back a bit, I see that this particular class is a bit more beneficial than EDPD 3340. I felt that class was a waste of time for a music major. The only classes I’ve felt were truly worthwwile have been the ones tought in the music department, and if I had the power, I’d restructure things a bit. It’s better to have these things taught in a music perspective, because I don’t fully see how doing general education populated classes benefits me to the level I would want it to do the job I’m studying for.

“However, since I’ve been in such a class, I do have the say that it’s been interesting, and allowed me some discourse with fellow teachers I wouldn’t have had normally. I have learned a considerable amount of information about how the classroom can work most efficiaently, and have learned to see things a bit differently in the classroom.

“Some of the most important things I’ve learned are about the actual psychology of thinking. Some of it was covered for in an Elementary Music class, but as far as middle school and secondary goes, I’ve learned more. Unfortunately, my focus is secondary education, which i haven’t learned all the much about. Some, but not much. so i’d like to learn more about the high school psyche, even though, some days, it’s pretty easy to realize. Discussions on different psychological theories (Piaget, Eriksson, etc.) were very interesting, because like to put things in boxes. The breakdown by competency was good too.

“I suppose the single most important thing I learned was about meta-cognition. I, personally, am constatnly reflecting on the actions I take and the things I say to people, so that concept won’t be one too hard to grasp when I get out in the field. However, I really want students to realize how they learn individually, and a challenge for me will be finding a teaching methods that incorporates all the different ways of learning. I feel that to fairly provide the best learning experience, a teacher has to incorporate as much stimuli and information as possible.

“As a music teacher, this means teaching both learning by rote and by sight, and teaching studens to be proficient with music quickly. I’d like to try playing recordings, doing a lot of sight reading, and trying to expose students to many different influences as possible. Something I’ve wanted to see done in a music classroom at the secondary level is having a day every now and again where they just listen to music and talk abou it. It’s unfortunate that bands and other music groups in high school are treated like the athletics programs, where if you don’t win, you could lose your job. Id would like to try and take the focus of learning away form the competitiveness and apply it in more music appreciation and learning about music really is and has been. That may take a lot of work, sadly. I have to say that my drive to try and accomplish something like this came from this class. I’ve also thought about getting a degree in English, and taking that to the secondary level as well.

“Diversity in the classroom hasn’t really been a problem for me because I grew up in a town large enough to have many different kinds of students. However, I know it can be a problem between students, and that is something I’d like to work on. I think something that could be better eemphasized in our classes, perhaps, is the dynamic between students. Granted, we cover conflict resolution in EDPD, but theri s more to the peer dynamic than just fights. Howe does a teacher handle change? How doe a teacher handle accusations of favoritism? And how does a teacher handle inter-teacher relations? All valid questions, in my opinion. There is a lot about teaching that isn’t taught. In one of the music education classes, we have to do projects over particular topics not covered in the classroom, and sometimes, they get to do fundraising, which is a persistent problem for ensemble directors. I guess that goes back to how I would like to have the music students left in the music department.

“I have to say that overall, I won’t call my time in the education department negative, but I will have to say that I don’t think I’d do things the way they are done now, simply because I see some flaws in the system. But I’m always looking for those. I have learned quite a bit in this class, and sometimes, in ways that you don’t expect to learn them.

‘”Working with other prospective teachers in the classroom, like during our debates, gives us an opportunity to function on a level that will be beneficial as professionals, even though we are just being thrown into the ring and told to fight. We get to exchange ideas, and I know I use some of those ideas to create plans in my own head. It’s an integral part of being a teacher: watching a teacher, saying “hey, I could do that, but this way,” and then getting it implemented. So often my chosen field gets almost dumbed down to the guy on the box in front of the kids who waves the stick, and it’s a lot more than that. Interaction with administrator, interaction with parents (which is being handled better in this class than the last one), interaction between fields, interaction across platforms. It’s all very useful stuff. I just hope I can put it to use.”

This essay hurts like a papercut on my brain, I swear it.

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5 comments

  1. Meta learning!

    And dude, we’re doing the editing on PQ? You and me? Gods help us!!

    “New Mexico – We do things differerntly.” Haha!


  2. Oh damn….we’re totally screwed.


  3. Heh. Sometimes, I look back on my old essays and cringe, too. What did you get as a grade on this, if you don’t mind my asking…?


  4. A mere 10 of 10, but I should have gotten a slap in the face for being so rude.


  5. I am so excited that you are starting your first teaching job! I hope you write about your experiences, your challenges, the ways you will handle conflict and diversity, different learning styles, and inter teacher relations….

    So exciting. Congratulations friend!



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