Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Note About Standardized Testing stinks.

But we all knew that, right? We've all been on the test taker side of this topic. And now, as I am making the transition to the other side of this equation, I'm beginning to realize that it's worse on this side. I'd rather take a test any day than have to rely on the results of my students' test scores to keep my job. It doesn't matter how good of a teacher you are because some kids are just terrible test takers. Students are unreliable when it comes to testing. Sometimes, it's a bad day. Sometimes, it's just a bad test. "Teaching to the test" - a phrase I never heard until I went to a public high school. This notion is what I am least looking forward to in my own classroom. What can you do, though? Especially with these new Race to the Top funds that TN has been granted - it's even more important that students perform well on these tests. You have to teach what is going to be tested, otherwise you're putting your job in jeopardy.

In an ideal world, I'd have control over what's being taught in my own classroom.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Website Atrocities.

I just finished a class called "Microcomputers in the K-12 Educational Setting." A bit antiquated, huh? Well, that was the tone for the entire class. Basically, our professor had us build an entire website using Microsoft Word (gag). Now, I'm no html professional, but I've used Dreamweaver and other such html editing software and, after you get the hang of it, it's lightyears better than Word. Ok, so I realize that not everyone has access to Dreamweaver or something similar (::cough:: even though there are plenty of free html editors out there), so I guess that's why Word was the program of choice. BUT, to force us to use Word is ludicrous. I had to keep everything really basic, because trying to do anything more was entirely too frustrating.

Needless to say...I'm glad the class is over.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm reinventing my blog to chronicle my life as an aspiring teacher. I am currently in the middle of my master's program at MTSU in Murfreesboro, TN. The degree program is Curriculum & Instruction for Secondary Education and it's part of the initial licensure track. So far, it's a bunch of BS. I have learned TWO things that can be applied to a career in teaching.

1.) How to make a lesson plan.
2.) How to make a good test.

After 8 classes, 2 of them have taught me 1 piece of useful information each.

"Educational reform" is a myth. A joke. TN has heralded a "better teacher education program" for its universities. As a product of one of these programs, I can safely say that I am sorely unprepared to enter the classroom as a teaching professional. I say this now because next semester will be my last before student teaching and all I lack are two education courses. The other three courses I will be taking are English classes (fun!) to meet the requirements for a secondary English endorsement on my license. I hope my student teaching semester will give me a hefty dose of pertinent information to take with me to my own classroom because my professors sure haven't done anything to prepare me. How do you expect aspiring teachers to learn how to teach when you are incapable of doing so? It doesn't make any sense that I am supposed to be learning how to teach from those who cannot teach.

Also, the field of education has the most acronyms I have ever seen. Professors throw them out there like the whole world has been hanging on to every tidbit of information trickled down from the educational head honchos. NCLB, IDEA, IEP, INTASC, NEA, GLE, SPI, CATs, HOTs...and these are just a few. I've spent a good amount of time Googling things these past two semesters because my professors don't care to explain anything.

I'm crossing my fingers that I turn out okay after all this.