written August 7, 2011
The final education interview/review before beginning student teaching went well. Like many of the other candidates I spent several days reviewing educational theories and my own past musings on the subject before last Tuesday, yet the actually interview was much more conversational in nature. Either that, or simply being ultra-prepared I had an answer always at the ready.
First they asked about my own “journey,” and I had to begin by giving credit to my parents for reading to me every night at bedtime, which instilled a love for stories and learning. Without knowing I could guess that your own parents were also quite supportive of your early ventures. One question that was sort of a compliment, I was asked if I was aware of “coming alive in front of a class.” Many other teachers have led me to view it all as a performance, which can be freeing with so many eyes upon me. It’s not me, it’s this other guy up there, talking for seven hours! When I was little I was quite the entertainer, such as doing impromptu stand-up at recess, and the more reserved present me has been trying to tap back into my long ago showmanship. I also noticed (or imagined) during the interview that perhaps for the first time the discussion was occurring nearly at the level of other colleagues, wherein I was no longer just the student reflecting back some assigned reading. I had not taken a class with many professors there for a year or more and their awareness of intervening growth was satisfied, and satisfying.
And while I was typing this my cooperating teacher called and we discussed our first weeks. She suggested we simply have current event discussions as a way to learn about the kids. I thought it was a great idea, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for anything local, national or international that teens should know or have a chance to talk about. This last week I’ve gotten a good grasp on the future units’ materials, and not a moment too soon, but I don’t want to get caught up in the all the details like with the eccentric Illinois test. Many professors just wanted to include their own niche interests and have their life’s work represented, something semi-obscure like the Battle of Agincourt. Instead perhaps one well-placed anecdote can make all the difference.