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Exploring school advisors’ practices : dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces Khamasi, Jennifer Wanjiku 1997

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EXPLORING SCHOOL ADVISORS' PRACTICES: DWELLING IN/BETWEEN THE TECTONIC SPACES by Jennifer Wanjiku Khamasi B. Ed., Nairobi University, 1984 M. Ed., University of New Brunswick, 1992 A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies Department of Curriculum Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard i THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February, 1997 ©Jennifer Wanjiku Khamasi, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of C2u.^ fly C U U U J f \ A ^ 1 u J M ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract Exploring school advisors' practices: Dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces is a story about three teachers assisting their student teachers in becoming teachers, and my safari through their landscapes; what i describe as dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces. Those spaces between school advising and student teaching, desire and fear, comfortable and uncomfortable, predictable and unpredictable, all speak to the fact that school advising is a complex phenomena. The exploration began with two research questions that guided the study: what is the school advisor's understanding of her practice? What is the school advisor's understanding of how one becomes a teacher? i worked with three school advisors from two large urban secondary schools during the 13 week secondary student teaching practicum in the 1994/95 school year. Diane and Jill came from Maskini Secondary School. They worked with one student teacher, Betty. Jessica came from Lord Cook Secondary School, and worked with two student teachers, Chety and Tiany. Several data generating procedures were integrated and a co-researching relationship fostered between the school advisors and me. The data generating procedures were conversations, participant observations, video and audio-taping. Student teacher assessment forms written by the school advisors were part of the data; and i kept a journal throughout the study. As i became immersed in the study, listened to several conferences between school advisors and student teachers, and held various conversations-on-actions with the school advisors, i realized i was dealing with a very complex phenomenon. Interpreting the data from the point of view of the two research questions that i began with, and trying to understand the school advisors' practices and their understanding of how one becomes a teacher from that view, would have meant camouflaging the dynamics and conflictual nature of such practices. Asking a what is question demanded that i objectify the school advisors. That would have meant sealing myself off from the atmosphere that i inhabited in those classrooms, the sounds of pedagogy that i heard, and the smiles that radiated the rooms. That would have meant not acknowledging what it was like for me inhabiting places full of love and hope. It would have also meant blocking off the painful moments that were evident at times. The moments and situations speak of what and how school advising was like and could be like. The data transformed the research questions. The complexity of school advising needed to be spoken of according to what it was like and could be like. Thus, what school advising was like and can be like or what the 1994/95 practicum was like for the school advisors is told in narratives and metaphors generated from the various conversations. The narratives, the situations, and the metaphors speak about what we have to grasp as a whole. They help us understand each advising of a student teacher by a school advisor on a certain day, in the tone of a previous incident, reminder, and suggestion. The narrative fragments and the synopsis make sense in the whole. Like parables they constitute what Paul Ricouer calls "networks of intersignifications." i have used geographical terms such as safari, tectonic, landscape, terrain, and paths, to communicate what the practicum was like for us as co-researchers. This study assists us in understanding what school advising could be like by offering accounts of what it was like for the co-researchers, Jill, Jessica, Diane, and myself. These accounts describe school advising and student teaching as processes of reorientation by disorientation which can be tectonic. For student teachers, the practicum is a reorientation to what was familiar when they were secondary students. For school advisors, the practicum is familiar because it is a yearly occurrence. However, this study found that student teaching and school advising can be very disorienting processes to the parties involved. The tectonicness highlight the need to nurture relationships in teacher education programs which include iv pedagogical relationships in the classrooms, triadic relationships during the practicum, student teacher-student teacher relationships, and, school advisor-student teacher relationships. V Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents v Acknowledgments vii Dedication. viii Chapter One 1 Introduction 1 Coming To This Place 4 Sto(Stories)Ry From Ciiku 5 Language Of The Study 9 Beneficiaries Of The Study 12 Overview Of The Dissertation 13 Chapter Two.... .15 Research Approach 15 The Elders Speak/Write 15 Methodological Approaches 18 Identifying And Becoming Co-researchers 23 Data Generating Procedures 27 Conversations 27 Beginning Conversations 29 Conversations-On-Actions 30 Participant Observations 33 Hearing Is Intimate, Participatory And Communicative 35 Journal Writing 36 Video-Taping And Audio-Taping 37 Transcribing And Recycling Of Data 38 Student Assessments Forms 41 Representation And Re/sEARch 41 Chapter Three 46 Auto/Biographies 46 Introduction • 46 A Story From Jill's Terrain 50 A Story From Jessica's Terrain.... .....59 A Story From Diane's Terrain 72 Chapter Four 81 vi Voices Of Experience 81 Introduction 81 Conversations With Jill .82 Questions About Styles Of Teaching 84 Questions About Teachers Attitude Towards Kids 92 Questions Regarding Kids 94 Questions About Discipline 96 Conversations With Diane 103 Questions About Styles Of Teaching 104 Questions Regarding Kids 111 Questions About Professional Responsibility 118 Joint Conversation With Jill And Diane .„ 125 Conversations With Jessica 128 Questions About Organization 129 Questions About Self 141 Chapter Five 150 Interpretations And Implications 150 General Insights 150 Interlude....: '. 171 Research Questions Revisited 173 Questions That Pcint to Future Direcions For Pre-Service Teacher Education Programs and Research ...177 Chapter Six 180 A Note To Diane 180 References 182 Appendix A 189 Introductory Letter/Consent Form 189 Appendix B 190 Summary Of Field Activities 190 Schedule For Data Generating With Jill 190 Schedule For Data Generating With Diane 190 Schedule For Data Generating With Jessica 191 Appendix C ........192 Sample Interview Questions ,. 192 Appendix D 193 Student Consent Form 193 VII Acknowledgments This safari has been grace-full. Many people constitute grace that has brought me thus far. i am very grateful to my research supervisor Dr. Linda Peterat for her interest in my work, for great encouragement, and, the various forms of support she offered me from the day i arrived at the University of British Columbia. i also owe gratitude to Dr. Ted Aoki, and Dr. Jolie Mayer-Smith for their service as part of the research committee, and contributing to the supportive atmosphere that continued to nurture the seed that blossomed and continues to be. i owe a special word of thanks to my co-researchers for showing interest in what i proposed to them, and for the many hours they sacrificed. There are others to whom i owe much. All those friends and colleagues who in one way or another contributed to the University of British Columbia becoming a home away from home - Gale Smith, Yvonne Brown, Lynn Fels, Rosa Mastri, Pam Rogers, Jasmine Jawanda, Sky Tear, and last but not least, Donna Allen and family. This dissertation is also indebted to those who donate towards University Graduate Fellowships (UGF) and the Faculty of Education Research Grant, and to the Department of Curriculum Studies through which i enjoyed these privileges. Lastly, i am deeply indebted to my family. My parents - Maina Kaniaru and Njeri Maina for sowing the seed; my husband and children - Khamasi, Khadiala, and Njeri for understanding and surviving without me; and to my sisters and brothers - Muitheri, Nyambura, Kaniaru, and Mwangi for believing i can do it. To all mentioned here, and others who always wished me well, i say GRACE! Dedication To my teachers. Those who sowed the seed, all those who watered it, and those who nurture(d) it. Chapter One Introduction School advising can be a complex and tension filled practice. The complexity manifests itself in various ways. Every year school advisors work with a new group of student teachers. The student teachers are an additional responsibility for the school advisors and they increase the already existing wide array of personalities in the classroom. This complexity is also manifested in the different teaching approaches used by the school advisors and student teachers. Differences in teaching approaches can become contentious when they touch on what and how each feels she/he wants to or ought to relate with the students. This study, situated within the context of the student teaching practicum for secondary students, explores home economics teachers' practices as school advisors. It examines the advisors' understanding of their practices, what informs their practices, and what guides what they consider important for the student teachers to model. Recent writing in the area of pre-service teacher education advocates collaboration between university educators and teachers (Bell & Gilbert, 1993; Cole & Knowles, 1993; Peterat & Slocum, 1993; Peterat, 1996), faculty advisors and school advisors (Hopkins, 1980; Peterat & Smith, 1996; Smith, 1986; Zeichner & Liston, 1987), and between student teachers and school advisors (Mclntyre, 1984; Zeichner, 1981-82). Research recommendations affirm the need to create bridges between the faculties of education and public schools (Case, Lanier & Miskel, 1986) and between educational theory and practice (Nagel & Driscoll, 1992; Peterat, 1996; Zimpher, 1988). In this study i 1 sought to dwell within the bridge that links teacher education institutions and the public schools - the world of school advisors, i sought specifically to understand their ways of 1 In this study, i have chosen to use the lowercase - " i " whenever i am writing about myself. This is both out of nostalgia for Kenya's colonial past (i.e. imposed language/culture), and a celebration of the 1 2 theorizing practice, and to understand their practice as theorizing. A school advisor shares the responsibility as a teacher educator with the institution that invites her to part-take in educating student teachers. This study is, therefore, the un/folding of a pedagogical situation where the school advisors and their student teachers create and re/create a "zone between two curriculum worlds; the worlds of the curriculum-as-plan and curriculum-as-lived experience" (Aoki, 1991, p. 7) in the practicum setting. A few studies maintain that school advisors are important as facilitators in integrating theory and practice in their work with student teachers; however, others argue that school advisors are only concerned with teaching student teachers isolated practical techniques (Epp, 1993). Richardson-Koehler (1988) cited a study by Griffin et al., which reported that student teachers received minimal feedback on their behavior or way of being in the classroom, or reasons for changing their perspective to what the school advisors suggest. In Zeichner and Liston's (1987) study, little was said about the school advisors. The study reported that student teachers tended to maintain their original perspective during the practicum, and often only became more articulate and adamant in defending their point of view. For student teachers, teaching is a re/socialization into an environment that was once familiar to them as secondary school students. How a student teacher interacts, negotiates, and adapts to the influences of three cultures (pupils', school advisor's and self) is partly determined by her/his relationship with her/his school advisor (Applegate, 1987; Britzman, 1991; Brodbelt, 1980; Griffin, 1989; Knowles, 1992; Mclntyre & Morris, 1980; Richardson-Kohler, 1986; Watts, 1987; Zeichner, 1981-82). School post 33 years after-- this is in resonance with what Patrick Slattery (1995, p. 19) calls "postmodern consciousness." Slattery cites Walker Percy's essay of 1954. Percy wrote: "What does a man [sic] do when he finds himself living after an age has ended and he can no longer understand himself because the theories of man of the former age no longer work and the theories of the new age are not yet known, for not even the name of the new age is known ... What a man does is start afresh as if he were newly come into a new world, which in fact it is; start with what he knows for sure II My use of " i " is not a starting place but affirmation of African philosophy depicted by John S. Mbiti (1990) through the following words: "I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am" (p. 209). Hence i/l are very insignificant words in this project. 3 advisors can have a great influence on student teachers' teaching approach, teaching strategies, and classroom behaviors (Cotton & Fischer, 1992; Kauffman, 1992) because of the interactive and evaluative role outlined in the duties of a school advisor. Griffin (1989) and Richardson-Koehler (1988) report that in most cases student teachers tend to emulate the teaching styles of their school advisors. Studies cited by Epp (1993) describe school advisors as "conservative, technically oriented persons who serve the school culture" (p. 17). However, he points out that school advisors are also 'expert' members of a complex school culture who, by virtue of their experience, have the wisdom of what "it takes to be successful in the classroom and in building of the culture" (p. 17). School advisors draw upon their practices which develop through experience (Richardson, 1994), and are demonstrated through their ways of being and narrating that experience. These ways of being and narrating can be understood through the school advisor's leadership performance that guides what she emphasizes as important in teaching. For example, what influences what she considers as important learning experiences for her secondary school pupils? What are the conditions that allow her to hold these values? Richardson (1994) articulates that, "when a teacher tries new activities, he or she assesses them on the basis of whether they work" (p. 6). In order to 'work', those activities must fit within the teacher's conceptions about teaching and learning, they must encourage the students, and allow the teacher the degree of classroom control she feels necessary. On the other hand, Peterat (1996) cautions on the dangers of focusing too much on conceptions in lieu of perceptions. Given the major role played by school advisors in teacher education programs, their wisdom of practice is worthy of inquiry. However, it should be understood that, that wisdom will differ from one context to another. In the 1990s major program developments in teacher education programs occurred. Educators began to examine practica experiences more closely (Epp, 1993; Peterat & Slocum, 1993). Epp (1993) reports that now scholars and researchers in schools of education are voicing a need for the 4 redesigning of programs so that an academic curriculum can be developed that can prepare student teachers more adequately for the profession. The reports also suggest that a major responsibility for student teachers' induction into teaching be given to the school advisors. The importance of school advisors as mentors and role models who can provide support, guidance, and feedback to student teachers cannot be overemphasized. However, when school advisors and student teachers hold divergent personal perspectives, major communication breakdowns can occur and render the practicum experience dysfunctional and frustrating for both parties (Zeichner & Liston, 1987). To keep the relationships within a practicum healthy, three-way communication between school advisors, faculty advisors, and student teachers is advocated. Open communication of this kind can help to diffuse and share power and responsibility (Cole & Knowles, 1993; Mclntrye, 1984; Zeichner, 1981-82; Zeichner & Liston, 1987) and promote collaborative practices (Peterat & Slocum, 1993; Peterat & Smith, 1996). Hultgren (1989b, 1991), Peterat and Slocum (1993), and Peterat and Smith (1996) are a few of the home economics educators who have recorded their attempts to understand their practices as faculty advisors and/or program coordinators. However, school advisors' understanding of the practicum and their practices during the practicum have not been adequately researched. Most studies are conducted with and about student teachers (Britzman, 1991; Conle, 1996; Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996). School advisors' understandings of their practices and of how one becomes a teacher are the areas which this study explores. Coming To This Place My interests in teacher education preceded my interest in becoming a teacher and they continue to grow as i become a teacher educator. Although most research reports and researchers 5 speak from their experiences as student teachers and/or school advisors (Slocum, 1989) and faculty advisors (Hultgren, 1989b; Jardine, 1995; Peterat & Slocum, 1993; Peterat & Smith, 1996; Smith, 1993), the space i occupy is informed primarily by my experiences as a pupil in school. Sto(stories)ry From Ciiku sEARching across the paths of my life, from the heaps of rubble along the paths, i am reminded of moments that are never present nor absent, i joined this school in grade two. My elder sister had joined a year earlier, i arrived knowing too well that i was supposed to go to grade three. But some talk was going around among lower primary kids that the grade three teacher was a terror. The thing i feared most was beatings from teachers and that was exactly what the grade three teacher was famous for in the students' circle, i cannot recall whether i dared step into her class or not, but i remember the action i took. One morning, i simply went to the grade two class where the teacher was said to be 'better,' sat on a certain seat and waited for the class to begin. Teachers have photographic memories, especially of their class' seating arrangement. This particular teacher was no exception. She knew i did not belong there and no one had informed her of any new student joining her class. After interrogating me, wondering whether i had lost my way, she instructed me to go and see the head teacher for he alone could decide whether i had the RIGHT and PRIVILEGE to retreat to grade two. i walked out of the class very very sad. What do i tell the head teacher, i wondered? The office was a bit far, about 800 meters from the lower primary section, i avoided the road and cut through the soccer field that lay between lower and upper primary schools, i meandered across the field towards the head teacher's office i am reminded of teachers who have touched my life in different ways. Touchings that speak of caring, mindfulness, and sometimes of a great understanding of who i was then and whom