Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grad School Avoidance

If I get through this current class, it will only be through some sort of miracle... like me hunkering down and just gettin' 'er done.

Words cannot describe how "well-duh"-ish this ed psych stuff is. I mean, yes, very important if I'm Joe Undergrad, or Joe Grad-But-Never-Set-Foot-In-A-Classroom, but really, I'm just learning the names for stuff I already know... and I'm not interested in knowing the names... this isn't some mystical/mythical land where knowing the name of something gives me actual power over it.

"Oh, so THAT'S why I'll never have kids who are prepared for what I am here to teach. I feel so much more powerful knowing there's a name for it."


And, as I've already mentioned, this cite, cite, cite, crap is killing me. Even if I try to write my responses and then go find citations to back it up, I spend the whole time making sure I don't say that much while seeming like I'm saying something, just because I don't have the whole day every day to go look up crap.

So I do what I can, then take breaks. It makes for long days and long nights of work/break/play/work/play/break/work/nap/play/work/play...

Because it really does wear my brain out.

The class on teaching integers? Loved it.

The class on teaching functions? Loved it.

The class on teaching rational numbers? Loved it.

And the common thread in those classes... okay, one of the two major common threads, with the first being those are specific to the content area I teach, is I am learning stuff I can actually use the very next day in class.

"Kids, I get why your social relations are much more important than what I have to tell you because of (Whoop D. Doodle, 1997), and that I need to make sure you get plenty of practice, because of (Blahdy Blah, 2005)..."

No, not working for me.

Anyway, feel free to post a "You can do it!" or "Hunker down, Mark!" or even an annoying "Get 'er done!"

This, too, shall pass.

The only way out is through.

You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.


Robin said...

This may give you a reference point for those kids who end up having a job that really doesn't use math. Or, let me say this another way, some people really just don't get math. It doesn't make sense in their brain. It isn't that they aren't smart or well-intentioned or not trying. In point of fact, they are the kids who pass your class and all future math classes working twice as hard as the next kid and understanding less because it really just doesn't compute for them. Put a piece of paper and a pencil in front of them and they can draw like a fiend or write a story that will blow you out of the water or already play ten instruments well.

Maybe this class exists simply to help you identify with your students who struggle. That's it. It doesn't make you any less brilliant. Maybe it makes you more compassionate. Just a thought.... But I could be wrong. Happens all the time!

mik said...

EyeRytStuf said...

Do these people who have jobs that really don't use math never have to manage money? Will they never need to understand interest on a loan? Will they never have to check to make sure they're not being ripped off when they're paying for something by the square foot? Will they never ever encounter a fraction the rest of their lives, or will the presence of a fraction magically "excuse" them from being taken advantage of?

Maybe a small percentage of the world just cannot grasp math, but I think the vast majority of people who think they cannot grasp it started off by not memorizing the simple facts you need to simply memorize once you understand how they work. Even before taking this class, I knew students who don't have those facts memorize struggle more than others simply because they don't have them memorized. So what starts out as laziness on the part of the student and a blind acceptance of the myth that "my kids isn't good at math because I wasn't" when it's time to memorize math facts turns into a self-fulfiling prophecy when they can't grasp new concepts when their brains are too busy trying to "work out" what 6 times 7 is, instead of quickly recalling it's 42.

Soap box getting put away now...

EyeRytStuf said...

Side note: I do take your point that it helps me identify with students who don't see the point...

Just Me said...

Oh my god (I'm sorry, but OMG totally bugs the pee out of me), I can totally relate! I am also in grad school for education and have had many, "well, duh" moments. As well as "Really? This is what I'm paying for?" and "My prof hasn't been in a real classroom in over 20 years and no longer knows the first thing about teaching in the real world" moments. And don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of online courses!

toppogigio said...

I believe that whoever designs grad programs for teachers includes a number of courses in "Hoop-Jumping 101" just to annoy the pi** out of you. Yeah, hang in there, because it is just one of those things. It's just like some of those staff development things you sit through (can we say "Creative Highlighting"??) just "because". They are death, taxes, and endless faculty meetings. This too, shall pass. Cite away, and consider this practise for that thesis/dissertation.

Hang in there. Eventually all of this torture will be worth it!

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