Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mr. Tram's Diary: Day 4

You just can't satisfy some people. Since I started posting the daily entries from Mr. Tram's diary, the haters have been howling about how I'm not telling the whole story. What about the details Mr. Tram is leaving out, like what did I actually do to get him so afraid of me?

These are the same people who get all in my face every time I try to tell a story about something that happened in class, complaining that I'm twisting the story around to make myself look good. And yet when I let the other side speak for themselves, they get all outraged because now I'm supposedly "holding back" my version. "You were there", they whine. "Why don't you spill the beans?"

Don't they get it? THESE ARE THE FACTS that got me kicked out of school. Shortly after the little Halloween incident I told you about in February, Mrs. Skull instructed all the Cooperating teachers to begin "documenting" my behavior. Well, these are the "documents" she got, and it was on the basis of these that she demanded the University pull me out of the practicum. The University did not hesitate.

So unless it's clear to you already that they had ample reason to kick me out, why don't you wait to see what else is in the diary? I've posted three days of entries from Mr. Tram's diary. Here is the fourth entry. There are still two more to come.

* * * * * * * *

Nov 16, 2011

Started with Pythagoras then linguistic analysis of the vowels in English (about 15 minutes). I and many students have no idea what Mr. Green is talking about. As more students showed up, he repeated the experiment yesterday and some kid informed him that it was done yesterday but he did it anyway. There is no progress in the curriculum, no assignment given (after 5 classes), no lesson plan. He talk about random topics that are no related to the course. I tried very to remind him to have lesson plans and well-structured way to teach but he says “This is how I teach” and refuses to take any advise from me. We will have a meeting soon and his teaching block with me might not be continued to go on if he continues to teach the way he taught.


  1. Hi Marty, from what I gather from the entries is that you failed to provide adequate lesson plans which I believe are part of the responsibilities of the teacher candidate as indicated in that handbook. I think a combination of not meeting that expectation and not willing to work with your ct was enough to remove you from practicum in my opinion. A teacher's first duty is to their students and if your ct had felt that letting you teach was negatively affecting their classroom then they are within their rights to remove you especially when they had given you an opportunity to improve.

    1. What handbook are you talking about?

    2. I think he/she/they are referring to the certification student booklet we got prior to starting classes (and shadowing) for the year. It outlined practicum block teaching loads, the roles of student teachers, faculty advisers, and CT's, remediation procedures (in the event of a failed block or in the event of risk of failure), timelines for teaching for the year, and so forth. Had a blue cover, I believe.

    3. Yes, I know about the handbook. I was wondering why he/she brought it up, because I don't think I'd mentioned it previously in this blog. (I think he/she is Jennifer, by the way.) So just what does the blue book say about the student teacher's responsibility to "provide adequate lesson plans"?

  2. Hey Marty, anonymous from earlier again.. no I am not Jennifer but I am a former classmate, first time responder to the blog, and a life long friend. I mentioned the handbook to respond to "is it clear that they had ample reason" remark. The adequacy of your lessin plan would have to be determined by the ct and faculty supervisor. So unless you found their expectations as unreasonable then their actions were warranted. I do sympathize with your situation but I personally think that every party involved (profs, teachers, admin...) had every intention to help you get your teaching certificate and I witnessed sincere attempts to work constructively with you to do so. I hope all is well marty, cheers.

    1. I appreciate your opinion as to why I deserved to get kicked out of my practicum. It's surprising the number of people that are able to form an intelligent opinion about what happened in Gordon Bell without hearing my side of the story. But I'd be more interested in your opinion as to why I deserved to get kicked out of university. You were there with me in class. What did you see me do?

    2. Oh My God!!!!! Did you really just say that??? "It's surprising the number of people that are able to form an intelligent opinion about what happened in Gordon Bell without hearing my side of the story."

      I have been asking you for your side of the story for the last three posts and you keep saying "Let's let Mr. Tram tell the story!"

      So in other words... no one is allowed to comment or make an assumption on this post until you tell us its 'time!' Don't whine that people are commenting on your very public blog with the limited information that you have been feeding us! Set the record straight if you would like people to make informed conclusions, otherwise quit whining.

    3. I'm going to stand by my observation, and you of all people should agree with me. You're the one who correctly observed that Mr. Tram wasn't giving you enough information to understand just what it was that I did to make him feel so intimidated. The other Miss Anonymous, who we'll call Jeniffer's BFF, felt no such hesitation. She, like Mrs. Skull at Gordon Bell, and like the Dean of Education, felt that there was more than enough information in Mr. Tram's diary to justify my immediate removal from the program.

