I have been "partially seconded" (a term that many on campus at the U of O have told me is only used by BEd profs) to the University of Ottawa for a single Bachelor of Education course this fall. I will be teaching a class of 35-40 pre-service teachers in their Language Instruction course.
Many summer moments were spent collecting resources, reflecting on my own experiences in teachers' college and (attempting) to crowd source information! I love connecting with local and international educators on Twitter, and sent the survey below to people that I know in real and digital life. (If you're reading this post and want to fill it out, please feel free!)
I got some great tips and feedback, which I, of course, made into a slideshow (I'm kind of into slideshows right now, in case you didn't know).
Now, I'm down to the wire. Monday was spent in a faculty meeting with the new Director and Assistant Director of the program and my new colleagues. Because of the big change over, there were lots of details to be worked out.
I returned to campus on Tuesday after spending some time getting my grade 3/4 classroom ready. I got to explore a lot of buildings on campus to get my employee ID, find my university classroom (which is beyond amazing, by the way) and arranging for a key card. ALMOST all details are now taken care of. I'm still trying to access my class lists in InfoWeb and hope I'll be able to do that before meeting my students on Wednesday.
Before I explain the title of this post, I'll let you in on a few details. I feel like I'd love to teach BEd students, but when the opportunity for a partial secondment was posted in our school email conference, I hesitated. Luckily, I have fantastic, supportive, cheerleading colleagues. Two of them forwarded the information to me and told me to go for it. Caving to positive peer pressure, I did. At the very end of June, on one of my final days with the Rainbow Eggheads, I was shocked to get an email saying that I got a position. As a partially seconded professor, the school board releases me for 14 days in a term (September-December) to teach a single course to a single class of pre-service teachers. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to determine whether or not I really do love to teach BEd students, while still keeping my foot in an elementary classroom.
By Friday, all BEd professors have to submit a course outline, or syllabus, to the faculty. Each prof is then responsible for distributing a paper copy of this syllabus to all students in his or her class in their first lesson. I am a planning addict (and generally overplan by a factor of four, each year could be four times as long, I have enough planned!) and had a lot of fun writing lists of all the ideas I wanted to impart upon my BEd students. The tricky part came in narrowing down my ideas to 12 three and a half hour classes. The trickier part is, we were told in our faculty meeting that course syllabi are legally binding. They cannot be changed once the course has started (without a LOT of difficulty) and students could charge us if we do! Whoa. Just planning so specifically so far in advance (my class runs until December) feels like a bit of pressure. Knowing I'm married to those plans feels like a heck of a lot more.
I've tried my best to tie together my plans and look at the course as a narrative, moving from big ideas to more specific details in a logical way. You know when you've been working on something for a really long time and you can't even accurately judge it any longer? That's how I feel about my course outline.
Interested in being part of a BEd course? I'd love your help. Check out the course outline and let me know what you think. There is some detail in the document, but I have a lot more on supplementary documents (as well as the 12-14 slideshows I'll be sharing in the "listen" portions of the course). Please feel free to leave a comment here, tweet at me or comment on the doc itself. Also, consider filling out the survey at the top of this post to share your ideas.
On Wednesday, when I hand this document out, I'm married to it. If you have any suggestions or objections, speak now or forever hold your peace.
***Bonus points for anyone who recognized the blog title as a reference to Conan's 2010 comedy tour.***