Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interview: Day 3

Today's interview question forced me to really think deeply about my experience throughout my first year.

Interview Question:
What are the types of resources and support you are given in the classroom?  Are these resources adequate for you to be an effective teacher?  In what areas would you like more resources and support, and what impact do you believe these additional resources and added support would have on your teaching and on students’ learning?

My Answer:
A myriad of resources and support are available to teachers in general.  There are millions of websites, thousands of groups, and hundreds of programs available to help teachers with teaching.  But the best are only available to those who aggressively seek for them.  They will most certainly not jump into a person’s lap or classroom.  As far as the types of resources and support I am given from my school, the list is long.  I was provided a wonderful assistant.  She has become a part of my life, and is not simply limited to the classroom.  We are friends for life.  In addition to her, I was given a classroom computer lab with which to utilize the READ 180 curriculum.  This is not something that most schools are able to do, so I was very grateful for this resource.  I was even given a deck of cards entitled “You Can Teach Them All.”  This stack deals with various kinds of behaviors and affective solutions for each one.  I was given suggestions on what to do to maintain a classroom and was provided access to the school’s body of excellent teachers.  I was even given direct access to my school’s ward-winning administrative team.  Their suggestions and support were remarkable, and I couldn’t have asked for a better administrative team.  I was also provided with input from the county’s mentor teacher.  As a new teacher, she provided me with encouragement and support that really helped to make a difference in my career.

Despite all of these wonderful resources and support, I think the one thing that I really needed was assistance with transitioning from life as an assistant to life as a teacher.  I thought that this was what my degree had given me, but I was wrong.  Nothing in my university education truly prepared me for going into a classroom.   I believe that I would have benefited from receiving new-teacher assistance at least once each week.  The fact that I was located far from other teachers did not help my situation much.  But during my planning time, I would often find myself visiting other teachers, observing their practices and taking down notes as fast as my fingers would allow.  Still, I think that regularly scheduled assistance would have been extremely helpful. I would have had the support and insight I needed in the beginning of the year, when it seems to count most.

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