Friday, April 24, 2015

College Courses I Never Had But Probably Should Have

In a moment of frustration, I may have said that I never had to take "Recess Conflict Resolution and Management" while I was in college. Which got me to thinking--what are some courses that I probably should have had in college to prepare me for my career as an international school teacher? I was an education major with a cross cultural minor, so really, somewhere some of these thing should have been covered!

1) The aforementioned "Recess Conflict Resolution and Management 101"

Some days I think if I have to hear the words, "But he cheated" one more time I'm going to curl up in the fetal position and scream. And then cry. This should probably be added to every education program ever.

2) Charades 101

For some reason I never had a course on charades in my cross cultural classes. This would have been a handy tool to have in my pocket when I first moved overseas. Thankfully, I've gotten rather good at charades, but I still think this should be added to the program.

3) Visa, Paperwork, and Other Redtape Issues 302

Really, a course on what it take to get a visa in different countries would have been useful. For the final exam we could have practiced filling out forms in block letters in blue ink. While running around to six different classes to finish it. Because heaven forbid that all paperwork be filed at once in one location or at one time. For even more fun, we could have then waited for months before finding out whether or not we passed the course.

4) Field Trip Planning 101

While I recognize that field trip procedures differ from school to school, a course on planning a field trip might have been useful. On the required list of supplies--a giant bottle of ibuprofen for when the trip is finally over.

5) Computer Maintenance 101

This isn't such an issue anymore (because the only computer in my classroom is normally my laptop), but when I was in Guatemala whenever the classroom computer wasn't working the first words out of my students' mouths were always, "Miss Miller! Fix it!" Right--because I can totally do that.

I'm sure if I spent long enough thinking, I could probably think of even more courses that would have been useful. But all I can say is that the one thing I have learned in my (almost) seven years of teaching--most days I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing. I think many time I'm learning even more than my students--about the subjects I teach, about them, about myself, and most importantly, learning and growing so much in my faith and learning what it means to be Jesus to a room of fourth graders.

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