Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Where to begin.

I am thinking a great deal at the moment. Nothing unusual there really. I have so little time at work and find that my time at home is spent being stupidly busy doing my correction which I would prefer to do at work.

Why has this occurred? Two interns of course. One of my colleagues in my department went on holidays and they got two interns to cover her. An intern is somewhere between a student teacher and a beginning teacher. A student teacher you have to sit in the classroom with. A beginning teacher can be in the classroom on their own but do need a fair amount of support. They get the gist of most things fairly quickly - if they are worth their metal.......

My two interns are an interesting pair. A is fantastic. She is bright, vivacious and a self starter. The kids think that she is ok - they're not big fans, but she is replacing someone who has an amazing reputation. The thing I like about intern A is the fact that she thinks BUT she also acts. This is a huge thing. She sees something that needs to be done and she does it. If she has an issue - she comes and asks me from the point of view, I have done this in reaction/relation to this. What else can I do?

B is so different. She is lovely but she is tiring. I mean really tiring. She is emotionally all over the place. She thinks way too much about this job that she is doing. We have had many a conversation that includes her telling me that she has this/that to improve. She has thought an amazing amount of time about the theory of classroom behaviour, student thinking, teaching directions, and even subject philosophy........but she hasn't really put a lot of this into practice.

I watched her teach last week and she is not that bad. She is lacking somewhat in personality, but then a lot of beginning teachers do as they are frightened to make a mistake. She also has a standard of behaviour that I don't think anyone can live up to. As a result the kids are never behaving for her........ It came to a focal point last Friday when she left the teacher she was working with during her 4th period class because her 3rd period class were awful. She came and sat beside me and started crying. This has happened a few times. Tears, not the leaving of the classroom.......

I asked her to unpack what had happened and she gave me a broad brush stroke response that the kids were naughty. I asked her to clarify and eventually she told me something had happened which essentially was that a couple of the boys had not done as she had asked. My reaction was probably not as supportive as it could've been. I was blown away that she had walked out of a class.......

I was quite blunt, as I know I can be! I asked her what would happen if this had happened and she wasn't team teaching? Would she have walked out of the class? We chatted about the idea of having to approach things from a number of different angles.

The crunch came when she told me she had 'stuff' happening in her world that was exhausting her. That was, at the time, the final straw. I told her about my family - which I had not planned on doing so - and where we are at at the moment. I agreed that teaching is hard when you are not altogether there BUT a professional, whether it be good or bad, needs to step aside from the personal and focus on the end game. The end game are the kids!

I told to get a grip and get back into the classroom. Not the best conversation that I have had but it was one that I had to have with her.

By the end of the day I explained, as nicely as I could, that I would need to see a definite improvement in the way she attacked her teaching - especially her emotional response. If I didn't see this improvement then I would have to talk to her university.

Monday I was absent, Tuesday she left early. Today was a sports day. I will see her tomorrow.....

No comments: