Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Field Experience Project

Last night, I attended my first meeting for my field experience class.  It's not so much a class as it is an ongoing project that will require occasional progress checks.  It lasts between now and December 2015, so basically a little over year long project.

The purpose of the field experience is to obtain 300 hours of experience, while documenting exposure and training to the Missouri Leader Standards.  Yep, even administrators have standards they have to follow.  

I have to admit, I was a little shocked when I saw the 31 page syllabus that was handed out.  I mean, it's basically a small book.  I've had syllabi that were 5 and even 10 pages long, but 31?  If that's not intimidating, I don't know what is.  Thankfully, the intimidation wore off pretty quick once the instructor (who happens to be a current elementary principal) started to explain what our project will entail.

We have 14 months to complete 300 hours of field experience.  During that time, we'll collect "artifacts" demonstrating our understanding of the Missouri Leader Standards and store them in to a portfolio.  We will also have a few assignments here and there.  We will then write a 12 page paper (2 per standard) as a reflection for each standard.  Now that I can handle.  I've done almost that much writing (or will have) during the first three weeks of the Critical Issues class that I'm currently taking. 

Our principal will serve as our "instructor" for the project, and he will oversee our training.  We will have to observe and perform certain tasks that are required of administrators, and really get a feel of what it's like to be a principal.  I think that's kind of exciting.  I mean, what better way is there to learn how to be a principal than actually doing it?  

Our first assignment, which is due by our next meeting in January, consists of recording an 8-10 minute video showing us in a mock administrative duty.  There's a plethora of situations we can use, and the only rule is that we can't use students in our videos.  I'm not a fan of being recorded, and that part is a little intimidating, but I think it will be fun to act out a situation I may find myself in one day.

One of the choices that jumped out at me was putting myself in to the position of a principal hiring a new teacher.  The video would have to consist of me making a phone call to the applicant I chose to hire, and then the phone calls to the applicants that weren't selected.  I tell ya, I have been at the other end of plenty of those "sorry you didn't get the job" phone calls, so that's something I could pull off quite easily.  

The other thought I had is going through the Intruder on Campus Active Shooter training.  Our school will actually be taking part in active shooter training with local law enforcement personnel.  It's scary and downright awful that we have to do something like that, but also necessary with the level of danger there has been towards schools in the past few years.  After the training, I could sit down with the law enforcement officials and discuss the school's response, areas of concern, areas of improvement, and areas of success.  I think that would be a great mock admin situation to play out, being that its' so relevant to today's admin duties.  

This whole project is very similar to the field experience I had to do my last year of college for my teaching portfolio.  We had six tenants that we had to collect artifacts for, collect a certain amount of on-the-job training hours, and then write up reflections for the tenants.  So, being that I've done this before, I should do pretty well.  There will be about 50 weeks of time to collect the hours, so I'll have to get in about 6 hours a week of experience.  I'll have even more time if I'm able to collect some hours during the summer.  So, even though six hours a week will be tough, it won't really be that much.  Plus, a lot of the projects and assignments I'll do for other classes will be able to be used for the time.  So, I'm thinking if I can get in 3-4 hours a week of experience with my principal, the rest will come from assignments, research, and other activities.  

I'm still not even close to being done with my homework that's due TOMORROW.  I managed to finish up the presentation I'll use for the group project I'm doing with my partner.  We'll present that tomorrow, no problems.  I have, still yet, to do the two article reviews and answer the chapter questions.  I have the articles, I've read them, but I just haven't typed up the 1-2 page reflections.  Those I could knock out in no time, it's the chapter questions that I'm concerned about.  They require a lot of research, so I'm thinking that it'll be a late night for me tonight getting it all finished.  

But, like I said yesterday, I work best under pressure.  This takes me back to my previous college days, when I'd sit in front of the computer the night before an assignment was due, typing on the keyboard while listening to my "study music".  I graduated with a 3.9 GPA by doing that.  The only B I made during my entire college career was in College Algebra, and that didn't require any late night paper writing.  So, the rest of the time that I crammed and wrote at the last minute earned me all A's.  Although, this time, I want to really try hard to NOT spend so much time procrastinating.  Starting this week, I plan on working about an hour a night on homework so that I'm not spending an entire weekend or staying up all night before class getting my work done.  I have 16 kiddos counting on me to be alert and focused for them all day, and I can't perform my teacher job very well if I'm sleep deprived and stressed out.

I figure if I spend an hour after school getting my teacher work done, I can come home and spend an hour on school homework.  Then maybe, just maybe, I'll actually be able to have some time to spend on weekends doing fun stuff or just relaxing.  Of course, this week I'm bogged down with meetings.  Today I have a PTP meeting after work, tomorrow I have class, and Thursday I have a NEA meeting followed by Butter's first football game.  Not really conducive to my plans of spending a couple of hours each evening getting my work done.  Thankfully, I have nothing going on this weekend.  No football games, no debate stuff, no plans whatsoever.  That's great news for me, because I can knock out my homework for next week, and still have a day to relax or go and see P-Momma (being that I haven't seen her in a while).  

I have to admit, I feel a lot better today than I did this weekend.  Sure, I'm a little stressed that I still have so much to do by tomorrow.  But, I'll get it all done, probably lose some sleep, and then learn a valuable lesson about time management and that I'm not a girl in college that doesn't have a job waiting for me the next day anymore.  It's time to put my big girl pants on and lead by example.  If I preach to my own students and children about the down falls to procrastination, I better start realizing that same message myself.  

OK, it's that time again where I need to get ready for work.  I was a little cranky, yesterday, because we were without AC for a while and I don't like being hot.  Hopefully today, that will all be working again and I can go back to being my chipper, happy self.

Have an awesome Tuesday, everyone!!


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