Sunday, July 23, 2006

Clearing My Credential

There is literally no excuse for not being done with this yet. But everyone is so forgiving. You get six months, and then an automatic six month extension, and then you get an "I", but they erase the "I" if you turn in your work in another three months. I feel pretty guilty for stretching it this long, but what I feel the most guilty about is the disservice I am rendering upon yet another group of eager 7th graders who just want a fully-qualified teacher more than anything else. I feel just awful for my poor, underpriveleged students, burdened with yet another under-qualified hack, slugging his way through essential pedagogy like Roseanne Barr at a combine workout. Even if only I didn't lack the knowledge and skill acquired by all those rich kids' teachers who have completed courses like the one I'm currently procrastinating about. Man, I can't wait to become fully qualified so I can start teaching, like, good. That'll be great. And the kids'll totally notice the difference. "Mr. [TMAO], what happened? You're like a completely better teacher since last Wednesday..."

Computer for the Educator -- Level II
  • Create a database or spreadsheet. Write reflection paper. Status: Done
  • Desing a webpage or multimedia thing. Write reflection paper. Status: Done
  • Show proof that you use technology to assess student learning. Write reflection paper. Status: Done.
  • Write a 2-page paper discussing how technology can change how you teach. Status: Done.
  • Create a journal detailing your efforts to collaborate about technology. Write reflection paper. Status: Done (badly).
  • Write a 1-page paper about on-site decisions about technology acquisition. ("Hey, POY, what is the decision-making process about how this site acquires new technology?" "I look at the budget, then make a decision." "Is there anyway you can make that decision last a double-spaced 12-pt-font page?") Status: Started (kinda)
  • Show proof of your site technology plan. Write a 2-page paper describing your site's technology structure. ("Hey, POY, do we have a site technology plan?" "It may be in one of those binders over there." "There's like 20 binders over there." "Have fun.") Status: Incomplete
  • Write two original technology-based lessons using absurdly detailed, enclosed lesson plan form. Status: Incomplete
  • Post a response to a message using an online bulletin board. Status: Incomplete, unless blogging counts. Does it, d'ya think?
  • Join a listserv. Send an email. Status: Incomplete, unless I can get credit for joining the Celebrity Death Watch listserv in college, where I experienced awful luck when my sleeper pick, Jack Osborne, went into rehab.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. Educate me, TMAO. You are the man to do it.

I keep reading about teachers-in-training writing "reflections". What is this "reflection" stuff? Is it an essay? What's the point? What are you graded on? How does it improve your mastery of the material?

And hey, leave a comment on a blog, that might count. I've been trying to think of a useful list-serv; I can't. But Teacher Sol has a list of blogging teachers you might like:

From the National Writing Program.

8:46 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Hi Liz,

Reflection essays rank up there with incurable disease, escalation of sectarian violence, and pacing guides. They are the busy work of the postgraduate world. I KNOW for a fact many of the ones I wrote for my preliminary credential went unread beacuse I wrote things like, "there's no possible way you're reading this" and "both teams played hard, both teams played hard, both teams..." throughout many of the many I was required to produce.

In my advanced age, I'm trying to be more responsible. As a result, I'm producing gems like this: "This is where spreadsheets can be of particular value to the educator. All manner of data can be entered, sorted, and analyzed through this piece of technology"; "Without my students’ test score data readily available, how can I determine whether my methods in the previous year were successful?"; "In looking toward future curricular adaptations and improvements, I would like to improve and increase my use of power point presentations."

A pearl in every one.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous mrc said...

I am likewise suffering through a program, but am even "less-qualified" than you at this point. I'm doing an online credentialing program. The busywork is AMAZING, and I am totally afraid of people who are doing this program and not teaching at the same time. I can only imagine them coming out thinking they are trained only to realize that this bookwork has nothing to do with actual teaching. (Except in the sense that you bring all of your experience and concepts with you when you walk into a classroom to be with students.) i understand that we need some way to verify that teachers aren't stupid or living under a rock when it comes to some educational theory. But is the credentialing system really the answer???

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

The closest I have come to this kind of pain and anguish is getting past initial licensure. We had to go to little meetings and sign that we went, whether or not they did us any good. We had to guard the sacred tickmarks on observations with nothing more written than a signature and perhaps "good job" often times. And then--and THEN--they lost my transcript and were going to make me send for another or take away my qualified status.

When they found it, I know the kids saw a difference in my teaching too...:o/

9:34 AM  

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