The First Week

Well…the first official week of my student teaching has ended, albeit, a week without students.  It was three days of teacher institute, and I’m thrilled to report that everything went great!  There were numerous meetings to go to, and countless things to learn about the school, but all went extremely well.  Everyone I met was helpful and most had a smile on their face.

One of the big recurring topics this week was the Washington D.C. Public Schools and their chancellor, Michelle Rhee.  She has been a pretty polarizing figure in her tenure with DCPS, with the implementation of new teacher evaluations.  With these evaluations, a large portion of the teacher workforce in DCPS has been fired due to being labeled “ineffective” teachers.  Many people seem to think that this way of evaluating, based on the Charlotte Danielson model, will start to be used across the country.  Regardless, it was somewhat of a wake up call, and the motto of the teachers at my school seemed to be one of proactive nature.  Trying to understand how the evaluations work and making a strong effort to become a better teacher and sharpen the skills of their craft.  So this was a good conversation to have as it made us all aware of a new trend for keeping teachers accountable.

Starting Tuesday, the students will be in the building.  I look forward to the start of the school year and working with the students and staff as time progresses.  My next goal is to try and find some kind of club/extracurricular activity that I could possibly get involved in.

Stay tuned…

About Pat

Pat Riley is student teaching at Amundsen High School in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood for the fall of 2010. He will be teaching Contemporary American History, starting just before the Civil War, as he works towards his Type 9 certificate with an endorsement in History and hopefully Business. Previously, he worked in public relations and business development for a law firm in Chicago, but decided his passion was education. Prior to working in public relations and business development, Mr. Riley received a B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus in Sports Marketing from Indiana University. Follow his blog at Musings on Apples and Education.
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