By: Denise N. Fyffe
I am not impressed.
Practicum, one of the intriguing components of the Post Graduate Diploma in Education offered by the VTDI; at least that was my thought. I have not been in a teaching capacity for quite sometime. For majority of my career, I was a trainer. As such, I was interested in getting back in front of the classroom and helping learners to transition and increase in knowledge.
Semester 2, was utterly frustrating. I submitted my request to begin my Teaching Practice before the semester officially begun. If I knew then what I know now; I probably would have been more nagging to ensure stuff was done ahead of time. But I couldn’t, I was in the early weeks of surgery recovery and many had warned that I needed to take it easy, no matter how strong my body felt. I had to visit the Practicum Coordinator 4-5 times before getting a manual, letter and the go ahead; but this didn’t help, I couldn’t start TP in week 9 of my chosen school’s semester. Therefore, I opted to defer to the upcoming semester and wrote a letter of complaint to the Head Of School and Programme Coordinator. The warnings of other students about the possible difficulties were ringing in my ears and cycling in my mind.
Semester 3, I was taking no prisoners. Emails and schedules were sent to the Practicum Coordinator long before the semester begun. I didn’t need a letter and I was set to teach 4 classes during the week and one on Sunday evenings. My superwoman self would get to school from after 6:00 a.m. so that I was on time and ready for classes at 7:00 a.m. With nine (9) hrs covered each week, TP1 flew by very quickly. The issue was not with my students or the content, it was with my assessor, who did not show up until I was long into my TP2 hours. It was even more disappointing that I had to call to find out what was happening.
I expected a whole lot more and you know what they say about having expectations; expect disappointments. Feedback was seriously lacking. I did not realize how much so until my TP1 assessment, when I saw that there were mostly 4s than 5s. I did say I was an overachiever, right? – (Only the best is good enough: Solum Optima Petenda Sunt. That’s the Camperdown High way). Obviously there is a gap and room for improvement, so why did I not get the feedback to help me close those gaps.
I was not amused.
A report was made to the Practicum Supervisor and I requested that before another final assessor pays me a visit for TP2 and I end up with less than perfect scores, then it is only fair that I receive expert feedback on how to improve my teaching techniques. As expected, the Holy Spirit is never wrong, this was communicated to my previous assessor who accosted me and said, “how come I say I did not get any feedback?”
Do you see the un-professionalism pouring out in spades, by reading of my ordeal?
At this point I am burnt out and dejected. With four more sessions to go, I hope to complete this phase of my education with no more disappointments.
Copyright © 2015, Denise N. Fyffe