Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mr. Tram's Diary: Day 6

This is the sixth and final entry of Mr. Tram's secret diary, in which he logged his observations of my conduct as a student teacher. As I told you yesterday, I didn't get my hands on it until six months after I was kicked out, and long after my final appeal was exhausted. Todays entry was made on a Friday, and handed in to the Prinicipal that same day. On Monday morning I was met at the door by the Vice Principal and ordered to wait in the office until Mrs. Skull arrived. Forty-five minutes later she came in, and after a short meeting informed me that I would have to leave the school immediately. Later that day I was contacted by the University and informed that my practicum had been terminated. Here is the final entry in Mr. Tram's diary:

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Nov 18, 2100


Mr. Green paced by my classroom without saying anything. He then returned and presented his lesson plan for the first time (see attached copy).  I, however, have prepared and planned to teach today’s lesson. I informed Mr. Green that after he handed the lesson plan that I would teach the class for one day and it would be today. He objected and left my classroom. On his way out, he said to Gary McGibney that he had been asked to terminate his block with me. Gary came to see me and clarified with me. Gary asked me to let Mr. Green cool off and emailed him later that his block had not been terminated. I informed Mabini of the incident. Half an hour later Mabini informed me that Mr. Green is in her room. I took this opportunity to explain to Mr. Green my intention. It took me 20 minutes to calm him down from talking loudly and pacing back and forth while we were talking in the staff room. I explained to him that we are here to help him to become a better teacher. Gary came over and asked Mr Green to trust me, Mabini, Wally and Gary himself. Green said loudly “I trust no one. I trust myself”. I did allow him to teach today’s lesson using my lesson plan. He blew it by making a lot of mistakes. He needed fine tunes on his knowledge.
  
EDIT: Mr. Confused has asked if he could see an example of my lesson plans. Here is a unit I prepared for Prof. Bush's course. I have more available if I look for them. You can link to the pdf here.

EDIT 2:  And this is the "lesson plan" referred to in Mr. Tram's diary.

19 comments:

  1. Is there any chance you would share a small sample of the lesson you prepared? It is kind of personal, so I understand if you decline to do so.

    From what I recall (not able to recall a specific situation) you were not fond of formal lesson plan templates. You were pretty vocal about your concern with the current school system (again, no specific example, just an overall sense)

    I am just curious to know if your lesson plans followed a specific formula...

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    1. No specific formula, but I use elements that the profs talked about. I've updated the blogpost with a link to a set of lesson plans that I did as the major assignment in Prof. Bush's course.

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    2. I think Mr. Confused was asking for a copy of, or at least a general overview, of the lesson you had prepared for that day that would go unused. That's the sense I got anyway.

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    3. Yes, of course you're right and I've updated my links.

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  2. Is keeping the diary as Mr Tram did, standard practice ? Was he asked to do this or did he do it for his own reasons ?

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    1. Welcome to the discussion, DogFood. Yes, let's hear what the haters have to say on this one...do any of them have examples of similar types of assessments their CT's wrote up about them? So far, no one (except possibly you) seems to have noticed anything out of the ordinary about the nature of Mr. Tram's log entries.

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  3. Mine did when they stayed in the class, but I am not an oppositional fool that cant be trusted with students so comparing the two of us probably isn't fair.

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  4. NapkinLessonPlannerMay 14, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    What kind of lesson plan is that? Was that done on a napkin? What SLO's are you hitting? Where's the assessment for/of learning. Was it all lecture based, what are the activities and how long are you spending on each, is there room for class discussion?

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  5. I don't think I would call your lesson plans 'napkin' quality.... But I am surprised that you have not listed the SLO's you plan to cover for each lesson as they are being taught. Hmmm.... not too sure what to think about your lesson plans but I know I would NOT have wanted to read your essay leading up to them. You tend to ramble... but you already know that.