i might become. From their influences and understandings, they guided me through a trail(trials) so that i could 'find' myself, explore the desires of my heart, and hopefully make responsible choices, i have always wondered about those teachers: What made them different? What made them listen to who i was and 6 could be or could have been? What made them understand? How do these kinds of understandings get taught to pre-service teachers? What would such teachings entail? My interest in teacher education is also informed and sustained by the need to rethink teacher education programs in 'developing countries' like Kenya (the country i understand most). Many developing countries are preoccupied with only one aspect of pre-service teacher education programs: the demand and supply of teachers. These countries have not developed other approaches to teacher education, particularly those that could address professional development programs for and with practitioners. Programs that would involve the practitioners in the preparation of pre-service teachers and in general program development would be an advantage to schools of education and to individual teachers. This could profit teachers' professional growth and teacher education in general. In many developing countries (e.g., Kenya), school advisors are not acknowledged within the pre-service teacher education programs. As a result, practitioners remain untapped resources for teacher education in such countries. As i walk the maze (trails/trials) of becoming a teacher educator in a different socio-political setting and in a continent which reflects a different culture from my own, i [wish to] tread cautiously lest i miss-read the decades that have un/folded, the histories that speak, the frustrations that have sedimented, metamorphosed, and ignited in thoughts, stories, theories, and praxis. It is easier to become another Vasco Da Gama or Christopher Columbus, or to assume a Veni, Vedi, Vici{\ went, I saw, I conquered) attitude. The paths are ragged from the personal and global point of view. The global perspective speaks of "transempirical" (John Paul II, 1994) moments heavily scarred and haunted by the shadows of empiricism, especially where scholars and researchers believed they had the answers or cure to all human conditions. From a personal and a Kenyan perspective the raggedness speaks of the afflictions of an inherited colonial system of education whose planners not only ignored peoples' 7 cultures when designing the educational programs, but also designed policies to wipe out people's socio-cultural lived experiences. Over three decades 'after independence,' the Kenyan education system is still scarred and haunted by those policies. i come to this study in response to a call for improvement in teacher education programs and for critical interpretive research, i come to this study with an interest in revealing and transforming human knowing in social life, i come not as the savior, but as an admirer of those who have gone before me, all those who have affirmed that collaboration, participation, part-giving and part-taking are wise paths on which to model one's journey. This study explores the lived world of the school advisors: their practices. The methodologies used are in response to the call for home economics educators to shift from the dominant paradigm of empirical-analytic research to interpretive and critical modes in human science research (Brown in Slocum, 1989; Hultgren & Coomer, 1989; Hultgren, 1991). The approach adopted in this study is inspired by the need for "a form of understanding that deepens and radicalizes thought and, as well, the acting that flows from it" (Aoki, in van Manen, 1984, p. ii). The questions that guided the study are: What is the school advisor's understanding of her2 practice in the context of the teaching practicum? What is her understanding of how one becomes a teacher? i approached these questions from the narratives of the school advisors. These narratives expressed their discourses of practice (anecdotes, reflections, metaphors). Slattery (1995) writes that all discourses are integrative and hermeneutic adventures, and reveal the "ambiguous nature of being and knowledge"(p. 104). Speaking about ambiguity, Quantz and O'Connor (1988) remind us that causes of human actions (i.e., practices) are more complex and varied than our explanations of them. They take issue with researchers who describe complex social practices as homogeneous, and therefore camouflage the "dynamic and conflictual nature" of such practices; reinforcing the notion that education 2 All participants in this study are women hence the use of the pronoun 'she' and the possessive 'her.' 8 must be "reproductive rather than transformative" (p. 95). They urge researchers to acknowledge contradictions within communities and "make the idea of transformative education" (p. 95) possible. Lather (1991) writing on transformative education, envisions a democratized process of inquiry distinguished by negotiation, collaboration, and reciprocity where knowledge is constructed through self and collective understanding. Informed by these educators and researchers, and in response to the research questions, i explored the school advisors' language of practice within their personal, instructional, and professional perspectives and identified how they and language create an opportunity for teacher learning (Feiman-Nemser & Buchanann, 1986). i explored what informs what gets said, and what remains unsaid during school advisor-student teacher conferences, i also explored school advisors' leadership attributes, their understandings of their practices in the teaching practicum, and their i influence on the student teachers' becoming. This draws me to what Slattery (1995) calls postmodern hermeneutics which he argues "affirms the primacy of subjective understanding over objective knowledge and conceives of understanding as an ontological (study of being) [question] rather than an epistemological (study of knowledge) [question]"3 (p. 104). And here i am reminded that in "questioning there is a being in transformation" (Aoki, 1994 EDCI572 course handout). ' 3 i have replaced the word 'problem' with question because "problems concern 'objects' that can be held in view and set off from ourselves and dealt with ... whereas a question pertains to our very being in the world ... It is non-objective and eludes to our grasp. We do not pose questions as such, we are encompassed by them and we, live in them. Questioning is an opening up ... a disclosure ... open-ended venture of self-appropriation and self-understanding" (Aoki, 1994 EDCI 575 Course handout). 9 Language Of The Study The teacher who agrees to have a student teacher come into her space, lessons, classroom, pupils, and share these and other resources is referred to in this report as the school advisor. The faculty advisor is the person who 'supervises' pre-service teaching in the schools from the university. This study explores three school advisors' practices. The word exploration comes from the Latin word ex-plorare, meaning to "search out" (Barnhart, 1988, p. 358). According to the Webster Third New International Dictionary (1971), to explore means to "seek for or after, strive to attain by search, or search through or into" (p. 802). Such a definition suggests there is something to be found or discovered. What this study is about can be better depicted by the Swahili word safari. In East Africa, we speak of safari as a journey that stretches along time, and at times across time.4 The safari, which is this study, is about becoming a teacher educator. My safari is into the unknown and the unknowable: the world of school advisors, their practices, and their understanding of how one becomes a teacher, i set out to listen to the voices of experience. In this way, i studied the school advisors' leadership performance, and their practices, i explored what they guided and encouraged the student teachers to adopt, try out and to embrace as teachers and human beings. Part of the safari involves observing the student teacher teaching (with the school advisor), listening to the conferences between the school advisor and the student teacher, and later conversing with the school advisor about the conferences (what i refer to as conversations-on-actions or COA). My sEARching conditions demanded a co-researching relationship which i discuss more fully in the next chapter. 4 For example, death is talked about as a safari across time because a body leaves and never comes back to life. 10 The safari was emotionally involving. There were happy fulfilling moments; and tension-filled spurs which brought pain and feelings of helplessness. These moments are referred to in this report as tectonic. Those emotional clashes - being torn between this idea, that decision, and that action; having an idea, but the atmosphere being so tensed-up that i was afraid to share it; being called to share but, holding back my views, sharing and the ideas shared becoming support for a major decision, consequently easing some tension. The tectonic(ness) suggests geographical orientations - like creating of new forms (mountains, rivers, textures, landscapes). Tectonic(ness): Relating to the processes which tend to build up the various features of the earth's crust. The tectonic forces are involved in molding the earth's surface. For example . . . those which break, bend, and warp the earth's crust, and create depressions and elevations; they are distinct from the forces of gradation, which tend to wear down the surface to a common level. (Moore, 1988, p. 28) Tectonic can also refer to feelings; those spaces between comfortable and uncomfortable, between desire and fear. The bending, warping, and breaking are the painful, dreadful, loving, desirable, and admirable experiences. These experiences come in moments, reminding me that student teaching and school advising is about landscaping someone else's terrain. My presence, my emotional involvement; my being an observant participant, and/or participatively becoming an insider and an outsider to the dynamics; at times questioning the taken-for-granted and at others choosing the silent route, are what i define as dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces - oscillating between school advising and student teaching; the joys, the laughters, the pains, the tension, the moments; all involved lessons to be learnt. In some moments i was a researcher, faculty advisor, a pupil, and/or parent. Dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces involved a re-sEARching of the moments, the experiences - re/living through them, this time involving viewpoints that offer possibilities for understanding the safari. By understanding i mean "the process of interpreting, knowing and comprehending the meaning intended, felt and expressed by another" (Denzin, in Slocum, 11 1989, p. 8). As Lawn writes, understanding is a participation in an already existing conversation (1996). Dwelling can be viewed as "that which helps give rise to being" [and] "the interest which helps [one] move beyond being" (Hultgren, 1991, p. 4) to a space and time where one can ask: what does this mean for teaching? Hultgren cites the connection of dwelling with Being in the Old German word "baun, to build or inhabit' (p. 5). She cites Heidegger's explanation: 'I am, you are' means: I inhabit, you inhabit. The way you are and the way I am, the way we humans are on earth is the baun, the dwelling. Being human means: being on earth as a mortal, this is dwelling, (in Hultgren, 1991, p. 5) Hultgren also writes that in Greek etymology dwelling is a verb that is interchangeable with the verb to be. Drawing on the Old German and Greek meanings, dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces is the withdrawing from the fixed places of school advising and student teaching and inhabiting the space in between, as a becoming educator. The dwelling includes going beyond research techniques and living in relations with the school advisors and learning from each school advisor as a human being. The terms safari and tectonic(ness) also remind me of the Greek verb: metapherein. Conle (1996) writes that we metaphorize "when we build language and when we think of ourselves in the world" (p. 311). Metaphorization is a process we are involved in and which constructs who we become; "a basic process of thought in everyday life" (Conle, 1996, p. 313). Conle calls us to think of metaphors "not only as pictures in the mind but also as connecting agent, linking pools of experiential knowledge among people" (p. 313) with which we can choose from a spectrum of experiences, i use the metaphors of the safari, tectonic spaces and of dwelling to build a language structure that allows me to better understand the human interactive processes that occur in teacher education. 12 Beneficiaries Of The Study The questions always take priority over provisional answers . . . inquiry can never be closed off by any answer, ^conclusiveness. . . is intrinsic to it. (Smith, 1991, p. xx) It is anticipated that this study will provide insight into the school advisors' perception of the student teaching practicum and the role it could play with regard to the professional development of both student teachers and school advisors. The findings will contribute to our understandings about teacher education and about ways of working with school advisors. The study is designed with an awareness that human science research should benefit the co-researchers. My research design has the potential to assist the school advisors (co-researchers) in re/visiting and reflecting on their professional practices and fostering growth and awareness. Research into student teaching has not emphasized pedagogical relationships enough (see van Manen, 1994) and the language often used in advising is "of information... of motivation [and] evaluation" (Peterat, 1996). However, this study foregrounds the importance of pedagogical relationships in our teacher education programs and it will contribute to our understanding of the need to foster language that acknowledges and encourages relationships. Finally, it is anticipated that this inquiry will provide insight into what it means to have school advisors as mentors in a teacher education program, i come from a country/institution (Kenya) where school advisors are not part of the practicum experience for the student teachers. Student teachers arrive in the schools and take over the lessons/classes from the teachers. The only assistance expected from the teachers is technicalities (i.e., this is the syllabus, this is the classroom, this is where i am in this course, etc.). In countries where lack of finances are a hindrance to providing quality student teacher advising during the practicum by teacher education institutions, this study might provide some insight into ways of working with school advisors that might foster professional growth for both 13 pre-service teachers and teachers. When advising is carried solely by and from the faculties of education, expenditure incurred during practicum supervision is enormous. Thus developing programs where schools can share the responsibility with the faculties will help to improve the quality of teachers. It will also encourage and provide professional development to those involved, and offer an effective way of dealing with budgetary constraints. Overview Of The Dissertation Chapter 1 provides a synopsis of the framework and rationale for the study, which is the basis for the structure and the questions of the research. The study is based on a concern for the need to improve teacher education and a response to the call to explore other ways of understanding reason. The need to explore school advisors' understanding of their practices and their understanding of how one becomes a teacher is informed by my past as a student and my thoughts about being and becoming a teacher educator. Chapter 2 gives an overview of interpretive methodologies that informed the study, and describes the methods used to generate data. In Chapter 3 we listen to school advisors tell us who they are, their journeys into teaching and their teaching lives. This is where the narratives developed from the first conversations reveal to us the school advisors' teaching biographies. In Chapter 4 we encounter the school advisors' voices in praxis as i safari through three different landscapes - Jill's, Diane's and Jessica's. Here we get to listen to and even participate in the dynamics as they transpire. The narratives are thematically developed from the taped conversations between student teachers and the school advisors, conversations-on-actions between school advisors and the researcher, my journal, and student teacher assessment forms. 14 Chapter 5 highlights implications of the safari for teaching and teacher education. It is a re/interpretation of conversations with the school advisors. Here i am moving continually back and forth between and within the conversations as i retrace my steps through the landscapes, i re/live the moments anew and re/story about my dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces between school advising and student teaching, this time drawing from personal reflections informed by my being a researcher, a once pupil, a secondary school teacher, a parent, and a becoming teacher educator (all enriched by current literature in social science research). The interpretations highlight the complexity of school advising, its implications; and the fact that, it means teaching people to work with people, which can be a disorienting experience. Chapter 6 is a synopsis of the safari - a reflection of a resEARcher presented as a poem - a note to Diane, one of the co-researchers and a teacher whose ways of being with her students were infectious. 