February 25, 2009

Blog Entry 2: New Teacher Panel

The new teacher panel that we had on Monday night was interesting to me as a future teacher. They provided some very interesting insights into the life of a teacher. I was glad to hear that one of the panelists was a special education teacher, as I was able to get a closer look into that area of teaching - an area that I'm interested in. I thought the person with the most insight was the one that had been teaching for four or five years. She was able to give helpful advice based on her years in teaching, had taught internationally and could give us that perspective, and ended up teaching in a grade that she never pictured herself teaching. She was also able to give us the perspective of a teacher as a wife and mother, which was interesting, being able to see how people are able to balance the two even though it may be hard.

One of the most surprising things to me was the availability of technology in their school. EVERY student has a computer in grades 5-8?! That's a far cry from when I was in elementary school. We had maybe one day a week in the computer lab to increase our typing skills via type to learn or have a game day playing Oregon Trail. Yes, this availability of technology can be a good thing, but one has to wonder if this new generation is failing to learn basic skills such as penmanship and spelling. These are skills everyone should have in their lives because sometimes, technology may not be as readily available or may not provide the correct answers.

One problem I did have with the panel however, was the fact that they were all teaching in small schools in Northeast Iowa. They all grew up in Decorah, went to Luther, and are now teaching at North Winn. With the exception of the one who taught in Belgium, it seemed that they've never left the bubble. I think small schools are great. I went to them, I taught in one last J-term, and had a wonderful experience. But I would have liked to hear the experiences of someone teaching in a bigger school or in the city such as Rochester or the Twin Cities. I've always pictured myself going back to Rochester to teach so I would have liked the opinions of some teachers from a bigger city.

Overall, though, it was an interesting night and I loved hearing the different experiences of all the new teachers. It was great to kind of see what I'll be doing eventually.

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