    As far as daily notes or diary entries kept by my CT's? Two CT's introduced me to the class and never stepped foot in the room again. Gone. One stayed in the room but did her own thing and my very first CT stayed in the room, but was not actively listening to my lessons. Every so on, I would get the smile, or nod of encouragement. But I am not you. I was not at all confrontational and as I explained earlier, I went over each lesson plan prior to teaching it. The stamp of approval, I guess you could say. They had all the faith in the world in me.

    I had given them no reason not to.

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    1. So you're saying that as you were reading Mr. Tram's diary, at no point did you say to yourself, based on your own experience with the CT's you had, "Gee, Marty's CT seems like a bit of a hardass"; or, "Gee, I'm sure glad I didn't have Mr. Tram for MY ct!"

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    2. I will be honest Marty. I enjoyed the freedom, but remember, I WILLINGLY brought ALL lessons to my CT and not only listened to some criticism, but made changes based on their advice. Daily.

      I think the difference is, that I had awesome communication with my CT's and if there was something wrong, it never escalated.

      How would I have handled Tram? Probably very differently than you. (Unless he is full of crap about you not willing to change your teaching strategies, lessons or other suggestions he put forth)

      I know how much you hate the current state of our teaching systems, but you can't walk in during your practicum and turn it all upside down. It simply doesn't work that way... again, many, many people have mentioned this in previous posts.

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    3. You didn't answer my question.

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    4. Never crossed my mind that your CT was a 'hard ass.' Never crossed my mind that you had it bad, or that I wouldn't want your CT. The initial entries suggest he wanted to help you become a better teacher. THAT'S why we need to know how much was factual and how much was inflated....or embellished.

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    5. Just where does he say exactly what he did to try and help me become a better teacher?

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  6. Apologies... I didn't see the Lesson plan for the day Tram was talking about. I was referring to your unit plan.

    In reference to your lesson plan, I would suggest you should have printed out some type of template and listed specific SLO's. It is pretty weak, Marty. Now I see what Napkinlessonplanner was complaining about. That is not sufficient. I understand how your CT was apprehensive about your teaching methods....

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  7. Marty, say what you will about Mr. Tram being a poor immigrant emancipating himself and becoming a teacher or whatever, but his English is fucking atrocious. Hard to believe that any reasonable person would think he's qualified to not only teach, but evaluate other upcoming teachers.

    This diary entry in particular reeks of rationalization. Looks like someone else made the decision to kick Marty out before that day even began.

    "He blew it by making a lot of mistakes. He needed fine tunes on his knowledge."

    Piss poor english, informal use of language for an important document, and a laughable rationalization. He made a lot of mistakes? Really, that's the best you can come up with? "Mistakes"? And he needs to "fine tune" his knowledge or whatever? Sounds to me like he's doing great for a teaching practicum! A student teacher, making some mistakes and in need of a fine tune here and there. Sounds to me like Marty was almost ready to graduate.

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    1. Some of the words used are very interesting.

      "He blew it [...]"

      Blew what? Was Marty being watched for whether or not he would "blow it"? How so? Was there an expectation that perhaps Marty would not do well on that particular day, and perhaps that would have some sort of significant repercussion? Was Marty on a last-chance evaluation or something? If so, based on what? Did anybody tell Marty that he was on a "don't blow this or you will get kicked out" evaluation? If not, why not?

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  8. Wow! Looks like your anonymous supporters are coming out of the woodwork now... Same person though? Just wondering how qualified anonymous is to suggest that you were, as he says "almost ready to graduate." Did he look at your lesson plan?

    It certainly looks like Tram got the word to 'dig up some dirt' on you. BUT it doesn't look like he had to embellish too much. You gave him plenty of ammunition. Can you tell us how much of what Tram has recorded is true? Are there parts that are blatantly false or inaccurate?

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  9. The CT and the trainee teacher should be jointly responsible for the performance of the trainee. It shouldn't be a confrontational relationship, with secret diaries and such. Where is the openness and working together to improve ?

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