15 Chapter Two Research Approach This chapter provides an overview of the methodologies that inform this study and the data generating procedures employed. There is no single interpretive key for all phenomena, and even the treatment of any single phenomenon remains admittedly incomplete and tentative. (Smith, 1991, p. xii) We are constantly in the process of becoming . . . never arrive at the point of total absolute knowing . .. (Kierkegaard in Smith, 1991, p. xii) The Elders Speak/Write In reading Alternative modes of inquiry in home economics research (Hultgren & Coomer, 1989), a yearbook of the Home Economics Teacher Education Section of American Home Economics Association, i hear home economics educators' voices resonating from various standpoints: empirical, interpretive, and critical inquiry. The word alternative in the 'modes of inquiry' stands out. The voices of my elders in home economics education sound the horn of the need to venture and diversify in home economics education research from what was predominantly empirical - controllable, predictable, countable - to other approaches to theorizing. From an African-Swahili standpoint one would say: Mbio la mgambo likilia kuna jambo; meaning, if the horn [alarm] has sounded, then some [urgency in] response is needed. Today i echo their voices and concerns, heeding to a thoughtful call to question, a call to look at everything twice, to rename differently, i enter this project as a resonance to their dialogue of openness, thoughtfulness, care, action and challenge in and of human science research, i enter a dialogue for change; a weaving that engages but does not conclude, or tidy up or neaten the loose ends, i heed to the call to open ourselves to other ways of understanding reason (Aoki, 1989). The voices of my elders speak to the 'alternative modes of inquiry' as ways of enabling understanding and transforming education and other social conditions. They challenge home economics 16 educators to explore other ways of addressing the shortcomings of the dominant paradigm in human science research. This challenge beckons us to approach human science research with commitment to issues of concern in the field of home economics education and society in general. This study has woken to the challenges to improve teacher education programs and the quality of teaching. A few home economics educators such as Hultgren (1989a); Peterat (1983); Peterat and Slocum (1993) and Slocum (1989) responded to the challenges through different theoretical landscapes. Hultgren pursues and advocates phenomenological hermeneutics. She describes the shift as an adoption of "a critical phenomenological attitude to call into question the taken-for-granted views" (1991, p. 15) or what she describes as a merging of "critical and interpretive modes of inquiry within a theoretic stance." She continues: "inquiry calls for participation in everyday life with those of whom we wish to inquire [with] by making them partners in the dialogue" (p. 15). Peterat (1983) researched teachers' perspectives on curriculum through conversations about their involvement in a cum'culum piloting project. The conversations were treated to "a hermeneutical sense-making process" (p. iv). Slocum (1989) investigated the meaning of being a co-operative teacher through a phenomenological approach. Hultgren (1989a), Peterat and Slocum (1993), and Peterat and Smith (1996) are educators working with pre-service teachers. Both Peterat and Slocum (1993) reported on collaborative practices as faculty advisors working with both school advisors and student teachers. Peterat (1996) reported interest in action research for what "it can do" and made attempts to "develop a collaborative ethos among participants in the practicum, encourage risk taking by student teachers, foster a view of teaching - as - inquiry, and diminish the emphasis on evaluation while encouraging self-evaluation and reflection" (p. 2). These are brief examples of some of the work being developed as home economics educators endorse the call to venture beyond empirical-analytical 17 research approaches in education, and in collaboration with others become the change they seek in others. van Manen (1990) articulates human science research as research aimed "at understanding the lived structures of meaning" (p. 30-31). He describes these structures as phenomenological, hermeneutic, and semiotic. Phenomenology, describes a person's orientation to lived experience, and hermeneutics describes one's interpretation of the experiences and/or texts written about the experiences (van Manen, 1990)(discussed in detail below). Semiotics is used "to develop a practical writing or linguistic approach to the method of phenomenology and hermeneutics" (van Manen, 1990, p. 4). Slattery expounds on semiotics as "the study of the meaning of language and the relationship between signs, symbols, and historical representation, critiques of hidden assumptions, uncovers excluded meanings, and deconstructs linguistic interpretations" (1995, p. 107). Slattery cites Bowers and Flinders who refer to semiotics as "where attention is given to cultural conventions or codes, that... generate the signs that serve as the basic unit of communication" (Slattery, 1995, p. 107). Bowers and Flinders are concerned with "culture-language-thought connection" (p. 108) and relate it to decisions that teachers make in attempts to facilitate communication in the classroom. Semiotics, like hermeneutics, is concerned with interpretation of texts, contexts and/or artifacts. Slattery argues that in "postmodern semiotics the 'sign' may point at nothing o r . . . to many 'things' simultaneously, and in every case the culture-language-thought interrelationship must be interpreted" (p. 180). It is with this understanding that i approach school advisors' practices through their understanding. Sandra Harding (in Lather, 1991, p. 2). and Max van Manen (1990) distinguish between method and methodology in human science research. Harding tells us that methodology is "the theory of , knowledge and interpretive framework that guides a particular research project." van Manen defines this further by referring to methodology as: 18 The philosophical framework, the fundamental assumptions and characteristics of a human science perspective. It includes general orientation to life, the view of knowledge, and the sense of what it means to be human which is associated or implied by a certain research method . . . methodology is the theory behind the method, including the study of what method one should follow and why. (1990, p. 27-28) Methodology is an exploration and understanding of how we come to know; and method implies the application of a certain technique. As educators, there is a need to engage in various forms of theorizing that can assist in making evident the "complexity, historical contingency and fragility of the practices that we invent to discover the truth about ourselves" (Harding in Lather, 1991, p. 6). This affirms the complexities of human science research, especially those that speak of/to being teachers, becoming teachers, teacher educators and researchers and/or pedagogy. Patrick C. T. Diamond (1991) describes this as the "the teacher I am ...the teacherI wouldlike to be, [and] the teacher I fear to be" (p. 102). Even though this safari is an exploration of school advisors practices in the final analysis, it tells as much about researching and my dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces as it does about school advising. Methodological Approaches Methodologies of phenomenology, hermeneutics and critical ethnography inform this research. Phenomenology "aims for a deeper understanding of what persons go through as they conduct their day-to-day lives" (Hultgren, 1991, p. 14). This safari is phenomenological in that it recognizes school advisors as meaning-makers in their day-to-day advising of student teachers during the practicum; and meaning-making as key to learning, van Manen (1990) states that, "to make a study of the lived experience of . . . teaching one needs to orient oneself... to the question of [the] meaning of . . . teaching" (p. 53). In this safari, the experience of becoming and being a school advisor as an aspect of the teacher's day-to-day life during the practicum was sought. A question that "is oriented to asking... 19 what is the nature of the phenomenon [school advising] as an essentially human experience" is a phenomenological question (p. 62). This study therefore, seeks to understand the school advisor's understanding of her practices (school advising). It is a recollection of past experiences or actions in an attempt to get some understanding of the nature of the phenomena. Therefore, it would be fitting to ask: what is school advising as a human experience like? This calls us to be attentive to the practice of thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness is described as "a minding, a heeding, a caring attunement" (van Manen, 1990, p. 12), and serves as a reminder to researchers, co-researchers and/or as educators that, how we relate to those we associate and/or work with is very important for what we do or seek to attain. Research in this case is a "search of what it means to be human" (p. 12). In this study to understand what it means to be a school advisor or a school advisor's understanding of her practice calls me to sEARch among the socio-cultural accounts and historical traditions that have given meaning to school advisors' ways of being. It also beckons me to invert the sEARch towards self (researcher) since i stand in relation to the co-researchers. Lastly, "phenomenological research is a poetizing activity" (p. 13). van Manen reminds us "the poem itself is the result... the thing. Just like it is never appropriate to ask for a summary of a poem, it is not proper to talk of results of a narrated lived experience. Phenomenology like poetry is an evocative act of speaking/writing "on [an] original experience." This inquiry is also informed by hermeneutics as articulated by H. -G. Gadamer (1975); Paul Ricouer (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978; Klemm, 1983) and Patrick Slattery (1995). They locate language as the medium of human experience and thought. In the broadest terms hermeneutics "is the theory of interpreting oral traditions, verbal communication, and aesthetic products" (Slattery, 1995, p. 104-105). Slattery reminds us that the Greek Hermeneuenin (to interpret) referred to Hermes the messenger of the Greek gods who conveyed messages of both "clarity and ambiguity" (p. 105). He cites Hilly Bernard 20 writings that "the hermeneutic tradition confronts the issue of complexity, ambiguity, interpretation, intentionality, and meaning and asserts the inescapable subjective" (double-edged dimension) in human inquiry. This reminds us that layers of meaning, prejudice, and intention envelop research reports, and there is need to allow the landscape(text) at times to speak for itself. Slocum (1989) writes that since phenomenological inquiry "is our way of entering the lived world, returning to the phenomenon itself and studying it as a process... hermeneutics offers an interpretive approach to what is encountered" (p. 17). What is encountered as human life/being human/lived experience tells of the ambiguity of life itself (Slattery, 1995). The changing moods and emotions of individuals create a unique and perplexing life-world in the classrooms. What worked yesterday in a certain class is not guaranteed to work this afternoon. The fact that a school advisor has had student teachers five years in a row, and all experiences have been wonderful does not guarantee similar experiences next year. Slattery (1995) states that postmodern understandings of hermeneutics as "an investigation into the ambiguous nature of being and [experiential] knowledge" (p. 105) enrich curriculum and research methodologies. Interpretive modes of inquiry require merging with critical modes (Hultgren & Coomer, 1989; Quantz, 1992), "the point of fusion being application [where] understanding is seen rooted in praxis and phronesis" (Hultgren & Coomer, 1989, p. 305). This merging requires that we participate in everyday life with those we wish to inquire from and with, and that we open partnerships in dialogue with them (see Hultgren, 1991; Peterat, 1983; Peterat & Slocum, 1993). Together we can work towards social change in self and others. This "hermeneutic consciousness" instills "a spirit of self-criticism" (Hultgren & Coomer, 1989, p. 305) in one's sensibility to human science research. Understanding within this context requires what Paul Ricouer describes as change from I think' to I will (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978) or I can. 21 i adopted a critical attitude to safari-/ng with the understanding that mere accepting of meaning or mere understanding of phenomena has to be challenged (Quantz, 1992), because human science research is about taking action and changing collectively and/or through personal action (van Manen, 1990). This reminds me of Tyler (1986) who advocates postmodern ethnography as a move "back to experience... [in order] to restructure experience.... to reassimilate, to reintegrate the self in society and to restructure the conduct of everyday life" (p. 135). He advocates postmodern ethnography, not as a "new departure... but [as] a self-conscious return to an earlier and more powerful notion of the ethical character of all discourse, as captured in the ancient significance of the family of terms "ethos," "ethno," and "ethics" (p. 126). Tyler argues that, "post-modern ethnography privileges 'discourse'... foregrounds dialogue... emphasizes the co-operative and collaborative nature of the ethnographic situation in contrast to the ideology of the transcendental observer" (p. 126). Tyler's ideas resonate with what Quantz and O'Connor (1988) define as self-articulation and power. Tyler (1986), and Quantz and O'Connor (1988) advocate social action that signify positive change in one's life and/or in collaboration with others. Ethnographies are diverse and distinguished by the different philosophies of hermeneutics, phenomenology, critical theories, and feminist theories (Clifford & Marcus, 1986). Thus ethnographies are intertextual in that they derive from, are part of, and borrow from a range of texts. Ethnographies have evolved overtime and the above methodological orientations have brought into ethnography useful contradicting conceptions. For example, the ideas on critical ethnography are far ranging. They include the descriptions of oppressive structures (Simon & Dippo, 1986), the democratization of knowledge and aspirations for emancipatory goals (Lather, 1991; Quantz, 1992), the identification of hegemonic practices within education (Britzman, 1991; Lather, 1991), the articulation of ethical inconsistency in the social system (Brodkey, 1987), and the inclusion of challenging ethical dilemmas in field work and in 22 relational studies of power (Roman, 1993). These examples illustrate that ethnographic research has substantially shifted from naturalistic to critical interpretive approaches to ethnographic discourse, especially in the preparation of researchers in ethnographic studies (see Roman, 1993; Britzman, 1991 among others). These shifts emphasize that there are different ways of approaching practices and products of ethnography (see Britzman, 1991; Quantz & O'Connor, 1988; Roman, 1993; Tyler, 1986). The critical aspect of this safari/safari-/ng is informed by the critical ethnographic writings of Quantz (1992), Roman (1993), Lather (1991), and the postmodern writings of Lather (1991), Richardson (1994), Tyler (1986) and Slattery (1995). These educators' writings influence this safari in various ways. For example, the writings made me aware that research with a critical interpretive slant ought to look out for transformative or emancipatory potential of both the participants and the researcher (Lather, 1991; Quantz, 1992; Quantz & O'Connor, 1988; Roman, 1993), nurture future possibilities of democracy through the on-going research process (Lather, 1991), and that research has an ethical responsibility both to those involved, and the communities the research is addressed to (Slattery, 1995; Tyler, 1986). These researchers influenced the way i constructed the research processes and approached the participants (as co-researchers). Co-researching became a form of sharing and exploring together the dynamics that took place in the co-researchers and their student teachers classrooms. This meant being open about what i was interested in exploring, and inviting them to come with me and be partners in the exploration. In such a situation, the safari was not out to 'hunt' for dramatic turning points in co-researchers' lives as school advisors, but sought the extraordinary in the ordinary occurrences of everyday life (Ricouer in Reagan & Stewart, 1978). The 1990s have witnessed the growth of scholarship in educational ethnographies (see Britzman, 1991,1995; Knowles, 1992; Quantz, 1992; Waite, 1995; among others). Knowles' (1992) work explored pre-service and beginning teachers' ways of thinking about teaching and classroom 23 practice. Waite (1995) advocated an ethnography of educational supervision, arguing that it might reveal a supervisor's justification for what they include. Educational ethnographies have also made evident that teachers' practices and their biographies are located in historically structured situations. Quantz (1992) argued that critical ethnography in educational research needs to move beyond writing cultures towards critical dialogue. He contended that critical ethnographers need to recognize power as both empowering and constraining, and "must take steps and place power/knowledge (and power/desire) at the centre of our understanding of culture" (p. 418). This study is not a focus on school advisors' culture intrinsically, but attempts to highlight the complexity of school advising as depicted in the interactions between school advisors and student teachers, and student teachers and pupils, and its implications for learners (teaching), i was curious to know what the school advisors felt was important for student teachers to follow, to include, and to question themselves about and to abstain from. What did school advisors identify as the area that needed working on if a student teacher was to take responsibility as a teacher? What was said during the student teacher/school advisor conferences? How was it said? What about the unsaid? What was a school advisor's interpretation of her approach or her practices? What constrained her? What type of curriculum did she design for the student teacher? What does the curriculum say about school advisor's practices and understanding of how one becomes a teacher? A critical question would be: Does the school advisor participate in the subordination of her work and practices? If so, in what ways can her[our] understanding work toward the restructuring of these relations? Identifying And Becoming Co-researchers In search of co-researchers, i sent introductory/request letters to schools through two different school district offices. In this letter i explained who i was, the objectives of the project, and other 24 relevant details, i included a request form for volunteers (see appendix A). One teacher responded immediately with her acceptance. In order to obtain the other participants, i telephoned schools in the school district where i already had a volunteer. Two more teachers accepted, i provided them with consent forms arid explained the research objectives in person (see appendix A). The criteria in choosing school advisors was that they had to be school advisors during the 1994/95 academic year, home economics teachers, and must have participated in the collaborative practicum project in home economics which took place between 1991 and 1993. The project had encouraged student teacher reflection (journal writing, self assessment, student directed assessment, conferences, and portfolios), and encouraged school advisors and student teachers to collaborate in teaching and curriculum planning. Faculty advisors and school advisors met several times each year to exchange ideas on appropriate practices within the student teaching practicum, and there was frequent communication between them. Through the project, it was expected that the school advisors would begin to think of themselves as teacher educators. Although many features of the project were suspended during the year 1994/95, it provided the context for this safari (personal communication with Dr. Linda Peterat, 1994). This study took place in two schools in a large urban school district. Both schools have been sites for student teaching practica for several years. Lord Cook is a medium sized secondary in a middle class neighborhood. Maskini Secondary is a large inner city school. It also serves as a community centre for a multi-ethnic neighborhood. Diane and Jill were the home economics teachers/school advisors at Maskini Secondary and Jessica was at Lord Cook Secondary. The school advisors are all Caucasian women teachers, who have been teaching home economics in secondary schools for at least 17 years. During the school year 1994/95, Diane and Jill worked with one student teacher, Betty who had a home economics major in her teacher education program. Jessica worked with two student teachers, 25 Tiany and Chety. Both student teachers had physical education majors and home economics minors. The names used in this report