Tuesday, September 4, 2012
First day was a big day. Really didn't sleep more than 1 or 2 hours last night. Kind of got sucked into getting stuff organised and whatnot. Not the best habit, but I don't pull the all nighters all that often these days. First two classes, 8:30 am - 12:20 pm very interesting, profs seem very accommodating, approachable and whatnot. Signed up for one of my bigger presentations in the first spot. There were some others I was really interested in, but they got taken. Another one already had one guy but he didn't show, so I was a little dubious about having a partner that didn't show, so ended up going with the first slot, the topic being "Designing Instruction" and have a partner I will have to work with. I'm not sure which person she was, but I think I met everyone in the class so I guess I'll find out as we have a meeting in the library tomorrow. I know her name is Hailey. We have to present on September 13th.
I also have another partner work, some homework, but it's very small, but it's due for Thursday's class. We will meet tomorrow at 3:30 in the Education Library. We have to skim a document and answer some questions about it.
From my Curriculum and Instruction in English, it was a fairly casual over view of some issues and things we would cover, so I didn't take many notes. We did a "person search" ice breaker activity which was interesting. Everyone had a sheet with questions that they had to use to find and meet other people. I was pretty much the most in demand guy and people were lined up to get my signature next to questions, because I had biked to school, I didn't own a phone, and had taught in another country, all of which were people they were supposed to find. It was very active time, everyone mingling and talking. It was a good way to meet people, and everyone seems to know my name now.
In both classes I took notes on the ipad using my new keyboard. I think it will work out well. Then it was errand time after those two classes were done. Went to get my student loan documents signed by the financial awards office, to the bookstore to pick up some books I needed, to the bank to get a void cheque that I needed for the student loan stuff, then to the post office to finish that student loan process. It's sent off, so hopefully I'll get the money soon. After that I went down to the multicultural office to inquire about some stuff regarding Eunju's landing, and free English class. She has two appointments, one with is just about landing, they suggested she come in the day after she arrive. It should just be an hour, but they'll help her with any documents she needs and stuff like that. That's on Monday. Then she can rest, and explore for a week, and then an English level test early the next week. I'm going to go with her the first day, introduce her and show her where it is and all. After that I rushed back to campus for my evening 5:00-9:00 class. Interesting class, it was long, but talking about social sciences, philosophy, and things was really something I enjoyed. I was really happy to find out that some high schools now teach philosophy elective courses. That's really awesome!
Eunju tried to skype me in the middle of the class. I had to turn it off and go offline as fast as I could. I'm going to have to try to remember to log out before classes in the future. Of course it won't be much of a problem, because my lovely wife will be here on the weekend! Today was the 4th, our anniversary day for me in Canada. It was yesterday for Eunju. It was a bit sad to not be together, but I figure I'm working on making a brighter future for us so we can have many many happy anniversaries in the future.
Finally, near the end of the evening class it started raining, thunder and lightning. Biked home in the rain. Took a shower. Had a few egg rolls, figure I deserve the treat, though I only ate two. Even with the rain, I was pretty happy with the day, although this is going to move very fast and be very busy so I'm going to have to stay on top of it all!
So a few of the themes that stuck with me from today's classes. Being a teacher means you have a public image to uphold, you are never really not a teacher in the society at large, so it's important to be aware of how you carry yourself, even when not at work. Regarding legal issues (Ed. Law) the advice was if you have some possible legal run in, don't try to explain yourself, or justify things, shut up, and get legal advice before responding with too much information. There was so much more, and a whoe ton of discussion in the evening Social Sciences class, but those are just a few I can remember. There will be no exam in this course ;). We talked about qualities of good vs bad teachers in brainstorming groups. I have some homework, to familiarise myself with a document on the Professional Advisory on Sexual Abuse.
In my evening class I was one of three Trevors in the class. Wow, three of us. There were also two Sara's, and a few other pairs of people with the same names. All those Trevors in the same class. Could it be that I've reached a milestone, or magic stop in the Trevor Quest. All things considered, I'm excited about this next leg in the journey.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Wow, of the 27 teachers profiled profiled in a photo gallery after this story 25 of them are females. (So including this main story I guess it's 6 our of 28, and if you are wondering why I said 27 when there are 33 pictures, a few of the teachers have multiple pics.) What is going on with women teachers?
I did notice some differences. The two men in these stories tended to be going after very young students at the elementary school age, while except for some exceptions, most of the female teachers tended to be in the middle school and high school age groups. Is it that with the stereotype or traditional idea of the male as the one to worry about that the females don't expect to get caught? Are the males better able to not get caught? Is some of the puzzle that teen age boys are more likely to initiate that kind of contact, and that a certain percentage of the female teachers were not smart, professional, ethical, or sane enough to have a clear line of boundaries?
Is the teaching profession somehow attracting female teachers who are not emotionally stable? Is it reflective of female victims of sexual abuse themselves who are attracted to younger boys that would not have the same threatening power over them as adult males would? Is it about feeling in control, or the need to feel in control due to past victimisation? Do the teachers somehow rationalise the behaviour as not being criminal because, at least in high school student cases, the victims proximity to the age of consent? How many of them showed true remorse? How many of them thought it was alright and justified or rationalised it? It would seem to me in general, outside of education, the statistics of sexual abuse, rape, and other sex crimes seem to be much higher among males. Is this simply not true? I still think it's true that it happens much more often with males as the offender. If that's true, what is it about the teaching profession that, (if this site is an accurate reflection of the real stats, which admittedly it may not be, I haven't actually done any research) would flip this upside down? Does it have to do with the nature of the job, the close relationships a teacher forges with students.
Is it simply a matter that there are many more female teachers than male teachers out there? I think I had about equal male to female teacher ratios in my junior and high school days, but perhaps I'm remembering wrong, and being as I graduated in '91 perhaps things have changed a lot. I also wonder that almost every case, I think every case here, involves American schools. Did the reporter only focus on American schools? I wonder what the stats might be for my own country, Canada? Is it a case that these stories of female offender teachers is just 'better' more sensational news? I wonder if anybody here actually knows any real stats on this? As a final note, this isn't meant to be a judgement on women teachers, and I haven't seen any actual research, I'm just wondering out loud with my reaction of going through the photo slideshow and seeing all women except the two guys, who as I did note, seem to be the ones that diddled really young children, though there were a few of the females who did go pretty low, like 11 and around that area. I admit these are just a lot of questions, and I don't have any good answers, but I am truly curious. Any comments, insights, stats, or reflections out there?
I'll leave you with an on topic but old video from Van Halen to accompany your ruminations.