Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Student Teacher, Part 2

The requirements for Pennsylvania Teacher Certification were a certain number of specific education courses, most of which I had taken, and a semester of student teaching. I hadn't really considered being certified, but my professor gave me the hard sell. He must have had a quota to fill, or perhaps he did not want to renege on a promise to an area high school. Whatever the reason, he played the Fuller Brush man to my naïve housewife.

"No job can be as satisfying as enriching young minds," he said, scooting his desk chair toward me so that our knees nearly touched. He was still wearing a 1950s haircut and nerdy, metal-rimmed glasses. He never unbuttoned his suit coat, which had chalk dust on the elbows. His face was fixed in a permanent smile.
"You'll find student teaching surprisingly easy, and fun!" he said, grasping my forearm, just to be sure I didn't bolt from the room.
"I don't know, " I hesitated, thinking about being forced to dress like an adult and get a haircut. But I said, "Teaching two classes a day, five days a week sounds like a heavy load, along with all the other courses I have to take here, and my part-time job."
"Oh don't worry about that," he laughed. "You're just assisting your mentor teacher. You'll probably be just observing her most of the time. She'll handle all the paperwork and the testing and the disciplinary problems, if any."
"What sort of disciplinary problems?" I asked.
"Oh nothing serious, of course. These aren't city schools, they're country schools! Kids being late because of farm work, that sort of thing," he lied.
"Well, I really…"
"Great!" the professor said, jumping to his feet. Then it's settled. I'm sure Miss Tygart will be very pleased that you will be assisting her. I'll call her immediately. She's a lovely woman, Miss Tygart," he said with a knowing wink. "I can see that you two are going to get along just fine."
"Yeah, well, you know I'm, like, married," I said in a bit of a huff.
"Ha-ha-ha, well, she isn't!" he exclaimed, as he brushed me out of his office.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "Fuller brush man" that you describe sounds very much the psychiatrist that interviewed me for the army draft. He thought I was nuts and I knew he was. There must have been alot of them running around back then.