for the school advisors are known only to them and i. Diane and Jill chose their pseudonyms. Jessica gave me the mandate to name her. Pseudonyms have been used in place of the student teachers' real names. Co-researching relationships were fostered between the researcher and each school advisor throughout the study. Co-researching consisted of the following procedures: 1) participant observations of each student teacher teaching (these observations took place on the days that a school advisor had planned to observe and write an observation report); 2) holding of conversations-on-actions with the school advisor (the conversations-on-actions developed from what transpired between a school advisor and a student teacher during the conferences); 3) sharing of the observation reports written by the school advisors on the student teacher's performance (a school advisor shared a copy of each report during the conferences and the reports were used as the basis for the post-conferences); 4) lastly, reviewing of the transcribed data and the dissertation by the co-researchers. These reviews became a form of cross-checking with the co-researchers on the contents that i have used as data, i refer to the process as recycling (more details later in the chapter). i had planned to carry out the observations and conversations-on-actions every second week during the 13 week practicum. However, the rigidity of the plan changed and became flexible. My observations in the schools depended entirely on the availability of the co-researchers. Being teachers, the school advisors had duties to perform in the school and the school district; at times their services were needed elsewhere and/or one was ill, or it was a public holiday. In such cases we rescheduled to a day when both of us were available. However, the number of observations remained constant, at least one in every two weeks on average (see Appendix B). The conferences between the student teacher and the school advisor were video-taped. The conversations-on-actions with the co-researchers 26 were audio-taped with each conversation building on the previous one. Participant observations enabled me to get acquainted with what school advisors do with student teachers: both during and after the lessons. My presence provided a way of gaining information so that later during the conversations-on-actions, i was familiar with what happened. Instead of the school advisors debriefing me on what transpired, we were at par, and theorized on what we heard, felt and saw; and what was said in conclusion about the day's conference. Thus the conversations-on-actions allowed interpretations and theorizing. Each co-researching relationship developed to a point where as co-researchers we explored the practices together. At times we felt trapped in a dilemma which we attempted to interpret. Having observed a lesson together, listened to the school advisor's conference with the student teacher, a school advisor would at times inquire from me if her suggestions to the student teacher were sensible, doable, and/or fair. 'Am I asking too much?' As a researcher, in such instances i became a colleague to reason with, to explain and interpret situations with and to, and someone to consult with. Often i heard school advisors saying, "i need some response from you, i need your views on this. . . " At the end of the 13 week practicum, Jill, Diane and i held our final conversation. Jessica was engaged elsewhere. The purpose of the final conversation was to give the school advisors an occasion to exchange ideas and experiences of the 1994/95 secondary teacher education practicum. The conversation became a form of self-criticism and a way to re-visit the practicum experience. This time the school advisors could distance themselves from the tensions; the fatigue, and the race against time and dwell on the challenges - "i was surprised by . . . ? i should have done that differently? I will." 27 Data Generating Procedures i integrated several data generating procedures in this research: (1) conversations, (2) participant observations, (3) journal writing, (4) video-taping, and (5) student assessment forms. Conversations i chose conversations as the method that could most likely facilitate and sustain the co-researching relationship. Conversation as a mode of research resonates with methodology used by Peterat (1983) and Slocum (1989). i was reminded of Peterat's words: A research approach selected contains a certain view of those we study and our relationship to them. We can either objectify and distance ourselves from the researched and thus also be distanced and objectified or we can choose a subject-to-subject, interactive mode of research, attempting to reduce the distance between the researcher and the researched. (1983, p. 8) According to van Manen (1990) conversations as a research tool serve as an occasion to gather lived-experience material (stories, anecdotes, recollections of experiences, etc.) and/or to reflect with the co-researchers on the topic at hand. During reflections with the co-researchers on transcripts, the conversations develop into situations where we could go back and again to the co-researchers in order to dialogue with them about the transcripts (Peterat, 1983; Slocum, 1989). Peterat affirms that, this hermeneutic form of inquiry allows for a "possibility of developing a genuine subject-to-subject dialogue" (1983, p. 8). Since conversation ideally is living together in dialogue, when a person becomes a party to the utterances of the other, a dialogic relationship develops. An outsider has no space unless he/she joins the conversation, and attempts to reach some understanding with the other participants. The joining becomes a way of encountering otherness and self understanding. Denzin (1995) writes, "self understanding goes hand in hand with... an imaginative empathy for the other that in turn discloses or develops possibilities for oneself." He asks, "how... can one understand that which is not a 28 possibility for oneself or that which one has already closed off?" (p. 64). As the researcher i ask: how can one understand that which is not a possibility for oneself or that which one has already been closed from? This study was designed in a way that would allow a reaching out to the other, an opening and an articulation of oneself; theorizing practice. Unlike traditional structured interviews which may denote trying to "obtain or measure consistency in participants' responses" (Potter & Wetherell, 1987, p. 163), conversation allowed for differences between the school advisors' practices to become evident. Potter and Wetherell argue that, identifying only consistent responses is not enough because the explanations people use when constructing meanings do not clearly reveal the function of co-researchers' constructions. Conversations create room for interaction that is reciprocal, and reflexive (Lather, 1986) and conversations-on-actions are reflective (van Manen, 1990). Each conversation builds on the previous one, generates more data; and does not become a search for an answer, but a search for better understanding of the other in conversation which, if pushed a step further, can become a basis for transformative action, van Manen (1990) cites Gadamer as having described the method of conversational relation as "the art of testing" which consists of the art of questioning-meaning. That is, "to lay open, to place in the open" the contents of the conversations, the utterances. The notion of laying open allowed (allows) me to continually revisit the subject matter of the conversations long after i have dialogued with the school advisors. My other research processes - listening to the taped conversations, transcribing, journalizing and writing this dissertation - allowed me to return again and again. 29 Beginning Conversations The first meeting with each school advisor consisted of a 'getting to know you conversation.' It was guided by open-ended, semi-structured questions (see Appendix C). Glesne and Peshkin (1992) write that, open-ended and depth-probing questions help "capture the unseen that was, is, will be, should be; how respondents think or feel about something; and how they explain or account for something ... a broad based approach to understanding... phenomena in their fullest possible complexity" (p. 92). Three categories of questions guided the conversations: questions which sought demographic information relating to the teachers' educational background, academic preparation, teaching experiences, experiences with the student teachers during their professional life, other professional achievements and their relationships to the school advisor's leadership performance. The second category of questions dwelt on the school advisor's understanding of her teaching practice; drawing from her experiences as school advisor and as a one time student teacher. The third category of questions pertained to the school advisor's professional growth as a teacher and a school advisor. The first conversation lasted for an hour with each co-researcher. The conversations were conducted at different times depending on when each co-researcher was available, i met with Diane in November of 1994, Jill in December 1994, and Jessica in January 1995. The conversations were audio-taped, transcribed and the transcriptions were mailed back to the school advisors, i allowed about a week for them to read the transcripts. Later, i booked an appointment to revisit the first conversation transcripts with each co-researcher, this time dwelling on what they felt needed revisiting, i too had questions, dates and details to clarify. Asking for clarification of some of the information previously given added additional narratives to the previous narration. There was little erasing of previously given information, but rather openings, and more revelations. Questions became the beginnings of narratives of lived experience. 30 The opening conversations are reported in chapter three as auto/biographies. They were developed from the school advisors' responses to the open ended, semi-structured questions, which were verified, and then i co-constructed into the versions included in chapter three. The process of constructing the accounts places them between autobiography and biography with respect to the school advisors' teaching lives. The school advisors participated by providing the narratives, verifying the transcripts (a process that generated more data), and finally by verifying the final transcripts and my version of their stories presented in chapter three, i call these narratives auto/biographies because in the process of re/sEARching and writing, i am also writing my life in. The word auto/biography denotes theirs and mine. Conversations-on-Actions The 13 week practicum began January 30,1995, during which time the conversations-on-actions (COA), observations, and the student assessment forms were used as methods of generating data. The evolving dynamics between a school advisor and a student teacher became evident during the pre and post-conferences and through the student assessment reports written by the school advisors. The conversations-on-actions were informed by the practices that transpired over time - student teaching, pre/post-conferences, observations written on the student teacher evaluation forms, and prior conversation-on-actions which at times served as reference to one in process. It was possible for me to be present during student teaching, and post or pre-conferences without holding conversations-on-actions. Data in that case would have been 'collected'. But i did not want to take these processes, learning and teaching moments and the school advisors' participation for granted or as dogma (that is, unquestionable data to draw inferences from). Therefore, i used the conversations-on-actions as a form 31 of dialogization because they provided space and time when we could live on the words, the actions, and attempt to interpret and explain what transpired. It became a challenge to consciousness because "immediate consciousness is first of all false consciousness" (Ricouer in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 102). The conversations-on-actions were therefore a form of unmasking our first impressions of the landscapes. They were not argumentative but a way of understanding and interpreting the school advisors' practices. It was an opportunity to search and listen for alternative meanings and/or to hEAR what was hidden from us during those processes. Approximately every two weeks i was a participant observer attending lessons taught by each student teacher, i attended and video-taped post-conferences between school advisors and student teachers which often followed the lesson taught. After each post-conference i met with the school advisors for conversations-on-actions. What revealed itself, or transpired during the post-conferences became the subject of our conversations-on-actions. For my part, i was curious about what the school advisors complimented student teachers on, what distressed them after observing a student teacher teaching, where they placed the pupils in their curriculum landscape as they designed and revised it for and with the student teachers, i take pride in that i was an interested inquirer(adventurer). Subjectivity as i understand it "was not something to be purged" but instead as Roman and Apple write: something to be acknowledged, understood, and learned from in the process of constructing the relations and representations of cultural selves and others. Its significance lies in the recognition of the joint construction of meaning in . . . social [science inquiries]. (1990, p. 38) Based on what transpired between the student teachers and their school advisors, i would raise questions during the conversations-on-actions for both of us to dwell in, to interpret and come to some understanding of: What was it that the school advisors emphasized? Why was it important for the student teachers to learn? As the practicum progressed we became comfortable with each other. School advisors raised questions from their actions and suggestions. They progressively became 32 interested in talking about their advising and at times questioned their own decisions. The questioning would raise more questions for us to linger on and allowed us to jointly construct and reconstruct meanings. The questions became theorizing endeavors. This theorizing responds to Tyler's (1986) plea for a post-modem ethnography mentioned earlier, i had begun safari-ing with the understanding that the process had to be inclusive of the co-researchers; and that the meaning-making of the practicum as a subject and the intricate dynamics that form and transform the discourses and school advisors' practices, had to be collaboratively interpreted. Conversations seemed to be the best mode of approach. The inclusivity meant that, although i took the initial steps and came up with the agenda in order for the study to be realized, i consulted with the school advisors on the schedule, dates, and their comfort with the techniques that i used. For example, i waited until each was comfortable with their student teachers and me before audio/video-taping any of the conferences and conversations, i sought their consent often in case one was not in a mood to be video-taped, undergoing a lengthy talk, if one had to leave early for another engagement, or one did not feel like having a post-conference for other reasons, i made them aware of the fact that the schedule was not rigid; that it was there for our convenience and comfort as co-researchers. This was with the realization that 'politeness' could get in the way and become a 'stumbling block' instead of a positive attitude to work with. Therefore, i often reaffirmed that the conversations-on-actions were not an obligation, i believed passion was essential otherwise the study would have become a burden given the frequency of our observations, and the duration of the practicum. 33 Participant Observations Participant observations were another of the methods of generating data i used and they provided an opportunity to develop rapport with the co-researchers. In this study, i dwelt in the in-betweens of "participant as observer" (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992, p. 40) and observant participant. In participant observations, actions are displayed in front of our eyes and stir memories. Participant observations can be regarded as a continuum, moving from observation to participation (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Roman, 1993). At the observation level (participant as observer) one can remain aloof; remain at what Ricoeur (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978) calls "first level of thought that starts from symbols .. . truth at a distance... horizontal and panoramic, curious but not concerned" (p. 45). At this level there is no personal involvement; whereas at the level of observant participant, one has to ask the questions: "Do i personally believe that ? What do i personally make of the symbolic significations?" (p. 45). What is it like for a student in this class? How does this event fit in her/his life? What meaning does it have for her/him? What meaning does it have for me? The above questions indicate that one has to quit the position of the remote disinterested spectator to the level of personal involvement. In such a case, the dwelling becomes a situation and a space where one gives oneself "over to the. . . experience of what comes to be spoken of (Smith, 1991, p. 155). van Manen (1990) describes the approach as: Close observation . . . assuming a relation that is close as possible while retaining a hermeneutic alertness to situations that allow us to constantly step back and reflect on the meaning of those situations . . . . be a participant and an observer at the same time. (p. 69) i did not want to be just an observer, to go in, "collect" data, and leave. Nor did i want to act like a hawk who surveys a situation, sights a prey, schemes, dives, grabs and flies off with 'a mission accomplished' attitude, i was interested in lingering in dialogue with the co-researchers, and interpreting what was before us together. This hermeneutic alertness posture sometimes led to transformative 34 moments in our attempts to understand and interpret what school advising was like and could be like. This reminds me of Paul Ricoeur who writes that, "hermeneutics starts out from the comprehension of the very thing which through interpretation it is trying to understand" (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 46). Though i cannot claim nor deny that my presence altered the school advisors' ways of being with the student teachers significantly during the conferences, it consciously made them aware of the guidance they gave to the student teachers. Each was conscious of her responsibility as a mentor, a guardian of the profession, and the learners. Roman and Apple (1990) remind us that how co-researchers respond to and understand the presence of a researcher is "as informative as how [they] make sense of the researcher's absence [because] both are sets of meaningful social relations" (p. 51). i had the recorded tapes, received copies of the assessment forms, and was present in the classes every other week. However, they had the powers to set their agenda, to determine when they wanted to have a pre/post-conference or when to carry out a written observation. This was their 'territory'. From the collaborative project, they knew what was required of them as school advisors. However, the knowing did not develop into a power struggle but, became a collaborative venture. There was respect and freedom both ways, i did not push my agenda, but explained initially what the project was about and what i was asking of them. Furthermore, adopting participant observation methods and attitudes was my attempt to transcend the gaze of naturalistic ethnography (Roman & Apple, 1990) and to seek approaches that can challenge and transform the world of teaching through research. i was careful of overstepping my boundaries. During conversations-on-actions i could lay episodes, ideas, and dilemmas that transpired in the open for us to dialogue about. Whereas during the student teacher-school advisor conferences, listening and seeing took precedence. Therefore i embraced the concept of subjectivity as "embodied in the idea of the subject itself (Roman & Apple, 35 1990, p. 65). i did not want to study the school advisors, nor make them subjects of study who are moved by external forces, but as active "subjects of history... agents of change, of social forces they in part create" (Roman & Apple, 1990, p. 65). Hearing Is Intimate, Participatory And Communicative Levin (1989) urges us to shift to our senses, to "sophia, a wisdom that understands" (p. 31); to a different way of knowing, listening in order to understand. He argues that this way of reasoning "would give way to a hermeneutics of presence/absence: experiences of impermanence and incompletedness" (p. 201). He compares sophia with episteme, "'knowledge' for which vision works" (p. 31). He reminds us that episteme comes from "epi, meaning 'in front of, and 'sta', meaning 'set down, posted, standing... the object is to be held in place directly before the eyes," an approach that overemphasizes "constancy, uniformity, permanence, unity, totality, clarity and distinctiveness... a discourse of speculative thinking" (p. 31). While on safari, landscapes are enticing if thought of as the scenery within the range of an observer's vision. But when we interpret landscape to mean "the dynamic relations between ... culture and its environment: the powers of human activity in time and area" (Rose, 1993, p. 86), then we need to question the vision which helps make sense of a particular relationship between society (culture) and environment. Rose argues that the vision is part of the problematic and, "not a tool of analysis" (p. 87) because it "shows only the relationship of the powerful to their environment" (p. 87). Levin suggests the need to develop our potential for listening and gives support to a "very different wisdom deeply inherent in listening" that exists despite "our paradigm of knowledge, rationality, truth, and social reality, (p. 31). He reports Meister Eckhart's writings on hearing and seeing, pointing out that "we have less control of what we hear, and that hearing is a less control-driven organ" (Levin, 1989, p. 32). 