On other fronts.
For her new job, Dr. Matron is required to take this edifying online course: The Philosophy of the Community and Technical College.
- When was Minnesota's first community college established?
- What school district offered the first vocational programs?
But! She was evenhanded and understanding right up until the personal Teaching and Learning Statement she was required to write, complete with rubric for format and content, offering no real room for the individual jig or magic trick. So the Matron will be all rubric and good student, line up goal and pit it to strategy and outcome. Fine.
Teaching at the community college level is teaching on the front line of education, where your work matters.
Teaching at the community college level? These students weren't born into the language you'll be using, the precise and nuanced language of literature, art and theory. It's your job to help students learn this language and always, always remind them that they deserve to be fluent in it.
Understand that half of the people in your classroom are struggling financially. They all have full-time jobs. Many of them are parents. Most of them are ground breakers, the first in their family to attend college. Wow. You get to be continually amazed by and impressed with their persistence and courage, and you get to tell them that, too!
Someone can't write an essay to save her life? Well, Dr. Matron cannot do fourth-grade math. So there. But if someone sat down and reminded the Matron about fractions and the funny names for the numbers on bottom and top and how they all fly together? If she practiced adding 1/4 and 2/3? She'd get better. So will that writer in her classroom. Practice, practice, practice.
Standing in front of 25 community college students? You will be the recipient of endless, unanticipated life experiences. Recent emigres, new citizens, ex-cons, Iraq vets, single mothers, recovering addicts--you name it. And if you're receptive, they'll teach you (nearly) as much as you teach them.
And even though the Matron moans about her job and sometimes reproduces one of her more taxing students on the old blog? She loves every minute of teaching. When she's standing in the midst of a heated, full-classroom conversation and students are putting together X with Y and understanding C, and then a new hand shoots up, and there's, wait, one more concept, here, to incorporate--she's the conductor and the orchestra taps into a little bit of heaven.
There's that Teaching and Learning Statement. The real one.