Student to Teacher Part 2: Entering OISE

With only two weeks left of my program, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the different aspects of my year in Teacher’s College – a program that people gaze upon with MANY different viewpoints.

Remembering back to September, it sometimes feels like a lifetime ago and other times like yesterday.  My cohort, my wonderful SP6 family as it came to be, entered our classes with a sense of curiosity and openness.  I enjoyed the format of the program, where we had a “homeroom” group that shared eight hours a week together with a mix of different subject expertise and life experience.  I found that this brought a surprising amount of richness to our program.  On a weekly basis, we met together in our “Teacher Education Seminar” and in “School & Society.”

In addition to the readings and the discussions, these classes opened my mind with a new way to teaching.  The behind-the-scenes policies and the current and relevant “pedagogy” and “discourse” (words I’ve never heard so much in my life as I did this year) lured me in to the academic side of a world I thought I was familiar with.  Even so, as we laughed through the requests for personal “reflections,” all the work we did was quite relevant to making me a better teacher.  Every class introduced something I hadn’t quite thought about before.  As I studied more closely with my colleagues, I got to know them through the perspective of their experiences and I got to learn a little about my own developing teaching philosophy.

My Curriculum and Instruction classes for English and Drama were also fantastic!  I had incredibly passionate instructors, and their energy was infectious.  I had a good balance between policy, lesson structure, curriculum guidance and practical suggestions for the classroom.  Strategies were often modelled for us so we could truly see what students feel when they are in our classrooms.  Before my first practicum, I often referred back to my teaching experience abroad and in Toronto in discussion about the concepts we were covering.  It made me wonder a few things:

How can someone complete a Bachelor of Education coming straight from their undergraduate degree?  I met some amazing people who were doing just that!  But I wondered what the general assumption was.  Were they too young to be stepping into a teaching setting- often with students only five years younger than them?  Should it be mandatory that you need some real world experience between an undergrad and a B. Ed simply in order to gain new perspectives and consolidate your desire to be a teacher?

The Studious One

Too often I have heard the phrase, ” I didn’t know what to do, so I went to Teacher’s College.”  That phrase makes me cringe.  There are so many fields out there. So many tiny niches of interesting work that perhaps would be better suited for some.  But no, they decided to be teachers because that don’t know or have the courage to explore or that they have been surrounded by teachers for so long that they see it as a good profession.  On the other hand, there are people out there that have known they wanted to be in a classroom from their very first day of school.  Like me, who “played” school with teddy bears and unwilling siblings, perhaps some people jumped into the program straight from undergrad because they had a passion to be a teacher and couldn’t wait to get started.

I still don’t know where I stand on this issue.  My bias is evident, as I was one of those people who jumped on an airplane after my four years of study to go and explore.  I am forever grateful for that experience, and I know I walked into OISE at the beginning of the year with those adventures plastered all over me.  I was happy to share them and basked in the stories of colleagues who had had similar experiences.  We quickly bonded as a cohort and supported each other.  It was a great community to build new relationships with a shared bond in a love for education.  Still, I wondered, how scared were those who had never stepped foot in a classroom before as an instructor?  I still        wonder.  Is there a right and wrong answer?  Probably not.

Finally, after two months of trying to cram in as much as our instructors could to prepare us, we were released for our first Practicum.  Mine, with an ESL department in a downtown Toronto high school.  I couldn’t wait!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Szoki Adams

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Student to Teacher Part 2: Entering OISE

With only two weeks left of my program, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the different aspects of my year in Teacher’s College – a program that people gaze upon with MANY different viewpoints.

Remembering back to September, it sometimes feels like a lifetime ago and other times like yesterday.  My cohort, my wonderful SP6 family as it came to be, entered our classes with a sense of curiosity and openness.  I enjoyed the format of the program, where we had a “homeroom” group that shared eight hours a week together with a mix of different subject expertise and life experience.  I found that this brought a surprising amount of richness to our program.  On a weekly basis, we met together in our “Teacher Education Seminar” and in “School & Society.”

In addition to the readings and the discussions, these classes opened my mind with a new way to teaching.  The behind-the-scenes policies and the current and relevant “pedagogy” and “discourse” (words I’ve never heard so much in my life as I did this year) lured me in to the academic side of a world I thought I was familiar with.  Even so, as we laughed through the requests for personal “reflections,” all the work we did was quite relevant to making me a better teacher.  Every class introduced something I hadn’t quite thought about before.  As I studied more closely with my colleagues, I got to know them through the perspective of their experiences and I got to learn a little about my own developing teaching philosophy.

My Curriculum and Instruction classes for English and Drama were also fantastic!  I had incredibly passionate instructors, and their energy was infectious.  I had a good balance between policy, lesson structure, curriculum guidance and practical suggestions for the classroom.  Strategies were often modelled for us so we could truly see what students feel when they are in our classrooms.  Before my first practicum, I often referred back to my teaching experience abroad and in Toronto in discussion about the concepts we were covering.  It made me wonder a few things:

How can someone complete a Bachelor of Education coming straight from their undergraduate degree?  I met some amazing people who were doing just that!  But I wondered what the general assumption was.  Were they too young to be stepping into a teaching setting- often with students only five years younger than them?  Should it be mandatory that you need some real world experience between an undergrad and a B. Ed simply in order to gain new perspectives and consolidate your desire to be a teacher?

The Studious One

Too often I have heard the phrase, ” I didn’t know what to do, so I went to Teacher’s College.”  That phrase makes me cringe.  There are so many fields out there. So many tiny niches of interesting work that perhaps would be better suited for some.  But no, they decided to be teachers because that don’t know or have the courage to explore or that they have been surrounded by teachers for so long that they see it as a good profession.  On the other hand, there are people out there that have known they wanted to be in a classroom from their very first day of school.  Like me, who “played” school with teddy bears and unwilling siblings, perhaps some people jumped into the program straight from undergrad because they had a passion to be a teacher and couldn’t wait to get started.

I still don’t know where I stand on this issue.  My bias is evident, as I was one of those people who jumped on an airplane after my four years of study to go and explore.  I am forever grateful for that experience, and I know I walked into OISE at the beginning of the year with those adventures plastered all over me.  I was happy to share them and basked in the stories of colleagues who had had similar experiences.  We quickly bonded as a cohort and supported each other.  It was a great community to build new relationships with a shared bond in a love for education.  Still, I wondered, how scared were those who had never stepped foot in a classroom before as an instructor?  I still        wonder.  Is there a right and wrong answer?  Probably not.

Finally, after two months of trying to cram in as much as our instructors could to prepare us, we were released for our first Practicum.  Mine, with an ESL department in a downtown Toronto high school.  I couldn’t wait!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Szoki Adams

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Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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