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is it just me?

As many of you know, I started the Fall 2002 semester as a Chemistry UTeach student, meaning I was a chemistry student studying a particular course of study for secondary education as well as chemistry itself.
I spent a successful year in the program, complete with the “Step 1” (UTS 101) and “Step 2” (UTS 110) courses. Step 1 took me to Campbell Elementary School where I taught a little science to third graders, and Step 2 took me to Kealing Middle School where I taught a little science to a combined 7th and 8th grade class.
I enjoyed the classroom work; I enjoyed teaching and received glowing remarks on my evaluations. I felt at home in the classroom and it seemed to go pretty well. I was never big on working with younger students but it went well.
I left the program last year due to certain ideological differences between the UTeach Program rationale and my own. At the time, I felt certain that the program was to blame and of course, I could not be at fault.
During the time between then and now, I took classes unrelated to chemistry and education. In that time period, I realized that I did enjoy the concept of education and the conveying of information from myself to someone else.
With that in mind, I took a step forward and reflected upon my decision to leave. Perhaps, I thought, that I left in haste and that while the program may have flaws that I as well was flawed in my thinking. For me, it was a big step forward. When I am sure of something, I am sure of something and to admit that I was flawed before is something that I do not do often. If anything, I usually will admit to having new observations that would change my thinking- not that the original thinking in and of itself was flawed. That is neither here nor there however.
So, I revisited the UTeach-Natural Sciences advisor, re-applied to the program and signed up for Classroom Interactions (EDC 371:21). I’ve been to the class once and I have now come to a new conclusion: I want an exit strategy to leave The University as fast as possible with whatever degree will get me out. The College of Education and the UTeach-NS program is sucking the lifeblood out of me. I walked into my first class on Wednesday ready to tackle the world. I told myself that I could do anything, I could conquer any class. I walked into Organic Chemistry, Genetics, Calculus and Pseudoscience with academic vigor that I have not experienced in some time. I left with increased vigor- and some realization that some of the work will be stupid and mundane but nonetheless, with increased vigor. Thursday, I walked into Calculus discussion and Classroom Interactions. I felt lost in Calculus trying to recall things that I have not studied since my sophomore year of high school but knowing that I do somewhere have this knowledge somewhere in my mind. I left knowing that I can complete this class. I brought that vigor to Classroom Interactions. In the seventy-five minutes that followed, I lost all of that.
I am not sure if it was the professor confessing that she knows very little about Science Education. Maybe it was the concept maps that we had to draw; since after all, connecting the word “lab” to “science” is a deep concept that will really aid in my personal interaction with students. Connecting concepts is a beyond-fundamental concept in education, in my opinion. Someone who does not realize that concepts must connect and conveying that connection is important is aiding students in information retention should not be allowed anywhere close to a child.
What is the problem? Is there something wrong with me that would make me a poor candidate for teaching? Is there something wrong with me that would make me a poor candidate for teaching as defined by this program? Is there something wrong with the program? Is this one of the flaws of the educational system that we keep hearing about? Are they trying to fix those flaws using a method that does not sync with my desire to fix the flaws?
The College of Education and the UTeach-NS program gives me nothing but the desire to get as far away from education, academia, The University, the school, and the concept of anything of the above. Why is that? I really do not understand why this is happening. Why is an education program driving me away from education, even my own desire to further my own knowledge? The International Baccalaureate program, and the teachers who taught me within it, strengthen my foundational belief that education is for life and for the whole person. The whole person must be educated and that the pursuit of information, knowledge and new ideas never ends. Why is a program designed to help me instill that desire into others is leading me away from that very desire?

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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