23 September 2008

And so it begins...

Ah, first entries are always fun. It's strange because you never know what to write and not sound like you're introducing yourself to a support group. "Hi, I'm The Almost Teacher. And I'm...well, I'm almost a teacher."

But that's really true. That's what I am. Almost a teacher.

Let's get introductions out of the way. I'm a senior in my fifth year at Michigan State University, in the College of Education's Teacher Certification Program. I am taking my last couple of teaching courses this semester and next. And then...I graduate and enter the world of student teaching. When I finish, I'll be certified to teach high school English Language Arts.

You might ask, "Almost Teacher, what's the purpose of your new blog? Why are you writing it? What will I find here?"

Well, there's a couple of reasons I'm writing it, I would answer.

First, in one of my teaching courses, we have an ongoing assignment to design and fill a teaching notebook. We're allowed to do whatever we want. It can be a traditional binder or we can find some other medium for our notebook. I'm probably a little boring in that my first leanings were towards a nice little binder with neat little dividers to organize all of my carefully collected teaching articles and all the lesson plans and unit ideas and curricular resources that I will soon have collected.

I made one of those.
It's nice, and neat.
And you know that I can't just let it go. I'm using it as part of my teaching notebook.

But I wanted to try something different, too. There is a huge focus on how to use technology in the classroom in the teaching program at MSU, so I wanted to see how I could incorporate that into this assignment. I designed a wiki at wikispaces.com first, to organize everything. Then I realized that I wanted to incorporate a blog aspect into that as well. And that's how we ended up here.

To be honest, I was pretty proud of my wiki. But now, I'm really excited about my blog. So we'll see which one I end up keeping as the technology component of my teaching notebook.

The second purpose of this blog is to help me collect my thoughts during the next couple of years. I'm an English major, so I collect my thoughts in writing all the time. A blog seemed like a really sensible way to integrate technology and writing to collect my thoughts about my final year of teaching classes, my field placements this year, and my internship next year. Hopefully, this will morph into a place where I can archive the struggles and successes that I have as a pre-professional teacher. We'll see how I evolve.

A little disclaimer to close this entry off. I'm not a professional teacher, I'm not an educational theorist. Nothing that I write in this blog should be taken as anything more than the reflections of someone who is learning. I will also always use respectful language and I will maintain the utmost professional responsibility when I write about my experiences in classrooms with my colleagues and with students. This means that I will never disclose actual names of students or colleagues, nor will I disclose any actual locations. I simply ask that any reader/watcher of this blog understand that I expect professionalism and respect in response to my blog.

Signing off,
The Almost Teacher