My 22nd day

Wow, so much for documenting each day! I am once again going to try to get back in the habit of documenting all of this.

I’ve been in school for about 2 months now, and it continues to be a fantastic experience. Today I’ll give a quick summary of the classes I’m taking/have taken, with some of my impressions of them.

First the classes.

Tuesday nights for the first 5 weeks, I took a class called ITEC601 – Computer Fundamentals for Teachers. Originally I was supposed to be able to test out of a 3 unit class, ITEC712, by demonstrating some competency with computers. SFSU instead replaced that class with a 1 unit class that one could not test out of.

When I arrived the first day, I had an open mind: I figured that even though there would probably be some very basic computer stuff that I would already know, it would be supplemented with ways to use technology in the classroom. As it turns out, it was basically a course about how to use a computer, with a few warnings here and there about how the internet wasn’t a safe place for children. It was taught by a elementary school teacher who supposedly had her masters in Instructional Technology but was horribly uninformed when it came to her subject matter. Now I don’t mean to complain, but this course was rediculous. I have no doubt that many of the people in my classroom benefited a great deal from some of the projects, but SFSU really needs to allow people to test out of it. The material I learned in the class would have taken about 30 minutes of my time had I been able to just focus on that. Instead, I had to make posters with Microsoft Word, demonstrating my ability to make bold text and mess with fonts. Fortunately, the class was over after 5 weeks. The irony is that I recently discovered that I will have to still take the ITEC712, or its equivalent, in order to clear my credential anyway, and that course will cover everything that ITEC601 did. All in all, it turns out the course really was a waste of my time!

Ok, ranting aside, the rest of my courses are great. As I mentioned before, I did start to take Linear Algebra. The course was fine, the teacher was well spoken, if a bit dull, and I would have relearned some useful math. However, the times that I thought were convenient, Tues/Thurs from 9:30 to 11, turned out to interfere heavily with my classroom observation. And so, I dropped it. Oh well. Here’s some advice to anyone reading this: if you’re going to take an extra course with the teaching program, pick one that meets in the afternoon, when kids are NOT in school, so that it doesn’t conflict.

Now we get to the good stuff. My Literacy class on wednesday continues to be top-notch. The professor is very engaging, even when the material gets dry. While the topic of the course is simply literacy, the course covers a tremendous variety of topics in teaching. Its true that probably half the curriculum is focused on literacy and the discourse of different cultures, but it also covers assessment, classroom discussion, and even some classroom management. There is a healthy amount of required reading, and each week a different student presents the topics covered in that week’s reading. This gives you the benefit of seeing different teaching styles, as well as the opportunity to get a bit of experience in front of a classroom.

I’ll continue this tomorrow…

  1. #1 by Heather G on November 17, 2003 - 9:30 am

    It’s good to find out what you’ve been up to. :-)

  2. #2 by Stephen Donner on November 18, 2003 - 11:51 pm

    Yay for school, I say! Having left my B.A. midstream, I felt a great sense of belonging when I returned to get academic counseling, and now I know that English is the right major for me.

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