Thursday, February 17, 2005

Morning Class, Panic Session

Across the room, Arlo leaned over to Sarah F and said jokingly, "OK, everyone, on the count of three... breeeeathe..."

Instead of having regular class (the first of three--three classes for eight hours in the same room--whew!), our supervisors for student teaching came in and had a little talk with us on how those observations are going to go and the seminars we will attend every Thursday. There are two supervisors--Louise (who we have met once before at the "Beach Party" in October--a party Professor Beach hosted for the current cohort to mingle) and Jill (who has helped us with our Crosswinds work and did observations during the Sharpen the Saw Intersession work we did--and, we found out today, is pregnant and due May 15th!--we also really like her a lot because she is very enthusiastic and approachable and understanding). I am pretty happy I was assigned to Jill, though I'm sure Louise is going to be really great too, and we'll meet as a full group once a month, so we'll be able to have two minds to run things over.

We had only about a million questions about these visits they will make and the expectations that there are for us with our cooperating teachers and what the heck are the rules anyway? They introduced their observations as--you should try something new and experiment because we'll be there to give you advice and feedback so take advantage of that--and not so much later, we got photocopies of the forms they will use for their reactions to our lessons--only about eighteen million ways in which we could not be "adequate." (I'm not even sure how the best instructor could balance all of those categories!)

We also spoke of jobs, which was partly my fault--we're all a little high strung lately with these expectations and forms and tests (we still have the last of three Praxis tests to take, this is apparently the most difficult!!) and we were brainstorming the questions we would most like answered during the seminars. "Minnesota State Standards," "Classroom Management Techniques," "Strategies that Work"... And me: Job searches, tips, help help help.

There is a Minnesota Job Fair in April, which I must attend. (Note that I didn't say "would probably attend.") Rochester will be there--they put themselves up on the list of staffing needs for Language Arts!! (That is good news, but I am trying to ignore the fact that they might get a million applications and I could be lost in the suffle, or maybe there won't be enough to my resume or I won't be impressive enough or I'm just not experienced enough...) Interviewing on-site. Winona hasn't signed up yet, but I think their high school only has something like eight Language Arts teachers, so the chances are close to none. Green Bay will also be there, which is interesting... they are also interviewing on-site.

Next week on Wednesday there is a resume workshop that I plan to attend. I just have to, um, write a draft of one. And, um, do a bunch of stuff that will look good on a resume.

Jobs are tight here... I think it was something like 200 teachers let go in Minneapolis alone last year? There is a rally on February 28th for public education (funding). I have a class that it overlaps with, but I might see if I can come to that class late. The Ph.D candidate who teaches it seems pretty flexible about that sort of thing, and this is pretty important. We'll see how it all goes!

Anyway, if there is anyone out there that is reading this blog, there are some great links at the U of MN SPS (Student & Professional Services) website to help you figure out some of the scary stuff: interview preparation questions and resume tips, among others.

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