Preservice Teachers

I have been pleased to see many preservice English teachers and their professors are finding my blog useful.  I welcome new teachers to the profession and thank their professors for guiding them.

I have been trying to think of something preservice teachers in particular might find useful, but I’m not sure what that might be.  Why don’t we start a conversation, here or on a wiki (tell me which you prefer, I’ll set it up)?  Preservice or new teachers could post questions, and veteran teachers could answer.  My gut tells me that a wiki would be great for this purpose.

[tags]preservice, educators, advice, mentoring[/tags]

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10 thoughts on “Preservice Teachers

  1. I think that's a great idea! I love your blog, and any questions you might answer would be lovely.

  2. So that wiki page says it's as easy to make as a peanut butter sandwich… and clearly I don't understand how to make a peanut butter sandwich! I think it's a great idea but please leave a hint as to how to use this potential resouce – my sandwich was open face, or something. (It wanted a password to other sites – I was so confused)

  3. Amanda, are you sure it wasn't asking you for your own password? I can't recall ever having to put some other password in. What happened when you tried to log in? What is your wiki's name?

  4. Either here or pbwiki is fine.

    Here's a question to get things started:

    When students enter a class well below grade level, is it better to remediate or to work on grade-level concepts with easier material? And if the latter – how does one obtain the easier material, in particular without using the same material they've seen before?

  5. Dana, you play hardball. What you do depends on where you work. In my current situation, the prevailing wisdom is that student who are not performing at grade level are expected to seek outside assistance from the teacher in the Learning Center (a tutoring lab of sorts) or, in more extreme cases, an outside tutor. Now, that's completely impractical in a public school. Also, is it one student, or the whole class? It's actually easier if it's the whole class because you can pitch the instruction where they are. If it's one or two or a small group, it's tougher, as you wouldn't want to hold a class back for a small group. My thinking would be if it's a whole class, go ahead and teach them what they don't know. As to the second part of your question, I'm not sure about on-grade-level easier materials. What would those be? Abridged books? Condensed? Lower-level texts?

  6. Well, in my case it's not the entire class, but a substantial majority – say 40% of the students are 3 years or more below grade level, 25% are less than that, 10% are at grade level, and 5% are above (usually one or two who've transferred in and will be in Honors once they've registered for next year).

    As far as easier materials – I'm willing to use pretty much anything I can get away with, preferably something they haven't "read before" (meaning had it assigned – whether they actually read it or not is debatable!) because then they're certain they already know it. ;p

    I'm kind of interested in incorporating some flash fiction (aka "short-shorts") but it's been hard to find stories I can use: school-appropriate, of course, with vocabulary and style at their level, and clear plot and character development.

  7. I think, in terms of conversation, that I like whatever would be easier. I've never used a wiki before, but I'm not against learning. Especially after this wk, when I'm finished w/ student teaching!

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