But sooner or later we were going to this, and I guess now is as good a time as any. It all started when I showed up on a Tuesday in November for my regular practicum day and Mr. Tram, the Grade 9 Science teacher, told me that he was going to start teaching Static Electricity that very morning...first period, in fact. This was a bit messed up because I was supposed to teach Static Electricity as my practicum unit, and it wasn't scheduled to begin until two weeks later. So I asked Mr. Tram if he couldn't teach two weeks of chemistry, and then let me start my unit on schedule.
He didn't want to do that. He said if he started chemistry and then switched to electricity, the students would have forgotten everything about chemistry when he came back to it in the new year, and he'd have to start over from scratch.
So I asked him if I could teach static electricity myself. I was already prepared for it, and I would be available for all but one of the classes over the next two weeks. So Mr. Tram said OK. I ran to the science room to collect all the props I could find...balloons, glass rods (for rubbing on fur), and those oil-filled glass slides with the iron filings for showing magnetic fields. And that's how I started teaching my unit.
It turned out Mr. Tram didn't think much of my teaching. I didn't know it at the time, but he kept a diary of my short stint as a teacher, covering the seven days I spent in front of his Grade 9 Science class. Here is how Mr. Tram describes my very first day.
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Nov 8, 2011
Mr. Green expressed interest in starting a new unit. I gave him the change to teach the first class. The lesson is about electrostatic. Mr. Green spent most of the class talk about concepts that is not part of the curriculum such as magnetic (which is learned at grade 12 and this is a grade 9 class), geography and history (Columbus), as well as concepts that students will see in 3 weeks into the course. Many topics he talked about were random and did not related to electrostatics. He talked for the entire 65 minutes without stopping.
I met with Mr. Green and gave constructive criticism about the lesson. He got very angry at me and stated that he is not going to take the advices. He also stated that his teaching career would be over if he took any advice from me. I invited Mabini to chair our meeting during lunch. Mr. Green insisted that he continue to teach the way he likes. He is not willing to listen to any advice from me.
I also asked him to remind the grade 9 students to copy down notes. He said “no one tell me what to do. I will not tell them what to do” I have no more advice to give to Mr. Green.