36 It is easier for us to shut our eyes than to close our ears. It is easier for us to remain untouched and unmoved by what we see than by what we hear; what we see is kept at a distance, but what we hear penetrates our entire body. Sounds do not stop at the boundaries set by the egocentric body; but the egobody of vision can usually maintain its boundaries (inner, outer, here and there, ego, other) more easily. Hearing is intimate, participatory, communicative; we are always affected by what we are given to hear. Vision, by contrast is endistancing, detached, spatially separate from what gives itself to be seen .. . (in Levin, 1989, p. 32) Practicum supervision is an area of practice and study where vision has dominated. Even though i conformed to the tradition by observing student teachers teaching, i valued and concentrated on the environment not only to see but also to feel the atmosphere in the classrooms and to listen to the sounds of pedagogy. Cotton and Fischer (1992) remind us that meanings are constructed through the interaction between the mind and the surrounding environment. To understand teaching is to understand the atmosphere - to listen to the sounds and silences, the dynamics in the classroom, and to the pedagogical relationships. To counteract the transcendental observer posture of knowing, the gift of sight had to be utilized in conjunction with hearing, feeling, and speaking. All were necessary in my efforts to become an observant participant and participant observer/and a co-researcher with the school advisors. Journal Writing Both field notes and participant observations influenced my journalling. i kept a journal throughout the practicum which served as a way of reflecting on my thoughts, ideas and dilemmas that occurred during either the participant observations, conversations-on-actions, or conferences. Keeping a journal also was a way of tracing the shifts of my perspectives on school advising and on student teaching in the spaces in/between. In the journal i talked about what 'touched me' in the classrooms, from the conversations, and/or what thoughts were triggered after leaving the research sites, i have 37 used the journal writings sporadically through the text, but more in the general descriptions (chapter four) of what happened when, and in recovering the critical incidents, and the trivial important details of this safari. Journal writings have been particularly important in making those incidents in the classrooms and in teaching extraordinary qualities of ordinary occurrences in this dissertation; which reminds me of Conle's (1996) words: "when a story reverberates within us and calls forth another in an echo-like fashion, we pull that remembered story out of a previous context and place it into a new one" (p. 301). The coming together of stories becomes a connection Of "experiential knowledge contents" (Conle, 1996, 301). The journal became a connecting tool between my past and present experiences as a pupil, a teacher and a becoming teacher educator, i was able to generate and reconfigure data through resonance (Conle, 1996). Video-taping and Audio-taping The video-taping method of generating data was informed by Altricher et al. (1993) and Clarke (1992). Both taped conferences and used the taped information with the participants to stimulate recall of and reflection on what had happened during the conferences. This method proved very inconvenient to the co-researchers in this study. School advisors had very busy schedules, video-machines for play back were not readily available in the schools; and there was no time when we could conveniently be together to view the tapes and talk about the contents, i abandoned the idea of shared viewings after trying with Jessica, who had willingly invited me to her home to view the video-taped conference. The method proved a hindrance and a chore, i did not withdraw the use of video-taping as a form of generating data, but instead used it for different reasons. It became another data generating technique compared to and in addition to audio-taping. All post-conferences were video-taped. Since conferences and/or conversations-on-actions were held at least once every two weeks, the video-tapes were 38 viewed and listened to and notes were added to the field notes in preparation for each conversation-on-actions and conferences. Like the audio-tapes the video-tapes were transcribed. The video-taped data was different in that the pauses, the facial expressions, the silences, the smiles could be re-captured 'better1 than through audio-taping alone. All transcripts from the audio and video-tapes were used in thematizing the stories told in chapter four. Transcribing And Recycling Of Data All audio and video-taped data were transcribed and given back to the co-researchers originally for ethical reasons - what i am calling recycling. However, by recycling the conversations back to the co-researchers, what was i asking of them? Marcus (1994) writes of reflexive consciousness, as a double consciousness. She expressed: "that hand that writes and the eye that reads" (p. 156), the writer reading oneself or the speaker reading oneself are linked to the doubled consciousness of the past and present. The past is transformed through the present. Ricouer (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978) refers to "doubtful consciousness" arguing that it has "a possibility of masked consciousness" (p. 215). He argues that consciousness reveals and conceals; and that "the relation of conceal/reveal" calls for interpretation of a text in order "to search for the sense under the sense... of unveiling what was veiled" (p. 215). Therefore, reading and/or writing about oneself and hearing oneself (recycling) can become a transformative moment. However, some moments are not so rejuvenating. By recycling transcripts back to the co-researchers what was i asking of them? The common comment that i heard was that "this does not sound like me." Because the person had spoken to me and weeks later i was asking her to read what she had spoken about. Could it have sounded different? Yes, the laughters, the tone of voice, the smiles, the pauses are erased, the gaps are gapping waiting for laughters, sneers, and pauses! The landscape (textuality) has been altered. 39 Marcus (1994) writes that reading accomplishes what in the landscape (the text of life) always escapes us, that performative moment. When i asked the school advisors to write their feelings in, to add on or change, no one wrote herself into the text. All preferred to speak. During our revisit of the first conversation they expressed satisfaction of what they read themselves as, or heard through the broken sentences, words, and feelings. But at the periphery lay inscriptions: "did i say this?" "i don't talk like this." This is what Marcus refers to as the "missed encounter of self with self (p. 156), which during recycling is never what we ask participants to search for, and to listen to. The recycling was a step towards meeting an ethical obligation. The participants needed to know what i say about them, and needed to verify whether what they said is what i was saying, i did not search for what does not sound like Jill, i did not listen to what the text (landscape) spoke to that made Diane say that she does not sound the way she heard herself speak when reading the transcripts. What is it that my participants told me that later did not sound like them? By recycling, the T is being reminded of its responsibility. In auto/biographical narratives, the critical incidents or persons become the landmarks; 'the roads to Damascus' (Acts of Apostles: 9); the conversion points in a person's life. However, the risk of transformation narratives is that in the process of change, the 'reformed' self can be overpowered by the past it wants to forget (Marcus, 1994). By wondering whether they speak the way they read themselves in the transcripts (i.e., "do i speak like this?" Or "it doesn't sound like me,") the participants are speaking of the act of utterance, whereas what is recycled is what is uttered. The performative moments are hardly re/presentable. However, Ricouer reminds us: we have thus to struggle in ourselves not only with suspicion, with this deciphering, but also with affirmation . . . . when man [sic] enters into transparency . . . the end of false-consciousness-to know the moment when what man says is equal to what man does, and when his work truly is equal to his being. And in this equation between being human, doing, praxis, and speaking, there is no longer ideology . . . [but] eschatology." (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 217) 40 Ricouer refers to eschatology here as "the innocence of becoming" (p. 218). For me it becomes that moment when as co-researchers we feel the dawning of a new idea, and exclaim yes!, i wish... or i can. Hence amidst the doubts, the joys, the pains of school advising, through recycling and holding final conversations with co-researchers the moment of affirmation came, an eschatological moment (Slattery, 1995) that can be heard in Diane's words: "I don't want another Betty, but I'll take another Ann, Irish or Amy." And from Jill: "how many Bettys have we had all those years? The chances of another Betty are slim." What conditions allow a school advisor to say these words? What is it like to be in such a situation? How does this event fit in their life? What meanings does it have for them? What does this mean for teaching? Slattery reminds us that "the very consent of the self in relation must evolve to a new realm of consciousness" and that "the past and the future are comprehensible only in the context of the present" (1995, p. 264). He advocates both a "proleptic philosophy" and a "proleptic experience," and calls for "a hermeneutic search for greater understanding, what motivates and satisfies us on the journey" (p. 267). Through listening to the tapes and transcribing, the conversations remain vivid in my mind, i hear the voices every time i rethink a particular conversation. From the teaching biographical narratives (chapter three) i develop themes from what the school advisors told. Before transcribing data, i listened several times to the tapes as a second step of privileging listening over seeing, i wanted to re/live the moments before 'arresting' them on paper. All transcripts were recycled back to the co-researchers. They returned them to me with their comments and i read through the comments as i made final decisions on what to include. In chapter four, i developed themes and stories from what i felt school advisors found important to emphasize to student teachers. That included what transpired in the classrooms and conferences. Therefore, what i developed into chapter four are scenarios and an atmosphere aimed at depicting what it was like in those classrooms. Safari-ing provided me with the opportunity to linger in these scenarios and the responsibility to bring them together in interpretive forms. Student Assessment Forms School advisors' feedback to the student teachers was either non-formal (verbal only and/or written on informal forms) or formal (written on formal student assessment forms). Part of the agreement with the school advisors in the beginning of the study was that they would give me a copy of written feedback to the student teachers done on the days that we both observed a student teacher teaching. In most cases it was the days when school advisors held post-conferences with student teachers; and the written feedback guided the content of the conferences. The copies availed to me were references of what school advisors found important to emphasize during the conferences and were used in conjunction with the transcripts in generating themes. However, the writing of the assessment forms was entirely on the school advisor's discretion. Representation and Re/sEARch Research involves making choices. The choices leave traces as my research ideas in the choice of participants and site, in the generating of data, what to report, and how to report it. Choices are also made in response to the question: for whose sake are the choices made? The process of inquiry offers great moments for human science researchers and co-researchers to join in the sEARching in the space between self and others (Gikandi, 1991; Richardson, 1994). As a researcher interacting with three co-researchers, moving from one story from one participant (landscape) to another, i feel, hear, see, multiple selves revealing themselves. 42 This text un/fold(s) into stories from Diane's, Jill's, Jessica's terrain; mine and ours. Since school advising is not a homogenous experience i cannot represent all three school advisors' understandings and experiences as a single entity. This study illustrates Diane's, Jill's, and Jessica's unique experiences as school advisors more than it strives to represent school advising as a unified concept. The writings are partial, and influenced by other voices that i bring with me (from other texts), i want them understood as stories from Jill, Diane, and Jessica; and beyond that, the safari ought to be understood as a re-presenting and a reminder of the Jills, the Dianes and the Jessicas who might be experiencing or not experiencing school advising as these three did. The safari is therefore a narration of what school advising was like or could be like. My understanding is informed by the conversations i had with each co-researcher on school advising, and from my own experiences in those tectonic spaces between student teaching and school advising. As Gadamer writes: understanding is an adventure . . . . capable of contributing in a special way to the broadening of our human experiences, our self knowledge and our horizon, for everything understanding mediates is mediated along with ourselves, (in Lawn, 1996, p. 273) Richardson (1994) articulates the beauty of the research process with special reference to writing. She reaffirms writing as a method of inquiry, the core being the position of the author as "knower and teller" (p. 520). She argues this leads to the "intertwined problems of subjectivity, authority, authorship, reflexivity and representational form of the other" (p. 520). i am reminded that writing is "partial, local, and situational", and that "our Self is always present no matter how much we try to suppress it, but only partially present because in our writing we try to repress parts of ourselves" (p. 520). On the same note, Erickson reports Sandra Harding who advocates "locating the researcher in the same critical plane as the subject matter" which, according to Erickson, "breaks the frame that sustains an illusion that [an ethnographic] report is an open window on someone else's world" (Erickson, 1992, p. 11). 