Masters of Teaching Mind Dump #31: Halfway through the first trimester...

in Education11 months ago


You can find previous Brain Dumps here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21. Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30.

I'm now half way through this first trimester of my second year... at this rate (studying part time), I'm likely to finish the Masters of Teaching at the end of next year. It will be a nice addition to the list of possible qualifications that I have, but I suspect that it will largely go unused... I'm not particularly keen to become a teacher at a secondary school after talking with some other teachers.

Mostly, the complaints have been around the things AROUND teaching... namely, administration, planning and PARENTS! It was quite interesting, as the first two I had already thought were quite tedious... and it was a nice reminder that parents can be a right pain in the arse as well! I was speaking with a colleague who had recently quit teaching after several years as a Physics teacher in a secondary school. She had been teaching at a pretty swish private school... and so, I thought that given the immense resources and all of that cash that was swimming around, that it would be the paradise of teaching...

...but oddly enough (or perhaps it is not so odd to experienced teachers...), she said that the parents were the biggest problem in such a "well-resourced" school. Essentially, it became impossible for any student to do less than "stellar"... as they were so used to be just being the princes and princesses that were absolutely infallible... or at the very least, just much better than the riff-raff that are shipped in to teach them. Anyway, apparently, if you dared to suggest that one of the "future leaders" were slightly less good... well, you were in for a bollocking and a personal call from one of the parents. Sigh... probably could do with less of that. Being born into a lucky family doesn't make you smarter... it makes you... lucky. Those schools can be quite an interesting insight in the blindness to inequality and privilege.... any crank-out over.

Back on topic... I'm back into the study of my own course!

I have found the Aboriginal Education module to be pretty damn interesting... I haven't really had much contact with Aboriginal people in general, and having bene away for the last couple of decades, I've also missed any new developments in the meantime. There seem to be some really genuine engagement and "weaving" projects for education, research and Physics/Maths. Normally, the Physics/Maths teachers are the most resistant to these sorts of things... and I have to be honest, I was too... but further learning and study about some of these techniques and concepts means that I have learnt to understand that "Culturally Relevant Pedagogy" isn't quite what I had feared it to be... but something that is quite useful for efficiently teaching students from diverse backgrounds when applied properly and intelligently....

... however, that is the critical part. CRP can also be applied in an non-genuine manner... a sort of protocol following, box-ticking manner that is beloved by some... and in that case, it becomes a horrific monster that engages none and imposes "odd" demands upon teachers and subjects. Sadly, it appears that is too often the case... but that seems to always be the case when the are metrics to be targeted and boxes to be ticked!

Meanwhile, I have pretty much neglected the Maths module for the moment... I did a quick burn for the assignment, but then left it alone whilst I was completing the Aboriginal Education assignments.

So, I have to say that this particular trimester has been the worst one so far... the topic for Aboriginal Education has been good and interesting, but it has been the presentation of the online courses... at best, they have been described as disorganised... which would be forgivable at the start of an online course. However, I have a colleague who studied the same topic a few years ago, and she says it was crap then as well. Mostly, for the Aboriginal Education, it is the two lecturers just blathering on about their pet topic... and having very little idea about what they want us to learn and write about. Meanwhile, the Maths teaching course... well, it consists of the lecturer reading out their terrible powerpoints, making lots of reference to their own research... and then creating assignments that are unclear and basically rehash things that we learnt in previous modules... in a much worse way!

I am going to be glad when this particular trimester is done and dusted... I'm not having fun doing it, but that could also be due to the fact that I really want to get fully moved and setup in our new house! One more assignment for each course, and then I'm done...

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