      In response to this, I said I'm surprised "at the number of people...who form an opinion...without hearing my side of the story." I think that's a fair observation in the circumstances.

      And I'm still waiting for Jennifer's BFF to tell us just what she saw me do in class that makes her so confident in jumping to the conclusion that I deserved to get kicked out of my practicum.

    4. So, to clarify. If I correctly noted that Mr. Tram did not mention the original interaction or altercation which raised concerns for him, can I assume SOMETHING did happen. Or are you suggesting there was no previous interaction? Sorry. I am just a bit confused. Are these the documents (the diary entries) that were presented to the university? You need to clarify. IF there was an altercation, which he did not document, can you enlighten us?

      Seriously Marty, I want to understand. I am not a hater. Just wish you would be a little more forth coming with information to help me out....

    5. So you're not a hater? I get tired of people who post anonymously, call me a prick one day and say "your an idiot" the next day and then say "I'm not a hater".

      If you're not a hater, identify yourself. Or at least sign a moniker that distinguishes you from all the other haters.

  3. jennifer's bffMay 11, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I am interested in hearing your side of the story. I am not a hater Marty. As someone who went through the student teaching process I was familiar with the expectations and based on the diary entries it seemed reasonable for you to be removed. If there is something you want to add, I will gladly listen and maybe change my opinion.

    As for getting kicked out of the university, I cannot neceassarily say I have personally observed any single event that would have gotten you kicked out of the university. There was a bunch of events involving yourself that made it incovenient for the profs and other students. I believe you often fixated on a lot of the details in class without understandinf the larger picture. Many times it interupted the flow of the class. I noticed many students being frustrated. Question: were you aware of other students frustrations when you made comments during class? There was also times where you came off as rude towards profs, students, and presenters. There were a couple times where you had conflict with profs where you displayed a lack of respect.

    Again, I do not think any single event was so bad it was enough to get you kicked out personally.

    I do consider myself someone who was probably more tolerant of your behaviour in class. I assume all those events as a whole or some specific events was enough for the university to give you the boot. I am unfamiliar with what part of the academic code the uni has you for breaking but I assume some of those events falls under the umbrella of the code. I did witness some sincere attempts from the profs to work with you. If you can comment on what specifically you got kicked out for I could address that.

    1. Dear JennifersBFF,

      It is helpful that you are identifying yourself. It's a bit awkward juggling two interleaved conversations with posters that have very different points-of-view. I was going to call the other one Miss I-am-not-a-hater but now you've used the exact same catch phrase in your latest post, so that would make it a little ambiguous as an identifier. Since she hasn't picked her own name yet, I'll call her Miss Confused, in honor of her professing to be confused by what got Mr. Tram so upset with me in the first place. And I really mean the name as a compliment, because she's quite right to make that observation...something you, JennifersBFF, don't seem bothered by.

      It is also helpful that you've made some observations about what happened in university, and I'd like to come back to that, but first I think I need to clear up something about Mr. Tram's diary, which may help both you and Miss Confused understand my position on it.

      I don't like to tell my side of the story because every time I do people (the "haters") jump all over me for leaving stuff out. But what you need to know about the diary is that it was a secret diary: I didn't get my hands on it until six months after I was kicked out, and long after my final appeal was exhausted. Mr. Tram kept the diary for exactly two weeks; the day he made his final entry, he turned it over to the principal, and I was kicked out of Gordon Bell the very next morning. There is no other documentation associated with anything that happened in my teaching practicum, other than the letter sent by the Prinicpal to the University requesting that I be removed.

      I hope this context is helpful. You have seen that Mr. Tram reports that he was very displeased with the way I handled my very first class, as he informed me as soon as the class ended. So far as I know, up to that moment I had been held in very high esteem by the Cooperating Teachers. As evidence of this is the fact that I had been offered not one but two full units to teach: Mr. Tram's Grade 9 Science and Ms. Pagtakhans Grade 10 Chemistry (you will see that this fact is noted in Mr. Tram's next diary entry.)

      I'm not telling you this to blow my own horn; just to answer Miss Confused's questions as to what I did to get Mr. Tram so upset before the diary began. The answer, as far as I know, is absolutely nothing; and my evidence, as found in Mr. Tram's diary, is that the Department Head (Mabini - that's Ms. Pagtakhan) still thought enough of me to allow me to teach two full units.

    2. ...except I'm going to guess that it's not Miss Confused, but Mr. Confused.