43 As the narrator, i am reminded that the word 'ethnography' as the prefix 'ethno' implies, is ethical; and the suffix 'graphy' stands for "written communication" (Tyler, 1986, p. 122). Tyler advocates for a "self-conscious return to . . . the ethical character of all discourse" (p. 126) symbolized by the family of terms - ethos, ethno, and ethics. He argues that in so doing, we construct a "participatory text" (Tyler, 1986, p. 126) in which no one has the "exclusive right of synoptic transcendence" and "because it's meaning is not in it but in an understanding, of which it is only a consumed fragment, its no longer cursed with the task of representation" (p. 129). Richardson (1994) advocates writing formats which illustrate various forms of dialoguing with multiple selves, represensing ourselves, our co-researchers, and our data. She advocates evocative writing, arguing that: Through it we can experience the self-reflexive and transformational process of self-creation .. [for] we relate differently to our material, we know it differently. We find ourselves attending to feelings, ambiguities, temporal sequences, blurred experiences . . . we struggle to find a textual place for ourselves and our doubts, (p. 521) Tyler articulates that: Evocation is neither presentation nor representation. It presents no object and represents none. Yet makes available through absence what can be conceived but not presented. It overcomes the separation of the sensible and the conceivable, of form and content, of self and other, of language and the world. (1986, p. 123) Tyler continues to say that: [l]f a discourse can be said to 'evoke', then it need not represent what it evokes, though it may be a means to representation . . . evocation . . . is not. .. a sign function . . . for it's not a 'symbol of nor does it 'symbolize' what it evokes . . . it's coming to be what was neither present nor absent, (p. 130) According to Denzin (1995) such a text "becomes acoustic moving away from the reflective, looking-glass text, to the acoustic text, with its fractured, overlaid, multiple soundtracks" (p. 5). This calls us to cultivate a new form of looking, hearing, feeling, and reading where familiarity is experienced as extraordinary and disturbing. This reminds me of Smith (1991) who cautions readers to rethink the critical questions they ask. Instead of asking "how do we do things with words," he argues we need to 44 "pursue the hermeneutical endeavor of coming to understand how words do things with us" (p. 125). Smith's question underscores the need for a writerly text, which Sumara and Luce-Kapler (1996) says comprises "more spaces and gaps for the reader to negotiate... because it disrupts the usual seamlessness of reading" (p. 71). A writerly text also celebrates creativity and play-fullness with the print. What was neither present nor absent, calls me to linger in the spaces between school advisors and student teachers, student teachers and the pupils, and the teacher education landscape. It also beckons my past as a pupil and a teacher to join the dialogue. The decisions i make are influenced by these multiple dimensions that are constituted through my experiences. However, the discourses of a witness are not only confined to one's experience, but also to "a refraction determined by the vicissitudes of memory, intention, [and] ideology" (Gikandi, 1991, p. 141). The choices we make are ethical and moral (Alcoff, 1991), first about the self and my stand in the world, and secondly about self in relation to others. This reminds me of Child et al. (1995): "if the other (person) is absolutely other, then how can I possibly have communicative relationship with her[sic]? How can I "hear" the call of the other (person), while she is absolutely separated from me?" (p. 189). Therefore, my decisions as a researcher speak of me and my stand in the world as much as they speak of and about the co-researchers. Playful storying, theming, writing and re/writing moments are decision making moments; what to say or not to say, what to include or not to include because human science research calls for accountability and responsibility. Drama, poetry and prose are alternative styles through which scholars have presented their work (Lather, 1991; Polkinghorne, 1995; Richardson, 1994; Tyler, 1986; van Maanen, 1988). In whichever form data are conveyed, writing is an exploration and a way of knowing. By writing in contrasting ways we identify new aspects of our subject-matter and our relationship to it 45 (Richardson, 1994). In storying, writing and re-writing, a metastory within stories is told. It becomes the place where values, politics, and theoretical commitments intersect. What emerges? A melange, metamorphizing into a "hybrid story" (Marcus, 1994; Riessman, 1993; Trinh Minha, 1989), not mine but ours. However, hybridity does not mean neutrality. It calls the narrator and the process of narrating as modes of re-reading the world to contest neutrality, and take responsibility. It calls researchers to renounce needs but not experience (Gikandi, 1991). bell hooks (1994) and Gikandi (1991) illustrate that experience evokes passion, and for Gikandi, "passion provokes spectacles and incidents" (p. 134). Passion intersects the intersections of our lives, our subjective selves, in/forms, re/forms and revolutionalizes our praxis. Chapter Three Auto/Biographies 46 Writing is already a form of representing something which predates it (Edward Said, in Gikandi, 1991, p. 26) Experience is necessary for growth and survival . . . but experience is not what simply happened. A lot may happen to a piece of stone without making it wiser. Experience is what we are able to do, with what happens to us. (Achebe, cited in Gikandi, 1991, p. 11) Introduction The questions that guided this study are: What is the school advisor's understanding of her practice in the context of the teaching practicum? What is her understanding of how one becomes a teacher? This chapter is an introduction to three landscapes - Jill's, Dianes, and Jessica's. The chapter presents the narratives developed from the beginning conversations with the school advisors; who they are, their journeys into teaching and school advising were sought. The conversations with each school advisor are reported in the form of teaching auto/biographies, i crafted the narratives to read poetically using co-researchers' words and phrases (Richardson, 1994). These beginning conversations became a form of self-narration, a storying of one's life. The auto/biographical accounts from Jill's, Jessica's, and Diane's terrain call for a different way of listening and reading their stories. They were generated through open-ended semi-structured questions. The responses were transcribed and the transcripts recycled back to the co-researchers. The responses speak of the uniqueness of each individual as a person, a teacher, and a school advisor. As i listened to Jill, Diane, and Jessica tell stories of their lives as teachers and school advisors during our beginning conversation, i heard them mourn a past that transformed their lives; a past that they wished to relive; to forget and/or to dwell in. School advisors drew from their experiences with 47 past student teachers, their teachers, and/or with pupils. They were optimistic that the student teachers would offer another rejuvenating year, collegiality, and great new ideas. However, Marcus reminds us that transformative moments in auto/biographical narratives may not be easy to identify because, whether oral or written, they bring one to a complex and agonizing encounter with what one's image signifies. In what follows in chapters three and four, the images became what Diamond describes as "the teacher I am... the teacher I would like to be... [and] the teacher I fear to be" (1991, p. 103). Marcus (1994) reminds us that the discovery of the self is both difficult and disturbing. She relates the advent of autobiography to the discovery of the mirror and reminds us that "autobiography is the in mirror in which the individual reflects his own image" and that, "autobiography has the ability to reflect the self it is" (Marcus, 1994, p. 156). Marcus cites Gusdorf who states that, "the narrative of a life cannot be the image-double of that life." She continues: In order to maintain the subject/object identity-self and image, writing T and written T-occurs within incompletion. The T must be held to be unfinished in order to uphold the concept of self as process and becoming . . . . autobiography is a second reading of experience . . . it adds to experience itself consciousness of it. (Gusdorf in Marcus, p. 156) The school advisors narrated their experiences of becoming school advisors. The process became a conscious revisiting of their practices that were in some cases thrilling and nostalgic. They spoke of relationships - a student teacher that one bonded with, one who quit the practicum prematurely, and/or one who never taught even after successfully completing the practicum. Never did the school advisors assume an 'all knowing' attitude in their talking about advising or teaching. Often they revealed that they are also learners in teaching. What do such narratives mean for teaching? We are reminded that the relationship between reflection and action (Kelcheterman & Vandenberghe, 1994) is complex, and the interplay of both with professional behavior "is not to be understood purely... in terms of intentionality" because: 48 human behavior cannot be explained completely by understanding its subjective meaning for the person involved. This meaning is not only constituted by the intentions and aims of the actor, but also by unconscious motives and 'latent structures of meaning' that exist independently from the actor's consciousness. (1994, p. 58) Kelcherterman and Vandenberghe (1994) affirmed that the constituents of human behavior are not fully transparent to the actor. Through auto/biography we speak/write, develop, and erase our definitions, our stories. In this study, teachers' auto/biographical narratives disclose various purposes and values that guide and define the teachers as engaged human agents. The beginning conversations recalled to life the school advisors' life stories. Through narrating the events that mark their lives, their teaching careers are placed in relation to each other as meanings unfold. Through these narrations, the school advisors define themselves anew as they re/interpret the events of their lives. The interpretations speak of the responsibilities they bear as teachers and school advisors. Britzman (1991) argues that autobiographical narratives make available the discursive practices needed to critically theorize teachers' experiences, their construction of meanings, and their subjective evolvement. She added that "for teachers to be authors of their experience a teacher learns to hear, formulate and articulate her own questions about her experience of teaching" (p. 52). Teaching is both a private and a public phenomenon. The two spheres overlap into what becomes the professional self that is always becoming (Kelchterman & Vandenberghe, 1994). The experiences that a teacher bears manifest in what gets interpreted as his/her professional practices or knowledge in practice (Butt et al., 1992; Kelcheterman & Vandenberghe, 1994). Kelcheterman and Vandenberghe describe this as a teacher's "subjective educational theory... the wholistic interpretive and conceptual framework by which teachers make sense of their professional situations" (p. 47). By subjective, Kelcheterman and Vandenberghe include the "[integration and organization] of this body of 49 knowledge", and expound that the "subjective educational theory is part of a professional self and as such a product of a professional biography" (1994, p. 47). As we turn to listen to Jill, Diane, and Jessica story their professional lives, they are telling us who they are. They speak to that uncertain origin where the stories of lives begin. So far we have re/visited literature that remind us that the social historical events that occur in our lives are our sources of wisdom, and that as subjects we are always in process. By writing and storying our lives we re/visit who we are with a difference because auto/biography also speaks to understanding of other lives. In teacher education, the auto/biographical approach is important as a form of revisiting, interpreting, and understanding our professional lives from the perspective of critical persons and incidents that speak of the landmarks that have changed the courses of our lives. There is a close link between biography, the life of an individual and ethnography, and the life of a community. As we turn to listen to Diane, Jessica, and Jill tell their lives, they are telling us about the history of teacher education, supervision, and student teaching. In understanding something so intensely personal as teaching, it is critical we know about the person the teacher is. (Goodson, 1992, p. 234) 50 A Story From Jill's Terrain ... I didn't come to teaching as a goal initially but, I certainly have stayed.. . I trained at UBC, home economics faculty [school of nutrition] I didn't intend to be a teacher I just liked the idea of home economics and what it stood for and the kinds of courses UBC offered. A Home Economics Teacher Couldn't Teach Me Anything When I was in high school I didn't take home economics I thought I knew how to cook and sew I was one of those students . . . I had great sympathy for those students who said, 'my mother knows how to sew and I don't know' . . . that is . . . the way I felt my mother was a fabulous cook a great seamstress and a home economics teacher couldn't teach me anything. Of course that is wrong . . . so I understand students who have that kind of feeling I went into home economics because I liked the course outlines . . . in the calendar... after my degree, my first job was as a district home economist... I was put in an office with a district agriculturalist... worked with 4H clubs women's institutes, judging fairs giving little lectures writing a newspaper column and for a Vancouver city-girl... [that] was a real change and difficult for me. but I enjoyed it. I learnt a lot. The Only Thing After a year of that I decided I had to come back . . . the only thing I could think of is teach I came into teaching because it seemed the obvious job to apply fo r . . . I had no teacher training . . . those years . . . late sixties . . . What Right Do You Think You Have? I came back . . . had an interview with Mrs. Pietro she was the one in-charge of home economics . . . she looked at me and said 'what right do you think you have to teach home economics when you didn't have it in high school? ' . . . . she said, 'how would you teach a unit on muffins?'.... I told her the way I would do it two days later... she phoned me and said I had a job I had a teaching contract a job for September provided I went [for]... a three summer course three consecutive summers you could get a year of education to teach because I... had a bachelor of home economics I quit my job in the spring I went to summer school that summer started teaching . . . in September [I] had a terrible time. my department head was very supportive . . . I guess I didn't do a bad job I was very nervous . . . that transition from being a student all my life and suddenly being in front of a classroom is very hard . . . I worked with the community [before] but I wasn't standing in front of 25 kids that is a different experience I found it hard I lost lots of weight I swore I'll quit teaching . . . it wasn't a very good experience however, I guess I did a decent job. I did it a second year and then I took a year as a leave of absence to go back and finish my education I needed a break anyway. I Never Did Go Through The Practicum I only did the first summer I was too exhausted after my first year of teaching . . . I had already taught two years . . . before the teachers' training . . . there was no practicum just the summer school. . . during that year of teacher training they had assigned me . . . to a particular home economics teacher... I spent a day or two with her after a day or two I thought I don't think there is much I can learn here . . . I had gone through all of my learning in those two years of my practical experience in the classroom . I wrote two letters my department head . . . wrote a letter for me as well I was exempt from doing the practicum . . . I had taught for two years and to teach as a student teacher with teachers that I had meetings with it seemed a little ludicrous so I never did go through the practicum as these girls are doing now. I Learnt Things The Hard Way the first two years were very difficult for me I learnt things the hard way, just by trial and error I was always down on myself.. . I thought I wasn't doing a very good job but I was always told by my department head and other teachers that I was doing a good job 'what are you worried about...'(?) I had a very supportive . . . [head], and family Am I Really Worthy Of This Position? it is this whole business of taking control of the classroom am I really worthy of this position? do I really know enough to take this position here? . . . I tell [student teachers], 'you know more than they do' but I think it is hard for [student teachers] to realize. I have . . . always had a bit of inferiority complex I don't think I do any more at my age but when I was younger I was told that. You Have To Become A Leader As A Teacher yes, I was very shy and to be upfront in front of the class suddenly after being a student for all those years and being . . . quiet... you become a leader you have to become a leader as a teacher that leadership role for some it is harder... than [to] others but I think teachers who have a difficult time with the practicum or their first year of teaching they often make the best teachers . . . those who come through and seem to think they know it all have that comfy sort of attitude sometimes are not very good sometimes I have great sympathy for teachers who question themselves and are always listening I think they're going to make dandy teachers sometimes . . . teachers who just feel they need help . . . aren't sure of things they ask you questions they are open to suggestions I think those teachers who are willing to listen and to learn from you as the experienced teacher not that my way is the only way . . . I never have thought that, but I think they sometimes have the best chance of being the best teachers because of their attitudes. [The] Only Complaint I didn't come to teaching as a goal initially but I certainly have stayed it has been a wonderful experience . . . I really do like it I love it. my only complaint... is that. . . they expect teachers . . . to be more than teachers now we've to be social workers kids come to us with far more personal problems than I think they ever did then . . . it is very draining now . . . if you really get involved with all these . . . I suppose it is part of teaching but there just seem to be more and more needy kids .... criminal problems too. but if [students] choose you as the person they want to open up to . . . you have to listen to them anybody who doesn't love kids shouldn't be in teaching . . . . you can sort of see it in [the student teachers'] eyes see it in the white of their eyes ... there is a warmth that comes through when student teachers are working with students . . . I Am Doing What I . . . Really Love I only have one degree Bachelor of Home Economics . . . always more interested in Fabrics & Design . . . Textiles, then in Foods it was general... I started off . . . teaching both Foods and Clothing . . . now I am doing what I think I really love Hospitality & Tourism . . . and Clothing & Textiles the average class size is about 20 I have one block of additional prep time for Career Prep . . . plus I have chosen to take one block of reduced time. six of my teaching years were in [Europe] which were fabulous years . Travel Is A Great Teacher .1 think those years in Europe were wonderful . . . my teaching all seemed worthwhile because I do love to travel.. the reason I went to university was because . . . . after I graduated from high school I thought I would be a secretary I didn't take home economics . . . but I had the university entrance program. so I worked for a year doing quick typist . . . . boring . . . it was all right but not too wonderful. my father who had never been back to [Europe] since he immigrated as a young man decided to go back . . . 