Category Archives: Pre-service Teacher Stuff

Expectations on the eve of change

12Roger_Ballen_Squawk_2005

So I am about 24 hours away from submitting my final essay of my undergraduate degree. To be honest I am freaking out. The thought of not learning anything impractical for three months is terrifying. It’s time to come to grips with the everyday realities of what motivates and satisfies me, and decide if teaching is it.

I like my everyday right now. And this is a problem. I have the most rewarding jobs in the world, and neither of them pay well enough to live in Sydney where these opportunities to connect exist. I get to make real connections everyday, and I have to lose my own ego and let them go as easily as they came. A flash of recognition, a smile from someone who can’t say my name, the ability to stop and sit and listen to someone whose problems bear no relation to my own. Will I get this from teaching?

I have chosen this image by Roger Ballen to illustrate what I am feeling. I wonder what he was feeling when he made these connections. Did he feel like his ego was outside these relationships, but did he feel satisfied all the same? Or did he place himself so far outside that he wondered ‘What is the point? Does it even matter that I am here?” I don’t know what his relationship was, but I do know some of the thoughts that would have passed through his mind when interacting with his subjects. 

I find comfort in the ontological insecurity that my job brings. Someone needs water, I hold a straw to their lips. Some days I need meaning, but mostly I don’t. I fear that teaching has become removed from satisfying needs. But I’m going to carry these questions with me and try to answer them, or not answer them, daily.

 

Can’t live without…

I have been slack with blogging and have made a pact with a new pre-service Twitter pal to post at least once a week. I thought I was ease my poor fried brain into things (I sat a Lit exam this week), and write about the sites that have changed my life as an aide and pre-service teacher.

Some of them may seem obvious to the enlightened Twitterati that I consult with daily, but pre-service teachers might not realise the value. I encourage you to dabble! You don’t have to aim to be featured on #qanda to have a play and learn a thing or two. Which brings me to my list.

Twitter.

In my old life, if people asked me if they should bother with Twitter, I would respond “Only if you’re selling something”. My how views change. It’s such a hive of new ideas, all no-strings-attached (if you know who to follow!). My new PLN is found here. These fine people have helped me with everything from scaffolding for autistic students to improving my own essays. And there’s an offline element if you want to take things further and network in real life, with invites to events like TeachMeet bringing the benefits into the here, now and future.

Pinterest.

Del.ici.ous is so 2009. Create mood boards for kids with imaginations that need some coercing. Categorise and subcategorise to your heart’s content. Endless fodder from key influencers in your field (or just other users who like pretty things!). I cannot recommend this tool enough. Unfortunately the DET sees the sharing of positive ideas and impeccable good taste as social media, so you will have to share this with students via Edmodo.

Edmodo.

I really thought this site would be old news. But then I discovered that I was the only person at my school using it! I have added our school and this has since changed (by one addition). It’s a super secure way of sharing, calendarising, and submitting work, with the intuitiveness of Facebook. There are also subject specific communities sharing tools around the clock. I encourage you to invite your students and use social media in a sanctioned way.

I hope this post has been helpful. Please share with me some more sites on which I can while away the hours, while I should be studying for Lit or Sociology.

 

Image from Society 6.  Made me thinking of a twittering (read: squawking) network.