I agree with the blog and with the general statements made by the rest of the class in terms of the need and use for evolving technology in a classroom setting. New programs and devices can make a really overused text (like Hamlet or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) interesting and fun for both teacher and student. However, I think that there is a definite, and obvious, need as well for the staff members using the technology to first be properly trained on the devices before trying to implement them in their classroom. But even with that seemingly obvious and simple concept, arises problems. The direct example that comes to mind (which has occurred in multiple classrooms that I have been in while at work) involves one teacher who is obviously capable of using the new technology assigned to his classroom. This teacher was assigned a SmartBoard by the administrative offices downtown, however, he is “not qualified” to use said technology because he hasn’t undergone the “proper” training to do so. Therefore, the brand new Smart Board that was waiting for him in his classroom on the first day of the Fall semester, still sits, completely untouched, in a drab corner in his room. In this case, the teacher is being restricted primarily by the rules and guidelines laid out for the benefit of the teacher and as a result, is inhibited to the teaching strategies and materials that can be implemented in the classroom.
This week’s classroom observations offered up a full variety of classroom management skills being firmly executed, or in some cases, completely ignored. At the beginning of the week I spoke with my boss and two of the other aides and we collaborated on the classrooms that they thought I should observe. We all had our opinions of who was the best, and worst, in terms of classroom management, so we made a list of who I should visit. I’ve been working my way through the list and have sat in on three completely different classes so far. It was a little disheartening to see some very poor skills in a History class (the teacher literally read a newspaper for 17 minutes before he even acknowledged the presence of the class), but encouraging to see some great management in a Science class.
I hope that by the time I am a teacher, I will have obtained a slight idea about what it is that I want from my students and how I want to portray myself as an educator. I feel relatively confident going into the field since I already have a great advantage over many of my peers in terms of my job. I already teach on a daily basis, but I get to do it the easy way first. I work one-on-one with a variety of kids and attitudes, and am able to implement different strategies on a daily basis. I have a lot of experience utilizing the strategies taught in our textbooks, and have a very good idea about which strategies look good on paper and which ones actually work. I hope that by the time I am a teacher, I will have a pretty good idea of the types of lesson plans that I want to use and the disciplinary techniques that work best, but most of all, I hope that I am able to learn to just be myself and have fun. I think that teaching is a completely useless profession if the instructor has to constantly stress about what they’re doing and how they look while doing it, so I hope that I will continue to walk into my classroom every morning ready to have a good time.