1961. I was 19 . . . . as a family . . . . we made a trip to Europe . . . . I had quit my job because I was tired of typing .... three months of travel in Europe to see there is a world out there . . . I wanted to see more of this. When I came back after three months of travelling I decided I wanted to go to university and do more with my life . . that was a changing point in my life. travelling and seeing more of the world. I thought, yes! I am going to go to the university and then choosing home economics because I liked the description in the calendar and all the courses involved . . . when I went back to teach in Europe ... those were major pay backs was just wonderful.... that's very memorable. As A Teacher... ? what is it like for me as a teacher now? we had an emergency staff meeting last week . .. there was an incident... young people had a scuffle . . . there was a revolver found as a result of the scuffle . . . when I hear things like that there seems to be more stuff like that happening more serious violence . . . we don't feel unsafe in the school but I hear more and more stuff like that... about kids, teenage violence . . . I get a little discouraged sometimes . . . I just want to bury my head in the sand . . . kids these days have a lot of problems We have a lot of gang kids ... ... some evidence in my class that I have known . . . . but they tended to keep their own nest clean they don't bring a lot of it into the school it's excellent! . . . that is what I see as a big change in education . . . dealing with more of that garbage shouldn't have to be happening but. . . It Is Not A Popularity Contest Senior Clothing class . : . grade 11 Textiles .. influence how I deal with them .... they have a great influence . . . it is an elective if they are not interested they don't come . . . many of them take this as a leisure activity because they want to learn a skill sew some of their clothes and save some money . . . I've had a few every year . . . who are destined to work in the clothing industry they go on to . . . College to study design there is one boy who is finishing a second year in Paris at the design school. . . I am very much influenced by the student's feedback as to what we choose to do. I think that is important the kids have to have some ownership of the whole process . . . when you are teaching an elective if the kids don't want to be here they don't want to be here If they don't like you—it is not a popularity contest but if they hate you if they think you are an old so and so they aren't going to sign for your course . . . I really do think it is not a popularity contest but it's a lot harder to be a mean old so and so and have kids in your class when you are teaching home economics than if you're a maths teacher everybody is going to take maths no matter what you're like I Am So Far Removed . . . From The Jargon having student teacherfs]? it has been quite pleasurable ... I am so far removed from the university and the language of education . all the jargon that is being thrown about now.. . I feel as though I am a little out of touch .. . but as far as helping them giving them, an opportunity to learn in my classroom that's not changed I always learn from them too. which jargon?... just the way people talk at the University all the \abels they put on things . . . reflective learning . . . all that stuff student teachers know much more about that kind of thing than I do so from that point of view I am a little out of touch but that doesn't mean I am not a good teacher I don't feel that I just don't speak the same language as they do any more. She Just Didn't Get It... I had a student teacher during my first year of teaching we learned together at that point.. . . once there was a student teacher years ago that another home economics teacher and I... failed . . . we felt she just wasn't meant for teaching she would be better elsewhere . . . in another profession . . . she just didn't get i t . . . nothing you told her seemed to sink in she just didn't seem to understand what was necessary to teach skills to kids . .. she was unsure of herself nervous . . . everything about her it wasn't like she was work in progress it wasn't like she was going to get better with experience she just didn't seem to have it. but most student teachers have been a pleasure last year Xee was wonderful outstanding I think the one this year is going to need a little bit of work truly a creative soul has a lot to offer b u t . . . . but as you say it is a very pleasant experience . . . Why Are There Seven Or Eight Teachers In Our Family? how do people become teachers? . . . my uncle in [Europe] was a teacher I have nine nieces and nephews and five of them are teachers my brother is a minister which is like a teacher... I think there is something about this caring and giving and wanting to help people my sister is a nurse . . . service? service to humanity and assisting and helping people grow . . . but skills that take to actually give instructions and motivation . . . I think that is learnt from probably experience coaching .. . what do you think? . . . . I Felt Like A Fish Out Of Water working with adults is a bit different and also judging I did a lot of judging at fairs . . . I felt like a fish out of water there ... I was . . . writing the home makers column . .. I [wasn't] a home maker I was just out of the university still living at home I just felt I didn't have the experience for that job I felt I needed to do a good job on i t . . . I Don't Expect A Student Teacher To Be Like A Seasoned Teacher the word open is a good description open to listening and hearing what you are saying but also someone who comes with some fixed and firm notions about what they would like to do and is willing to negotiate to listen change and evaluate you and themselves and learn from the experience I don't expect a student teacher to be like a seasoned teacher they are still learning I feel my job is to give them my class to do everything to sink or swim probably it's not that bad . . . Scary The Influence You Can Have On Their Lives motivating the students? that is very important... if you're very skilled at it you can convince these kids to do anything .. . it's almost scary the influence you can have on their lives that's important it's all how you put it to them . . . it's manipulative in a way 57 I once had a principal... he was the greatest manipulator he was a good principal he run a ship, good school. . . we all respected and admired him but he was a fabulous manipulator very tactful? yes, and he did it so well he did it so we l l . . . manipulation is Very negative connotation but I think as teachers that is what we are . . . yes, why does it have to be negative? it can be very positive if used properly . . . . same thing applies in the classroom with your students . . . . it is all very important a lot of that is skill that just comes from experience . . . and the caring too ...? yes . . . this principal cared about us and about the school and you could tell that you could see in his eyes you could see in the whites of his eyes . . . like I was saying in September I don't really know what to do with the students I... have a rough plan but I don't really know what to do until I see the whites of their eyes . . . . I can't define it exactly but . . . they feed you . . . . you adjust the plan . . . that is a sign of a good teacher too where you're willing to make adjustments according to your audience .. . because you think it is a good idea. The Odd Student? yes! I remember the odd student [he] stands out in my memory . . . . the one studying Fashion Design in Paris [he] has been a remarkable experience for me he came to me in grade 8 and he didn't know how to sew . . . I did this little course he did this little pin-cushion like everybody else makes he got interested and eventually graduated in Career Prep Fashion and Design and went off to Paris I'm not taking any credit for this . . . it's really nice to see students begin under your tutelage. ... there is something unique in sewing if we can call it sewing . . . it is very achievable they would make that small thing and get very thrilled the next thing is a bigger thing more thrilling by the time they get to make a whole costume . .. and also you see you know they come in when they can't hold a needle by the end of so many months . . . . you see them growing . . . that's what I love . . . . in the end they do wonderful things i think that is very encouraging for a teacher. I Watch Them Get Excited yes, I can teach that grade 8 course 6 times a year year after year and I never get bored with i t . . you can watch what is happening the guys come in here they are not sure about coming into this room sometimes and yet when you sit them at the sewing machine and you explain it as a machine what makes the sewing machine a woman's machine . . . .? why can't we learn to operate the machine no matter what gender we are . . . I watch them get excited, that is fun . . . . If You Stop Your Courses Die [I see growth ] in progress? for a time in the 70's I got very involved with THESA the home economics association . . . I was in the executive ... I've done my share there now I suppose my growth is in the direction of career preparation hospitality and tourism training I'm always taking little workshops collecting information on certification to pass on to kids you don't stop if you do, your courses die . . . in home economics as an elective once again you have to keep up . . . right? and there is lots more I should be doing . . . It's A Process That Never Stops. it's a process that never stops . . . but I'm a little older now I don't want to be racing around taking night schools any more I don't want to be involved with professional associations anymore I did that I think everybody sort of takes their turn . . . . . . I didn't come to teaching as a goal initially but, I certainly have stayed It has been a wonderful experience... I really do like it. I love i t . . . (Jill, December 1994) 59 A Story From Jessica's Terrain I worry that I'll get stuck in a rut become very bored . . . I Taught Every Subject Area Imaginable I started out atUBC my degree is in home economics immediately after, I went for the one year program at UBC and did a professional year. . . I didn't want to teach . . . moved to Whistler to a company that made ski clothing . . . after sitting by the sewing machine for eight hours a day I discovered this was not for me .. started substitute teaching in school P... in H school district I had a long term home economics substituting . . . did teach every subject area imaginable became a resident substitute in the school . . . . I did Business Education for about a year and a half... then I met a principal who was looking for a home economics teacher in school Y, Northern B. C for a senior high grade 11 & 12 Foods & Nutrition, Housing and Interior Design . . . I taught there for two years . . . . 1981-83. I left . . . and got a job [elsewhere]... for grades 10,11, & 12 I taught for six years ... during that time I started my masters degree . . . 1986 . . . during that time, I supervised student teachers as a faculty advisor for two years . . . completed my masters at the end of August 1991 and.started teaching at Lord Cook Secondary in September 1991 this is my fourth year here I have been a department head for most of that time. [I started teaching] in 1979 did two weeks [of student teaching] at [Duke of York].. . four weeks at [South Kelta] and 3 weeks in [Salisbury] B. C. . . . [I have been teaching] since 1979. I Always Looked Up To Her [what called me to teaching? ] I'm not really sure I'm not really sure when I was in high school one of our neighbors . . . a few years older than I am came back to our town [she] came to visit my parents she was somebody I had always looked up to she was absolutely enthusiastic with home economics . . . she told me, 'you have to go into home economics it's wonderful!' I wasn't sure what I was going to do I had quite an interest in dentistry... after one year of science at UBC I decided I like science but I am not super good and I like art but not super good and home economics seemed a little nice combination between the two. why I wanted to teach [?] I don't know but it didn't seem to be a lot of jobs other than that.. . . my science teacher in my high school years was my cousin . . . he was really a big inspiration in wanting to teach I thought of home economics a lot of the other things to do with home economics didn't interest me . as much as teaching. I Can't Say I Liked It [I took home economics] up to grade ten I did i t . . . but I can't say I liked i t . . . . . I knew a lot of things that we did I did a lot of those things at home I knew how to sew before I took clothing and textiles I took it because we had to I didn't take it first when I had to take it but I did enjoy it at UBC . . . I Don't Wake Up In The Morning And Think I Don't Want To Go To School I've changed a lot I've done a lot of different things it's always been a very busy job for me I've never coasted as some I know coast I've always continued doing something new if I sat down to think about it every year of my teaching career I've done something new either taking on a new course or being involved in something [new] |n the school I can't say it has been an easy job but I have always enjoyed it I don't wake up in the morning and think I don't want to go to school. I Worry That I'll Get Stuck In A Rut I worry that I'll get stuck in a rut become very bored . . . that is one of the nice things about teaching you can . . . get stuck in a rut.. . but if you don't want to you don't have to there are lots of opportunities to do different things and once people know you and know you are always involved . . . and willing to take challenges you are asked to do new things. . . . I don't like being bored I couldn't do the same thing over and over again year after y ea r . . . . 61 I Shouldn't Say I Didn't Like My Faculty Advisor. . . [My teaching practice?] personally? It seems like a blur at this point in time .. I can't say that I liked it very much except the last one I had three the first one I hardly remember at all The second one was in Kelta and I remember a bit more I enjoyed the teaching part but... I shouldn't say I didn't like my faculty advisor... I do like her I see her now I did like her but I didn't like the way she handled the feedback she was probably right but . . . she knew more about it than I did at that time I was just a sensitive student teacher. You get your sheet back and its positive positive positive . . . . in those days we got marks then she would give you a terrible mark one little negative thing and a terrible mark I remember living several days in tears . . . And my last one . .. I had teachers outside home economics come in . . . . there was a business education person and a social studies person . . . they loved the things I did I knew I was okay at that point I found that the home economics people were what I call picky home economics. Picky Little Things we barely knew our school advisors and faculty advisors . . . we saw them.for such a short period of time . . . when I work with [student teachers] I tell them, Til tell you what I call picky little home economics things that I think will help you in the long run but I'll not write them on the report I want to write about how your teaching is and the other things will come with time but if I see you stirring with a rubber spatula on the stove I don't want my grade eight to do that because they'll all be melted and I'll have to buy new ones or using the right piece of equipment in the wrong way or giving them incorrect piece of knowledge'. I don't expect them to have every theory in say foods and nutrition . . . . I'm pleased if they know it all 62 but part of that comes with having to teach it yourself I keep a separate . . . sheet never is recorded anywhere it is for their information I don't use that in their evaluation I want to see how they can teach If they didn't know anything about the subject then that would be slightly different.... The little things that come up I try to keep that separate . . . I think that is from my own experience what I saw as picky home economics stuff being too hard on my final mark rather than looking at how I actually taught... We are experienced and forget how different it was to learn the trade of teaching . . . we are often the perfectionists and there is only one way to do things. My faculty advisor? . . . I think she was all right I still see h e r . . . . when I run into her she is pleased to see me .. I am pleased to see her.. I couldn't say that at the time I felt really comfortable with her.... I served as a faculty advisor for two years and I've been in Lord Cook Secondary for four years I've had [one or two] student teachers every year I've been here I think coming into [school advising] after being a faculty advisor... really helped my first year here I had a student that wasn't all that strong . . . . it really depends on your students I had a very strong and quite a good one not super super strong. Last year I can't say I formed a bond with the student teachers they were really different than I was it's been fine .. Our kids receive a lot of student teachers because of proximity to the University it is . . . sometimes quite hard on them I think in home economics it's really a bit easier especially in grade eight because they don't know anybody else they see student teachers from beginning to end . . . they don't know I am their teacher even though I introduce the student teacher to them .. . I don't teach them at all I miss them completely... the grade eights . . . . Usually kids . . . are glad to have their teacher back . . . . the student teachers work hard until they work the kids hard . . . . I Expect My Student Teachers To Work Hard [student teachers] are being observed all the time . . . . they watch me teach and they know . . . . this is the only chance in their life to have somebody in their subject area advise them I think they should take advantage of that because they will never again be in a classroom with another home economics person helping them unless the administrator is a home economics teacher I think they should take advantage of it And they have to work hard I expect my student teachers to work hard I am surprised if they leave at 3:30 p.m. the life of a teacher does not end at 3:30 p.m. When You Learn To Run You Don't Go Out And Run Marathon [climbing from 20-80%?] I think that is great... it is practice teaching . . . when you learn to run you don't go out and run marathon you run and walk that's what a student teacher should be doing. I Haven't Invented A Lot. . . [the practicum] has made me think about what I teach probably more than anything . . . that's one of the things I have been trying to have the student teachers work with this year the only formal observation I am going to do is in my grade eight program I don't think I have invented a lo t . . . personally as a teacher I've taken things that other people have done and adapted to suit me I don't expect my student teacher to come in on January the 30th and develop a whole new grade eight program I tell them if they want that's fine I don't care but I think it's silly why not look at what else is out there and use it so I give them my program all my pieces of paper which they will hand out to the students however, there is more to what I teach and how I teach in those pieces of paper and I want them to try and figure out how I got to those pieces of paper what is it that I want the students to learn when I do a particular recipe trying to get them away from teaching a recipe to other things that the kids are learning . . . working with student teachers has made me think about my own teaching . . . why I have chosen certain things I probably didn't consciously figure it out when I was choosing them but it just happened now I know why I chose them . . . that's one of the things that helps me think why I teach what I teach . . . I Expect To See Some Growth I want to see . . . growth . . . in a student teacher from the beginning to the end I have worked with student teachers When I was a faculty advisor... I had a student she was very good very competent well organized she seemed to have a good rapport with kids she produced good stuff for handouts . . . she was good very confident but I wanted to see some kind of growth I wanted her to become even more competent to challenge herself to develop and to use the resources that she had my being her faculty advisor [plus]. . . her school advisor to tap into what [we] knew as teachers and try to develop some of those things within herself.. I don't think she thought her school advisors were good . . . she thought she was better than they were I don't think she ever really listened to them she was very confident. One of the things I'd like to