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Final Reflection

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The semester is over. There were many things throughout this semester that caused me to look at what I was doing with the rest of my life. Those things helped me become a better educator and person. I realize that I am not a patient enough person to teach in the urban setting. I learned I have the teacher voice and that teacher look but that the lack of knowledge about the hidden rules in the urban setting I was in took more than that voice or look. As I mentioned earlier, this was a helpful experience. I am now a student who has a whole semester's worth of hands-on experience, I have a lot of stories to go back to campus with, and I have a whole new perspective on what goes into setting up and running a classroom. I have ideas about what I would like to do in my future classroom and I know some things that would not work in this setting where they may work where I am employed. I hope that all of my peers and fellow Ball State teachers made the best of their experience as I have of mine. Thank you to all who read my journal and I hope that everyone has a successful year in 2006.

5 Comments

Congratulations on completing the semester. I have enjoyed reading your postings. I started teaching as a career changer, and I missed the "student teaching" opportunity. It is a real benefit, I think, to try something before making a full commitment. Now you know the "urban" school is not for you. I was terrified when I entered my high school for the first time, because I had made a full year commitment and thought I might hate it! Fortunately, I didn't.

Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to you for your continued success, wherever you choose to go.

Ms. Mundy, Thanks for sharing your experiences. I was wondering what exactly are the "hidden rules" you refer to. I think that would be most helpful to perspective teachers. g.becker

If she knew those rules, she wouldn't be saying she needs to know them. Anyhow, it's sad but true that ed schools don't come close to providing what new teachers really need to "succeed" in the schools most likely to need new teachers.

If I'm not mistaken, those 'hidden rules' are referred to by author Ruby Payne on working with students from poverty. In fact, one of her books is titled similarly. You can read an article on this subject:

http://homepages.wmich.edu/~ljohnson/Payne.pdf


I did have trouble pulling this up, and ended up doing a websearch by: "Understanding and Working with Students and Adults from Poverty" (an actual article from Instructional Leader, Volume IX, No. 2, March 1996--you may have to pull a cached version).

Appreciate your journal. I am a first year teacher (Art) and can relate very well to your experiences. I am in a program for alternative certification in South Carolina, called "PACE" (other than MAT route) and I am filling the need for Art as a critical need both geographically as well as in subject area. And I thought I would quit before I had barely begun...as there's less Art taught for all the discipline and control issues! It's hard to keep your perspective on why you chose teaching in the first place, or in my case, why I chose teaching as a 'last career move'--I'm fifty-two :)

The rewards are worth it to me (hugs, thank you's, I love Art class, etc), but it is hard, make no mistake there.

Thanks for sharing your experiences in addition to the other work you are doing! I wish you the best for your career and life! I've been working in an urban setting since 1999. I completely identify with your observations and feelings. Some days I don't know how or why I do it. It must be those occasional break-throughs and the conviction that I'm making a difference, even if it's a small one. The most difficult thing about teaching is that we rarely get to see the long term differences we make.
Take care!

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