December 14 – teach me something

143/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I was one of those people that had to complete a practicum to enter into my chosen career. Not only are practicums invaluable for the employer to determine if they are hiring the correct fit for the job but they are just as important for the prospective employee to ensure that the job meets their needs. My practicum was way back in 1991 teaching at a school called Tupper in East Vancouver. I was very intimidated and it was a school well out of my comfort zone – I mean, it was East Van!!! 😉 Yes, I fell for all the stereotypes and was a bag of nerves on my first day but all for naught – the kids there were amazing but where I lucked out was with my school advisors. Although the norm was that a student teacher would get 1 – 3 advisors, I ended up with 5!! The two main ones were Diane M and George T. Each of them taught different courses and since I had a Business Degree, it was deemed that I was “qualified” to teach all of their courses: Information Technology, Keyboarding, Accounting, Marketing, Economics etc. Unlike my peers who had perhaps 2 -4 courses to prepare for, I had 7 courses but I didn’t know any different so I did what I had to. Each of my advisors had their own philosophy regarding teaching and each one is of benefit to me to this very day. George was laid back in his approach – he let me just go with whatever I wanted to try and if the lesson failed, it was a learning opportunity. This approach was very outside my perfectionist ideology but so necessary for me at the time. It allowed me to extend my teaching far beyond my comfort limits as I had his okay at the back of my mind – to this day, I am willing to take chances with my Marketing classes because of George’s permissiveness with my student teaching. Diane taught me a very valuable lesson which I quickly realized in my teaching career. I was teaching the same class that she was also teaching in another block and I thought it would be great if we taught the same material and used the same resources. She unequivocally said no. I was taken aback and then resentful. Of course, I then created my own materials – lessons and tests and used them not understanding why she wouldn’t have let me used her resources. It was only at the end of my practicum that she revealed that she wanted me to create my own materials on my practicum as I would inevitably be tasked with teaching new courses where I would have no one to rely on for resources. At the time, I feigned comprehension but I only gained a true understanding of what she meant and what she developed in me in my first few years of teaching subjects that I was never prepared for. To George and Diane, I couldn’t have asked for better sponsor teachers during my practicum – you have made me the teacher I am today. Thank you so much for your guidance. In your honour, I take on student teachers and pass them the wisdom and guidance I gleaned from you.

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One thought on “December 14 – teach me something

  1. Thank You, Randy! I am just reading this now. I am flattered and touched by your thoughtful acknowledgements. As a Sponsor Teacher, I felt blessed to have been given the responsibility of guiding young and upcoming Teachers for the future. I have never forgotten my humbling student teacher beginnings at Kits with the late Fred Brown and Bob Austin. They too, had great impacts on my teaching philosophy and style. I always, carried forward, my appreciation for my early guidance to my own Student Teachers. I remember each and every one of their fears when I presented my approach to what their practicum will be with me. The look of, ‘you’re not going to tell me what to do?’, was a typical reaction. What each and every one of you didn’t see, that I did, was the talent, skills, motivation, desire, fear and caring for being a successful Teacher. That was my responsibility, to translate what I saw, in each and every one of you, from the start, to the internal self. I loved watching the growth and confidence in all of you. Your own personal discoveries about yourselves, the feelings of, ‘I can do this!’. I learned so much, myself, from all of my Student Teachers. You all impacted my personal Teaching to a higher level. Many Teacher Advisors feared Student Teachers, because they were harder working and better Teachers. Almost, like they didn’t want to be exposed for what they were not. I welcomed the challenges Student Teachers gave to me. I always felt proud of all of you when my classes ‘loved’ you more than me. That’s when I knew you all had made the transition from Student Teacher to ‘The’ Teacher. I would always have a chuckle with my classes, after a Student Teacher completed their Practicum and left. I would always acknowledge how good they were, but now, they are ‘stuck’ with me. That was my personal confidence, in myself.

    Randy, you were truly, a top notch Student Teacher and person. You had so much caring and sincerity in your person and approach. You wanted to learn everything I could give and you took it further with your own creativity and talents. Whatever you learned and achieved was because of your hard work and dedication. I enjoyed your journey to success. The students loved everything you gave them, as I am sure they do all these years later, in your own settings. Your continued caring is demonstrated in this recognition you give me, all these years later. I loved and enjoyed your presence at Tupper. I am happy Tupper Students were blessed with your talents and skills and person. It was such a win win situation.

    Thank You, again, for touching my life, again, all these years later. Merry Christmas and continued health, happiness and success.

    Liked by 1 person

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