Saturday, October 3, 2009

MAT Update

I know... lame title, right? :-)

Well I am still on my way to becoming a school teacher. I am learning lots of good stuff in my classes right now, like differentiation strategies and classroom management skills and such. But the real meat of what I am learning right now is in my practicum. For Concordia's MAT program, they place us in two different classrooms: A shorter, part-time role in a classroom during fall semester for one day a week (practicum), and a longer, full-time role in a different classroom during spring semester (student teaching).

I am currently taking classes at Concordia four days a week and on my fifth day I help out in an 8th grade math classroom in NE Portland. In the spring I will be done with my coursework and will be placed in a 5th grade class in SE Portland, student teaching full-time.

The students in my NE Portland school don't come from the best neighborhood, so the biggest issue in the classroom is behavior management. I am gleaning as many tips as I can get from my cooperating teacher. The biggest thing that I have learned so far is that I should not be afraid of them. 8th graders are not little elementary kids anymore and deserve to be treated like older, more responsible people. However, they are certainly not adults yet and must still be trained to do the right thing (homework, decent behavior, etc). I must constantly remind myself that I am a responsible adult, I have my life together, and my role is to teach them the skills they need to grow up. How can I expect to teach them properly if I am scared of having the authority over them? I can't.

Halfway done with fall semester. Will give another update during winter break.

Adios muchachos!

Riedlblog label: Teaching, Kids