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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Teach Poorly Sometimes to Get Them Ready for College



Day 83Image by Marquette La via FlickrSometimes I have to take my students into the textbook because that is what they will get in college.

Sometimes they have to do those awful, outdated labs on their book on CD because that is also what they will get in college.

Sometimes I have to have them do those awful, hard to read lessons that tell you to click here and point here because I don't want them to be so thrown off by that obtuse language... because that is what they get in college.

I know because I've researched it and my students are coming back and telling me that although what I teach them is great in the "out there - "Mrs. Vicki" lessons" that it is also great that I "prepared them for college." (Which usually means solo using only a book technology lessons.)

Uhm. Someone in college needs to prepare kids for the real world.

The Frustrated Few
And you good professors are out there - Curt Bonk, Leigh Zeitz, Eric Brunsell and many of you who read this blog ARE doing this. But you are frustrated. Frustrated because your courses are no longer required for teachers. Frustrated because you meet so much opposition. Frustrated because you are the mavericks and not appreciated for how hard you have to teach because you use projects and don't have these obligatory 900 page tomes of paper that you teach from but that your colleagues respect.

BUT KEEP DOING IT. 

Sometimes Great Teaching includes a Little of the Not So Great
For now, I'll keep staying the course and including a wide variety of teaching methods including the occasional smattering of something I don't really care for. (Less than 10% at a max!)

But, I'll tell you exactly what I tell students.

"OK, kids, I don't really like the next module we're about to do, but you need it because this is how they do it at [college's name omitted to protect the guilty] and you'll have to do it that way. My students thank me for letting them experience this but know that it won't last long - just long enough for you to be ready... for college."
Does anyone find this odd besides me? Colleges should be the bastion of best practice in education.

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