Home : 2006 : Oct : 18
the school is messing up. When I did my student teaching, I had the worst time teaching writing! I couldn't figure out why I couldn't seem to teach it. After I graduated and got my own classroom, a lot of things that probably always should have been clear to me, but weren't, came clear. The main thing I discovered was that I was trained in college as a whole language teacher, and my student teaching school did Step Up To Writing! I was taught to teach writing in a workshop setting, and Step Up wants them to write on colored strips. It's so artificial--but the fact that I couldn't teach it, I think, actually attests to the fact that I was already a better teacher than that. I couldn't do it, because it's stupid, and it's a ridiculous way to teach writing! It just made zero sense to me (STILL makes zero sense to me). Now that I have my own classroom, I don't struggle at all with teaching writing, and my scores are the best in the district--but I'm not having something artificial shoved down my throat, and told this is the way it has to be.
You're prepared, but
You're writing your own units, which is awesome. Don't stop doing that--when you graduate, find a school that wants teachers who actually TEACH. Avoid like the devil those schools which hand you a reading program, a writing program, a science program, and a social studies program. These types of schools do more to stunt teacher growth than you can ever imagine.
You feel out of place in this school, I think, because you are already educated to be a far better teacher than the bar they've set. Basal curriculums are stupid, and you've already discovered that, so way to go!
Trust yourself. It's the people surrounding you in that school who have forgotten how to teach. Find yourself a school that LETS YOU TEACH.
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