The Nonsense of Being an Education Student

Friday was my second day of classroom observations. I now have 8 out of 50 hours!

I’ll have no problem writing a paper for my educational psychology class. The “Fundamentals and Foundations of American Education” or whatever the hell that class is called, will be a totally different story.

That class wants me to look for racism and how low income students are being treated. Honestly, I can’t tell the races of half of the students in the three classes I’m observing. You have some white kids, some black kids, some Asian kids, and, *every* shade of brown.  Some look Hispanic, some look Indian, some look Middle Eastern, I’m told some are Russian Muslims and Jews from random provinces and such. These kids could come from anywhere! I hate the racial groupings they force everyone into. Especially the Asian category. An Indian kid and a Korean kid are both from the continent of Asia but they look nothing like each other and have *totally* different cultures. Not to mention Indians are technically considered Caucasian (race is based more on bone structure than color).

Anyway, let’s get to how my observations went.

Discrete Math

Well, high school discrete is a lot different from college discrete. I’d never seen what this teacher was talking about before, but it made sense. One kid was bragging to his friends about the Mercedes his parents got him, and was showing them his keys. Then the teacher asks what he did to deserve the car out of curiosity. Basically the kid wanted it and is the golden child. I really don’t understand some parents. I also saw his car while waiting for the bus stop later in the day. It looked like one of the mid or low range Mercedes.

In addition I am happy to say that my mysterious attraction to blond/blue guys won’t be getting in the way. This teacher revealed to the class that he’s from Kansas (last class he implied he was Jewish.. there are Jews in Kansas?!.. apparently so), currently lives in Manhattan (I wouldn’t wanna commute from there to Queens… ), I also saw a gold ring on his left hand.  Second blond math guy that I meet in my life who turns out to be a near polar opposite of me. I bet this one was a Virgo too -_-

Geometry

I must say that the guy who teaches this class is an awesome teacher. He always introduces new topics by first relating them to ones that were previously taught. He was working on truth tables in that class. A lot of kids were late to his class though. I don’t get why either. That class has a second teacher. They do this team teaching thing. The normal teacher teaches, and the second teacher walks around and gives kids some one on one attention if they’re having problems solving the problems he gives the class. I think that’s a really great system to have in schools.

AP Calculus

Oh my, where do I begin with this class. These kids amuse me so much. The teacher gives them a few precalc warm up problems and they all got so confused. Half of them tried to solve (x + 2)^2 – 8 = 0 by expansion, factoring and other un-godly methods. So the teacher goes to the board and puts x^2 = 4 and x – 8 = 0 on the board. They get how to solve those, but when you throw everything together they freak out. Then he showed them completing the square and gave them a few problems. For the most part they did fine, except for one problem that involved fractions.  The following is my dialogue with a frustrated kid.

Kid: *frustrated*

Me: Are you having trouble with that one.

Kid: Yes, you’re supposed to take half of b but that’s a fraction

Me: Yes, then you use the fraction.

Kid: You’re allowed to do that?

Me: Yes, as long as zero isn’t on the bottom!

It’s sad and amusing at the same time. But I’m also reminded of myself in some ways. I knew the trig but wasn’t as handy with it as I am now. It is reassuring that the kids always face palm when they realize the answer was so easy and that they couldn’t see it at first.

And that was the majority of my Friday. Back to that bullshit education class. My first (I have to do two) 10 page research paper is due in less than a month. I had a list of mostly politically correct topics to choose from… *eye roll* I managed to find a few that seem decent. I’m writing my first paper on gender differences in education, I am a firm believer in single sex education. I really can’t question my love of math, but I do wonder if I’d still have chosen math if I wasn’t at an all girl school. I still have no idea why single gender education is such a controversial topic. I think I’ll do my second paper on technology’s impact on education or something to do with learning disabilities.

I plan on posting a summarized version of my anti co-ed school paper after it is written.And now I am off to the library to get lots of books!

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Scott said,

    Sounds like fun being on the other side and watching how teachers teach! Single sex education is probably still controversial because it brings up thoughts of sexism I guess. “Separating” people based on their sex just like race is kind of taboo these days.

  2. 2

    Sounds like you’ve made a lot of good observations so far 🙂 At least you sound like it’s entertaining you in some ways, which is great! Last thing you need to be in a job is bored haha. G’luck with the rest of those hours!

  3. 3

    P.S. I love your layout.

    • 4

      improperintegirl said,

      Thanks ^^
      Scott told me the color hurt his eyes.. but I love this color..and since you also like this I can conclude that it is just Scott!!

  4. 5

    Honestly, I thin racial/income discrimination is found mostly in high school and college. I can’t count all the times a bunch of my friends here jokingly assume that so-and-so is poor because they’re Dominican. =/

    My boyfriend was taking Discrete Mathematics last year, and didn’t know the difference between the words “Discrete” and “Discreet” until I told him halfway through the semester. -_-;

    Can’t wait for you to post up your paper here, though! 😀 And I agree with Christal, I like the color of your layout. 😛

    • 6

      improperintegirl said,

      I think that’s more ‘negetive’ stereotyping than discrimination. There was some of that in my high school.. but I don’t think it was as severe because it was all girls. There was drama but it was based on social issues more than race. Discrimination would be: black kid and asian kid get into a fight, black kid gets expelled, asian kid gets to stay. At least that’s what I think. My teacher is implying that discrimination is the teacher spending more time on white boys than the rest of the class… but I have yet to see anything like that in the school I’m observing.


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