So, after Winter Break my co teacher was assigned “Student Teachers.” These are clever young people going through the teacher credentialling program at UCLA, which is heavy into the concept of “social justice.” The idea of student teaching is pretty straightforward…a new teacher is put into a classroom environment with the guidance of a “mentor teacher” who has some years of experience. Over the course of the internship, the mentor gradually releases responsibilities to the student teacher, thus replicating the classroom environment with both a “safety net”, and real time advice.
This becomes an amazing “time suck” for the mentor. Really. Like throwing time into a black hole.
Need to meet with your co-teachers? Oops, can’t…the edu-gnomes need advice on how to plan a lesson.
Have a parent conference? Oops…might be a few minutes late, I have to show these Gnomes where to find content standards on the internet.
Is it two o’clock in the morning? Oops…frantic e-mail from one of your Edu-gnomes, because they can’t remember what content they said they would be covering tomorrow, since they changed their mind ten times.
You get the picture.
The idea of such an internship is really intelligent. The actual implementation, in a school that you are turning around…is very high maintenance. Almost prohibitively so. A few months into having these guys around, and having less access to my own co-teacher for planning and supervision…let’s just say I’m pretty tired of it.
Student teaching is ultimately a good idea, I think, in that it does prepare the potential teacher candidate for what they will see in the classroom, and the challenges of that environment. With young people, who are working on masters degrees, there is a propensity for last minute planning, and “all nighter” style work…which just doesn’t function well in an inner city school.
The Edu-gnomes have been around, across the hall for about two months, and are done soon. I’m counting the days…so things can go back to a more normal state.
About the artwork…this is the first online appearance of the history teacher. It is also one of the few images that makes it obvious that the protagonist can fly, as she is clearly landing inside the cave environment of room 505. 505 is represented as a batcave of sorts because although it is our history teacher’s personal classroom, fairly frequently it is used as a meeting room, due to size, convenience, and the weird stuff in it.
Also…the ewok design of the Edu-gnomes is intentional…to represent their generally underfoot kinds of ways. “Chub Chub” is from the now defunct Ewok Celebration song, at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Until the tomorrow…and more Tales of Adequacy!