Reflection on “Teaching Outside the Box” Chapters 1 & 2

When I begin to read this book, it makes me think why I do want to be a teacher. She starts out hardcore, letting the reader know exactly what to expect. I find that I was never much in a fantasy world about teaching, I’ve been in school and non of the students are perfect little angels, but I realize how I will deal with that will come in time when I have ample experience to handle the worst of them. The encouragement that she provides at the end of her tangent on the hardships is very slim. But it does make me think that every single teacher truly does enjoy their job.

It seems like teachers that don’t quit after the first year or two think it is the best job on earth, and that is really what I am aiming to do in my teaching career. As the author begins to talk about her views on good, super and excellent teaching, I find them to be ok descriptions. She sets up for failure situations that she does actual encouragement. It is good that she is doing this, however, because if someone doesn’t know how much time and energy it will take to teach, I believe that she has it pretty well covered in her run down. I think it is excellent that she encourages teacher training programs.

That is why I am in one right now. Reading this section has made me think back to some of my classes I have taken, and the classes I am currently in, and how they have given me those motivational techniques, leadership, and conflict resolution skills. In the beginning of chapter two, her opening paragraph is really important to me. “Because education, desire, intelligence, passion, and talent do not automatically enable you to communicate complex ideas to other people. ” (Pg 9) This is something that drove me to look into being a teacher in the first place. I believe that I can teach anyone anything that I want them to learn.

Therefore, I am learning to be an excellent teacher by taking courses and learning how to convey what I want my students to know more effectively. I really enjoyed reading about her first philosophy and motivation she had on the first day when she changed the grades from F’s to A’s. That must have really meant a lot for those students in that class, and the amount of motivation that they received. The author gives good advice on finding out what kind of teacher you are. In a summary she basically says not to be nice the first semester. This is to help prevent behavior problems.

I think this may vary depending on what kind of students you are teaching, but for the most part this could be correct. It almost makes me a little nervous about how I will act in the class room, because I want to be their friend of they need someone to help them, but at the same time I want to be a teacher they respect and not think that they can walk all over. I’ve been taught to make sure I know that the students know exactly how I want them to behave in my classroom, and the author states this same belief system in chapter 2 by telling the reader to “train those puppies. (pg 14) This leads her to talk about control in the classroom. It can’t get much better then to have a step by step guide right in front of you on how to deal with a disruptive student. She really makes me want to write her ways of dealing with these students down in a book so I can reference it when I teach, but of course I will defiantly tweak it to meet my needs in my own classroom. The authors talk about prejudice reminds me that it is indeed out there in the school system. The story of Dante really made me think about how other teachers could have an effect on a student, and how I may have to deal with that in a class as well.

It seems as though the author has done a good job at keeping racial prejudiced out of her life. The very last parts of the chapter give good words of encouragement to respect yourself no matter where you are or the situation you are in. The author also explains that “covering curriculum is not teaching. ” (pg 29) This statement is very true in everything that I have learned in my teaching experiences in college so far. And that last part of the chapter is a good reminder to take things in stride when speaking in a classroom, because you never know what a child will take to heart.