As we begin our 4th week of the semester I am not only realizing that our time at this high school is nearly half over, but I have also started to witness where the future of our education system is going and a number of changes in high school since I graduated.
With the high school second semester beginning yesterday, our role in the school has become much clearer than the first few weeks. Now our routine seems to consist of: Period 1 from 8:30-9:30 every morning will be spent in an EAL math class tutoring the students. A classmate and I will also be alternating between this math class and spending time in an Art 10 classroom teaching entrepreneurship concepts so the students may eventually produce an Arts apparel of some sort to be sold around the school and community.During period 2 the majority of us will be in our university class, learning from our instructors and participating in class discussions, etc. After period 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays all of the university students will be spending time in an Advisory group, teaching Literacy and reading strategies and techniques. I have been paired with an English major and a grade 9 class for advisory where we will be teaching on Tuesdays and reading on Thursdays. Period 3 is the last class of the morning and will be the time period where myself and a peer will be spending time in a Practical and Applied Arts 9 class. The PAA 9 students do a rotation every 18 days and the teacher we have been paired with will be teaching the students Drafting and Accounting and we will be teaching the students a short unit on Personal Finance.
Through presentations, observing, and class discussions it has become apparent that the future of education is much different than the education system I grew up in. The future of education lies in EAL and literacy and I believe that my involvement in these programs over the next few weeks will help me to better prepare for my future teaching career. In addition to the focus on EAL and literacy, we have also discussed the future of Business Education. Information Processing is dying; a majority of Canadian-born students are entering high school with a vast experience using computers. These students already know a large amount of what is covered in the IP curriculum and thus have no real need or desire to fill a very limited elective space with such a class. It has become very clear that business education needs to evolve along with the rest of our education system and that is is largely up to the teachers to advocate for the subject matter and courses to secure student enrollment in these classes.
I understand that Literacy Groups in Advisory is specific to this school, does anyone know of other schools that have something similar? Is EAL as big of a factor in other schools/provinces/countries? And are other subject areas beginning to feel that some of their courses may be dying out?
Although the first few weeks were a bit overwhelming, we have started to figure things out and have a better understanding of the purpose of this pilot project semester which I am confident will provide me with the experiences I need to become a better teacher.