Thursday, June 22, 2006

Teaching practicum, day eight.

Today has got to be the worst day I've ver had in my life. Everything that could go wrong did.

Because I spent last night trying get a few more futile entries done on my portfolio, I didn't have much time to plan my lessons for today. So I got to school early this morning so I could finish them off (which is a bad idea in the first place) and I was running out of time by recess. I had classes right through from period three until home time, and to top it off, my tertiary supervisor from uni was going to be oberving my year ten class over the periods five and six double.

I was so unprepared for year ten. I'd left so many of my teaching aids up in the staffroom, unphotocopied or elsewhere. It was a practical lesson too; I was teaching them about writing word equations and precipitation reactions. I think I had them engaged for about thirty seconds when I poured a beaker of lead nitrate solution into another beaker filled with potassium iodide solution. When it came time for the students to perform their own experiments, everything went to shit. My instructions were heeded, it's just that my instructions were shit.

Then there was year eight in the periods seven and eight double, the last lesson of the day. It was a shocker. It was a seventy-five minute double-period, and absolutely nothing got done. They did nothing but talk. I wasn't about to talk over them, so I stood and waited. And waited. I told them I wasn't going to start until everyone was quiet. Then for a few seconds they were, and I managed to squeeze a few words here or there.

Then I wanted to extend on the work they'd done a week before with their normal teacher (and my cooperating teacher), and they knew nothing. I wanted them to relate the words they learnt last week, i.e. dependent, independent and controlled variables, repetition, validity, reliability, et cetera, to assess whether Super Size Me was a valid scientific investigation. But they had no idea. I said to them, "turn to the work you did last week" and they say to me, "What work, sir?". What work?! They genuinely had no idea about what I was on about! But I know they did it, and they did the work well; I marked it myself! For some reason it was totally absent from all but a few books. Some kids don't even bring books. They just don't learn. Of course, it's never their fault.

So I wanted to go over them again, but I never got that far. Not even one question was answered. My lesson plan went out the window. I even tried to group them so that they could discuss the task in groups, but they just wouldn't. There's this girl that really shits me who has the biggest mouth. She never shuts it. Bah!

Then I went in to uni to hand in my portfolio for marking. Had to print some more pages off at AccessLabs and then I headed off to the Education Building to stick all the pages in the folder and hand it in. But there was a problem: not all my pages had printed out, and I didn't notice until I was just about tp hand it in. So I ran back to Fisher, but the missing pages weren't anywhere to be seen. Ran back to Education. Ran down to the Education Building AccessLab and had a look at my thumbdrive; I hadn't saved copies from my computer hard drive to it. FUCK!

Anyway, I ended up in my course-coodinator's office in what he calls the crying chair. Wasn't crying, just talking about stuff and how shit I think I've done. He told me that the M.Teach portfolios are marked differently to B.Ed portfolios, so there's hope for me yet. And I've got a few days to get my missing pages in. Crisis averted.

Listening to:
Title: Rio
Artist: Duran Duran
Album/station: Greatest(1998)
Length: 4.45