Thursday, February 12, 2009

School sucks!

I was absolutely positively worth nothing yesterday. Well let's back up.... I did a lot yesterday. At Free Geek I helped rearrange the store for 5 hours. They have big plans for the place and I helped get a few of them started. It was a lot of work and I was tired when I got done. Of course my day was not done yet, I was headed to the NELA center to be available as a tutor. I almost got a chance to help edit a paper but that fell through as she decided to go home instead. So instead I worked on doing some prep work for my Mad Science classes. I organized the take homes I will hand out Thursday and Friday. It involves little baggies, clay and stir straws. Anyway, when I finally got home I turned on the television.... then the dvd player and watched Naruto. I was planning on doing some homework after watching a show or two. After the first show ended I dutifully turned on the computer with good intentions; instead I got sucked into the internet.
I watched Kyle XY and talked to people on Facebook. Next thing I know I'm yawning and it is 12:30... I failed to post anything in the online class Wednesday and as a result I will need to reply to things on Saturday. I planned to have Saturday off... Let me explain. At the University of Phoenix, online courses (and the mixed physical class and online class that I have) have a standard rule about proper participation. I need to be online 4 times a week, reply to 2 posts from other people per day, and post an original response to all teacher posted questions. I did not do anything on Sunday or Monday and in order to take Saturday off I needed to be online Tuesday through Friday. In the past classes I have been online and posting everyday. The combination of my volunteering and working has significantly reduced my available time but that is not the main issue here. The main issue is that a year into the program I am a little demotivated. Perhaps it's the nonstop method of classes, maybe it's the fact that I am learning more with my after school teaching then I am in these classes, or it could be that the assignments I am doing seem to have little to do with reality, more of a time filler then anything else. Either way I am feeling less and less inclined to jump into the fray and discuss the silly topics. I am tired of the assigned reading that seems to think blathering incessantly about theory will help prepare me for the classroom. Maybe one of the factors in my burn out are struggling to look for a place to do the required observation hours with no tips or help from the school. In a lot of ways this school has made being in school easier but it has made things harder.
Here is an example: I am never quite sure who to talk to or help in an advising role. I have a friend who sent a question off to someone they were thinking might e able to help or at least point them to the right person and a month later still had no answer. There is not a cyber advising office as far as I can tell and it is hard to really figure out what every ones role is in the school. I had experiences at NAU where I ran around trying to talk to the right person and kept getting redirected. I am not sure why there is no clear cut path to follow and there is so much groping around in the dark in academia. In all of my years in customer service and sales positions I was told that I needed to do everything in my power to make sure that I got the customer to the right person who would have the answer. I would call and track the person down before connecting the person (most of the time, unless the customer was in league with satan). Nothing is more frustrating then getting the run around but schools never seem to bother with improving this aspect. They put a lot of the strain of figuring out where to go and who to talk to on the student's back and in an online setting this can become even more frustrating. Considering the money funneling into these places this is a huge bone of contention for me. I should be walking on rose petals whenever I go to campus!

Yet that is not the reason I am tired of school and wanting desperately to be done. The real reason is that for every decent class I get I end up with 4 that are irrelevant. It is even worse with the homework. We do at least one assignment individually each week and usually one as a group, as a result there are plenty of assignments that make me think I am in a creative writing class. Even worse is that a lot of the classes are the same subjects with a different name so I write similar papers over and over again. All these assignments and classes miss the point. You need to teach to really learn to teach. Only after you teach do the theories begin to make sense. Why exactly would you think having aspiring teachers design a role play would teach them anything about being a teacher? So freaking irritating! GAH! Medical students work at a teaching hospital because they need to know more then just what a book says to be a doctor. Why don't teachers follow a soimilar path? Then again that is a totally different discussion better left for another time.

4 comments:

Robert said...

Keep your head up! While I totally dig all your volunteer roles. Maybe you should rethink how many of them you persue. You don't want to screw up/slip up at school.
As I'm not really sure what you need in respect to your classes, I also have a few friends out here who are teachers (one who teaches hearing impaired children, one who teaches ESL children, a kindergarden teacher). Denise's cousin has been a children's librarian for at least 5 years as well. I know that doesn't help for observation but maybe in other ways...

Michael Williams said...

I have plenty of time to do homework.... as I said in my post my problem is motivation. I am dealing with it though. I am hard at work on a project for it as I type. I keep taking breaks but it will be done before too long.

Robert said...

Finish strong!

Michael Williams said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I am hanging in there I have 3.85....