Tuesday night I sensed a great deal of interest (of course) in what you can expect when you are student teaching, interviewing for postions and and teaching. I had an experience today I want to share w/you. The host teacher (and department chair) whose classroom I visit at Liverpool High School told me that in their most recent senior English dept. meeting the faculty decided to widen its infusion of literary theories into their senior English classes.
This is a large faculty — 20+ English teachers–and many of them are already teaching theory.
She was delighted to hear that Cortland is encouraging reading a variety of texts from multiple perspectives. She also said that she has found previous student teachers (she’s been teaching for 33 years) unprepared to “talk about literary theory.”
The interview at Liverpool includes an on-site writing sample based on a prompt that the dept. devises. She said that many candidates who might otherwise be attractive to the interviewing committee have not been called back because of their performance on the sample. She asked me if students in pedagogy classes at Cortland are “writing enough?”
Cortland Jr/Sr High also administers a writing “test” as a gate for candidates they interview. One of our recent MAT grads was offered his current position there in part because of his performance on the writing sample.
I also learned that one of the Eng. teachers is facilitating a semester long seminar in YA Lit for other faculty. She was eager to talk with me about what [my] students are reading in YA pedagogy classes at Cortland. I told her about the titles you have chosen for your articles and her eyes lit up!
For those of you who do not know the Syracuse area, Liverpool is a large suburban high school, with high expectations for its students, typical of schools in this category all over the country. KES
A sidenote for those of you who have taken 506–this chair deplores the decision at L’pool to discontinue their laptop program. Students still have access to sophisticated technologies at L’pool and enough laptops for whole class use right in the room. Students have wireless access to the internet. No sites I tried are blocked.