Wednesday, May 31, 2006

First day of school

Today was our first day of summer school. Many MTC members are staying in Oxford because they live too far away to commute to classes. I'm commuting because I have a $600 rent to pay every month so there is no point in shelling out more money for an apartment in Oxford for only a month. All of the DeSoto county teachers have decided to carpool to and from Holly Springs/Oxford to cut down on the amount of money spent on gas and so that we don't succumb to the monotony of driving to and fro every day. Anyway, today was our first class and I have to say that the morning session was useless. All we really did was follow along with the professor as she read the syllabus and class schedule. The afternoon session however was quite an improvement. We talked about different instructional techniques which is something I really need to improve upon. I think the 45 minutes spent after lunch were some of the most productive minutes I've spent in the classroom (as a student) all year. It was really a breath of fresh air. For so long, (much of first semester and all of second) we didn't learn anything in our graduate classes that could really be used in our classroom. I want that back. Although it may sound bad to traditional education folks, I don't really care about all the theory behind education. I just want to become a better teacher for my students. Give me something I can use MTC. The problem I see with this summer is that I am not going to come away with much that I can use in my own classroom. I am teaching Biology in the summer but I don't teach that during the year. I don't view it as a waste of time as others might because I will be teaching students and trying different instructional techniques and management plans. I keep telling myself that I will get out what I put in, so even though I'll never use these lesson plans again, I know I can really use this time to hone in on a few skills that still need a bit of developing.

For better or worse, it's over

We're finally finished. I have one year under my belt. It's funny, I don't feel any different. I don't really feel like a second year teacher. Maybe that's because it hasn't hit me yet. It's only been a few days since school has ended and I'm soaking up these last, fleeting free moments before I start summer classes.

It seems like the year went by extremely fast in hindsight, but we all know that it was painfully long. Those who have gone before me in MTC told me that the second semester of my first year would be so much better than my first semester, but the second semester seemed never ending. I think the reason that the second semester went so slowly was that my instruction was stagnant. I didn't vary my instructional techniques as much as I did the first semester. Next year, I will work on using many different instructional techniques all year. In fact, what I really want to get out of this summer school graduate class is examples of varying instructional techniques for science, especially the Physical Sciences.