dMv (daemonv) wrote,

  • Mood:

How hard is it?

OK. So I've been secretive about the interview I had and my prospects for what I'm doing next year. I think I may understand why.

This weekend was about my quest for the hardest possible thing I could do after CMU. I think I've found it, and I don't know what to think about it. Please consider what you think the hardest thing might be.

If you said graduate school, you would not be wrong. This is harder. It is a two year program where one teaches (fulltime, your own classroom) in the most underresourced schools (Brooklyn, South Bronx, Harlem) in the city of New York. Simultaneously, you are enrolled in a graduate program (night school, weekend classes, summer), earning a Masters of Education in the two year period (fully paid for). Earning a first year NYC teaching salary ($31,910). I am not making this up.

And so I applied on a longshot. Apparently, it was quite a longshot: they had 12000-14000 applicants this year, they believe. A month later, I passed through their filters, and was offered an interview spot. So I went to NYC last weekend.

If anyone is interested, I could do a full writeup of the experience. It was quite an experience, and of itself, worth the price of admission. The most interesting, and spiritually satisfying, part was the other applicants. On the whole, I don't have a great read on my chances... if it matters.

My 5 minute, completely off-the-cuff, lesson was on how computers represent numbers (binary introduction). I did this for several reasons, which I hope the few people who will read this will appreciate. First, I thought it was a bit of material that they would not have been exposed to -- and by engaging them in something easy and useful, might demonstrate teaching ability. Second, I've got a complete disconnect from what material is taught at the highschool level: both CMU and my previous, weird school experiences have warped from me what is normal. Third, its not like midsemester exams gave me time to prepare. And finally, I view the educational experience in idealistic, hollistic terms. I think computers should be initially taught with a comprehension of the base (why does the computer use 1s and 0s? How does it do so?) so that the box becomes less opaque and the mystery (until you really get into it...) fades. And I can't think of anything in Chemistry which I could present a 5 minute complete lesson (begining, middle, end) of, out of the context of that which had come before. Maybe I'm just lame.

Though it seemed to have made an impact, at least on some of the other applicants, who were fascinated by how it worked and that they were able to "get it". Faith in humanity may be recovering.

So back to the basic point. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll post this, and see if I get any response, before I breakout my analysis of what the heck I am/was thinking. I've been quiet on this partially cause I guess I wanted to see and experience before everyone told me how terrible an idea it was.

Now its that time. Thank you for your attention and time.
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