Friday, November 12, 2004


I thought I would create a little blog about my teaching experiences. I am currently acquiring my Master's in Education at the University of Minnesota. I hope to teach high school English.

The program begins in the summer and we do all of our foundation classes (Behavioral Psych kind of stuff--Human Relations, School & Society, Public Health, etc.) and in the fall we have our methods classes (only they're starting to feel a bit more like theory classes and we're not getting enough practical application--more about that later!) and in the spring we take a few classes for about two months, then we are off into the world of student teaching.

In the fall, we have a practicum experience. We are working at Crosswinds Middle School in Woodbury, which is a year round school set on a farm. It's an arts and sciences school and seems to work like a magnet school--it pulls all sorts of kids from around the cities. The university students go to the opposite of what they hope to end up teaching--three of the cohort go to Henry High School (because they want to teach middle school in the future) and the rest of us (I think it's 21 of us) go to Crosswinds. Those of us at Crosswinds work with five or six students--one group in the morning and one in the afternoon--and we're doing a kind of inquiry project. This means the students will explore their neighborhood and suggest solutions to "solve" a problem. (One of my students will try to solve the problem of goose poop and deer eating hostas while another student will expand an ESL/ELL reading program at the local elementary school. You can see that my students definitely vary, but they're all really great.)

Here are some pictures from our inquiry field trip:

That's the whole group: Kim, Danessa, Lucas, Kayla, and Sheida

They're standing outside of a house with lots of political signs in the window. A fieldtrip assignment was to create maps--making up a key and including details such as houses for sale, garbage cans, and political signs (this was obviously before the election). One of the troubles with the practicum is that we never made our own work for the students--we simply guided them through assignments from their regular teachers or did studies that our professors assigned. In a sense, we were glorified tutors. And the field trip left most of the cohort so worn out that we had to stop for a beer at the Muddy Pig afterwards!

(They didn't even pose for this one, I swear!)

Feel free to email me (mollyteaches at yahoo dot com). (I would write it out, but I'm hoping this might protect me from spammers!) I'm always interested in feedback, tips, any great websites to help, questions, etc. I hope to become the best teacher I can be, and I want to share with others any of my lessons, etc. that would help them become the best teacher too!

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