see is growth I let my student teachers know that I tell them that I don't expect them to be good on day one I don't expect them to be competent on day one but I expect to see some growth . . . some changes throughout the practicum so that the weeks they are with me we can work together to make them the best possible teachers they can be after 13 weeks I don't expect them to be a master teacher after 13 weeks but . . . they come in with X and I want them to leave with Y so they are prepared to go out into the world. Student Teachers Continually Challenge You To Think [having student teachers]... continually challenges you to think . . . I think it helps you to be more reflective of your own teaching it's always fun to have somebody new new blood . . . somebody young . . . the challenges are [that] it's great when you have a student teacher who is good it really becomes challenging when you don't we all want student teachers who are good but then within that how do we make them better? how can you work together to come to some common end? I like the two student teachers working together because I think . . . they come like a department unto themselves . . . they work together plan together... I find my work as a school advisor is less than it used to be . . . they can bounce things and problem solve each other they can observe each other often they have solved the problems before I come into the picture which I quite like but often they come in and they are quite different.... Pairing Is A Strength!?] from us the pairing was a strength they need support from colleagues . . . it is great... other things that I have seen with pairing is that they aren't reaching out to the other colleagues as much . . . when I worked as a faculty advisor they built strong network with the other schools and the other friends with the pairing they are not doing quite as much which is okay . . . . You Allow That Relationship . . . To Grow [student teacher and school advisor relationship]... just comes I think you try to be friendly and you try to make them think of you. and the things they can learn . . . feel comfortable... one thing that happened with this buddying . . . the student teachers spend time together more they don't have quite as much contact with us as they might... you are friendlier with a student teacher when she is just one but you allow that relationship . . . to grow. one of my student teachers from two years ago is coming to stay tomorrow night for THESA we have remained friends . . . I have not really remained friends with any others . . . she still calls me for advice which is nice. Why They Teach What They Teach [student teachers] need encouragement they tend to need help [in] planning and classroom management I don't think they come prepared enough from the university in all those things they have done planning in Principles of Teaching (POT) but [not] to the level they need to. the home economics course . . . helps a bit but . . . there is [no] time in that course to really plan . . . what they need help in understanding is why they are teaching what they are teaching . I don't think they come prepared enough to understand that... they want the kids to like them they have to recognize I don't care whether kids like me I care whether I teach them something They Don't Have A Clue . . . you know what else I don't understand they don't have a clue how to run a lab . . . . a clue how to budget . . . that's something they don't get anywhere else except while on the practicum how do you organize your food how do you buy your food how [do you] figure out how much they need . . . . as school advisors we need to know we need to somehow teach them; A Real Teacher In A Real Classroom when I went through we had a methods course where we went out to the schools in the f a l l . . . we went out five or six times to a real teacher in a real classroom that real teacher taught us how to use a real demonstration table not the ones at UBC . . . she critiqued us talked with us about things like classroom management... marking in the labs . . . all that kind of thing it was probably the most valuable experience that I had I Have Lots Of Time I am quite lucky because I am part-time . . . I have lots of time to meet with [the student teachers]... but I find when I teach full time to find the time to look at their lesson plan ahead of time to critique it look at a revised edition to talk to them if they want me to observe and debrief after the lesson . . . that is really difficult to get all that in. I'd like student teachers who work within my department... somebody I'd like to work with in my department some body who is willing to listen that is not afraid to come and talk to me about their problems . . . genuine wants about what to get out of their practicum. Building Relationships I think in the two weeks . . . you do what you can to spend time with them and make them feel comfortable I suggested they come back . . . . I told them I'd be quite happy to help them with their assignments.. to make them feel welcome. You Didn't Learn How To Make A Bran Muffin [students] learn best by doing I guess that is why I like home economics because they do what you try to teach them I think they learn best by being involved . . . . when questions arise you don't ignore [students/ and you don't just stay with them in that little group sometimes I would if it was a bad mistake I might say let's talk about this . . . then we'll share this with the rest of the class Rather than making fun of them . . . let them become involved it's part of what they learnt in doing this .. try to make them think as you go along rather than giving them all the answers . . . I try to get them involved in the process ... learning what it is that they are making . . . why they are doing what they are doing at a certain time the differences between things and make them think about that... hopefully those things will stick in their minds rather than 'I learnt how to make a bran muffin'. you didn't learn how to make a bran muffin you learnt the process of making a muffin you learnt the method you learnt about other things . . . . I try to weave nutrition throughout so that they get something . . . . a lot of student teachers and beginning teachers are not aware of what is happening in the classroom I certainly would have loved to watch a video of my first year of teaching now . . . [I] certainly think I can change more quickly now than I could then. I have always been pretty good about thinking my lessons through on the spot.. sometimes to my detriment... sometimes I write things down . . . when I taught Family Management... I wrote all sorts of details then when I stood up in front of kids it would be a complete blank then I'd think of something different on the same topic some of those were the best lessons . . . I think seeing the students . . . something clicks and just go with it. It Is Easy To Give Answers it is really easy to give kids an answer because we know the answer particularly in clothing and textiles I would have to stop myself and say she has 24-28 kids in the classroom . . . they're all coming in and asking different questions they are all in different steps the fastest way you get through all these kids is to give them all the answers but the best way for them to learn is to make them figure out the answers for themselves. it is easy to give answers they are not going to learn they are not going to read a pattern when they go home . . . same in foods what do I do next? when do I add this? what equipment am I supposed to be using? I tell them 'read your sheet' 'what did I do in the demonstration? think back'. but it takes longer! It teaches them patience. To read instructions . . . I think they don't have the patience to. and if you don't answer them they'll go to somebody else maybe if they ask another student that can be good because the student we'll be teaching that can be good as well. But again what you are telling them is, to think before they come to you . . . try to. Why The Blindness? we are experienced . . . we forget how difficult it is to learn how to teach and become a teacher the trade of teaching what makes home economists picky and how do we change? I think we are often perfectionists who think there is only one way to do things and we don't often open our lines I remember ripping out seams because they were not perfect but who really cared? it doesn't matter. there are so many details? . . . I don't know how we change I know home economics people are changing I don't think we are nearly as picky as we used to be as professional(s) certainly not as picky as when I was a student in school. I said I expect my student teachers to work hard . . . this is a fabulous learning opportunity that I expect them to take advantage of it and to learn about the life of a teacher that it is does not end at 3:30 p.m. I believe that going into the practicum gradually . . . teaching a little bit . . . and taking the time to learn all that... that is great for them but I also don't want them to fall into a false sense of security that they are going to have all this time to plan unless they are part time teachers . . . . this is not going to be reality for them. I think the most important thing is to know that teaching continues it does not end when that lesson ends and that's hard for them to ever get a close handle on that in their practicum because they are only teaching a couple of hours per day they have tonnes and tonnes of time to do their work so it is really hard for them to figure that one out this is an example of a student teacher that I worked with she was quite competent when she started her practicum . . . She Never Became A Teacher... she didn't grow? I don't think she thought her school advisors were very good she thought that she was better than they were she had terrible problems taking any kind of criticism . . . constructive . . . she had a lesson that did not go well we happened to observe that lesson she was not happy at all she always had excuses why it didn't go well rather than look at. . if this ever happened again what kinds of things did you learn from this lesson [?] that you might be able to put into your practice next year Interesting, she never became a teacher... she finished the program but she never taught... maybe teaching was not for her? teaching is a lot more than they really do there are so many things that we can't see and we have to consider... and i don't think they know that. We All Want Student Teachers Who Are Good I don't think there are many student teachers who come in and know everything that there is to know about teaching I don't. .. know everything there is to know about teaching I think there is a lot more of those . . . I like the fact that student teachers are being taught to be reflective of what they do I think if we are not reflective of what we do then we are never going to get that much better.;.. I think all teachers and students need to think of ways to think about that 'what could I do to make them better if I was to do this again' it doesn't matter how good you are. Weakness Without Receptivity Is Tricky .. it is easier to work with a student that is weak in a way because you got a big range of things you could . . . it is hard on you and it is hard on the kids because it takes a lot of time but if the student is receptive weak but receptive then you can do really well the student that is strong and not receptive it is forget it! just leave them! let them do their thing! the student that is weak and not receptive is tricky as well, the content area . . . I don't think I had the content at the tip of my finger... when I started teaching I remember going home and just studying . . . that stuff that we learnt... I don't think you actually really learn something until you teach it to some one else . Change Is Growth I have done a lo t . . . I think about what I'm doing now more than I ever did before . . . I think working with student teachers has been helpful it makes you reflective as a teacher I think I'm better able to get things across to kids than I was before I'm not actually teaching as much either which makes it more difficult I think you become more clear as to what you want to do. I think all those things have helped me in becoming better able I'm a department head involved in .. . department heads' meetings tomorrow for example I'm not going to go I should be going but I need to delegate as we l l . . . . getting someone else to go I'm trying not to do as much . . . I'm sending another person tomorrow . . . they are going to review the existing curriculum that is the kind of thing I'd do as well but I'm going to hold off from that... I've been involved in writing different curricula . . . I've been involved in my school very good experiences school was accredited last year I co-chaired the accreditation team in the school . . . . I had started a new curriculum in the school two years ago it's one of the largest in the district... I have done a lot of other things I can't say I'm always as good in doing these things as I should but I usually get the job done somehow . . . . I was involved with Global Leadership group . . . doing those workshops . . . this year I tried to hold back a lot of stuff I try not to over do it. It is easy to sit in the classroom and be satisfied with that small kingdom you have done a lot of venturing outside In that case you have a lot of professional growth by the time you get to delegate (laughter) it is a point of growth. professional growth as a teacher is being involved in things . . . not staying stagnant there are different opportunities to do professional development... school advisors .. . used to have more time to get together at UBC when Linda had funding we would talk to each other that was helpful I still talk to other people . . . we would talk about things that are going well and that aren't going well... I talk to Asha my English teacher/friend' I ask [her], 'do you think I'm crazy by asking my student teachers this? or what do you think I should do about this?'... as school advisors we need to interact more than we do . . . we need to be broader... about subject area we need to discuss with other people. How Do You Answer This Question? I asked somebody what their most memorable experience was I find that question really hard and I have asked several other people 'how do you answer this question?'... I can't remember what they said. but what I was amazed about is how quickly other people could come up with something that was most memorable I think possibly for me is because I moved around so much . . . . that makes it a lot harder.... My Life Has Changed maybe the best thing teaching has been for me .. I have been able to help kids influence kids to the point that they still want to be in touch with me we had a student come over.. . during Christmas that I had taught years ago I found that the older I get the less likely I'm able to develop those bonds with kids my life has changed I was single then I had more time to be involved with kids . . . I worry that I'll get stuck in a rut become very bored. . . that is one of the nice things about teaching you can . . . get stuck in a rut.. but if you don't want to you don't have to there are lots of opportunities to do different things. (Jessica January 1995) 72 A Story From Diane's Terrain to just slide into a class is not good enough you. . . must have a formal beginning and end whatever works for you as far as the introduction goes. . . for me I say hello to the kids welcome them trying to be positive I Was Always The Teacher I did my undergraduate in Guelph the home economics school in Ontario-in Applied Science/Family and Consumer Studies . . . years ago I did a year of substitute teaching in Ontario without teacher training came out to B. C. did fifth year education in home economics at UBC . . . substitute [taught] for two years mostly on long term position was hired as a permanent teacher in September'80 . . . worked for the School District [1AE] since then . . . in [Tong King] Secondary for nine and half years I was a coordinator of a special program offering home economics education to elementary students for a year and half... funding of the program was cut I applied to become a department head I was offered a position in three schools that September I chose Maskini Secondary, and have been in Maskini for four years as a department head. I have taught foods and nutrition, family management 8 and 11/12 this year I am teaching Clothing . . . haven't taught that for a while I began my masters . . . September 90 and graduated in May 1994 ... I have always been a home economics teacher since the day I was born . . . . my mom told me that when I came home from school I would teach my little brother everything I had learned that day. fun for me was finding a little neighborhood school where we played teacher... I was always the teacher throughout high school I was a life guard a swimming instructor coach in the university always involved in teaching of some kind when I was a kid I developed a passion for sewing . . . absolutely loved it that was my life, I did it all the time. She Changed My Life in high school, I met the person who changed my life my home economics teacher she encouraged me to go to the University . . . where she went.. . I have always been a home economics teacher I never looked back. There Is Being A Teacher And Being A Home Economics Teacher.... there is being a teacher and there is being a home economics teacher I am the same person I am at home I am a home economics teacher at home my husband is a teacher too we are teachers all the time . . . and you have a teacher voice . . . . [on] being a home economics teacher? I.. . want kids to want to be here in my room . . . they need a safe place where they feel comfortable where they are happy they feel liked they can come and just be themselves . . . most of the experience that I have had is working with needy kids working with alternate schools. I Look At Home Economics As A Wonderful Nurturing Place To Be The kids on the North side are very different than those from the South side . . . I look at home economics as a wonderful nurturing place to be I believe very passionately that home economics is the most important subject that kids can take in schools It gives them skills for life which are practical and apply principles in Science in Math in English Social Studies everything they learn in other places they apply it in home economics . .. I feel it really prepares them for life and should be compulsory for all kids at all grade levels. I Fell In Love In Teaching Foods . . . . When I first started to teach I thought that I wanted to be a clothing teacher that is what I liked best I didn't like to cook . . . . my mom hated it she never wanted anybody in the kitchen . . . it wasn't until I had a long term position as a Foods substitute teacher that I fell in love in teaching Foods . . . . that also made me realize . that I was good at it which surprised me. also I could reach most kids because we got boys. It Changed My Philosophy When I started teaching home economics was only available to girls and . . . with the Clothing focus . . . When teaching Foods and up to the time when I started a full time position it became compulsory at the grade eight level to girls and boys to take home economics . . . I got boys in my class it's a whole different atmosphere in the class a whole different kind of philosophy that I developed they needed different kinds of information . . . but it helped change my philosophy that time . . . over the years. teaching how to sew ...[?] being mechanical...[?] with foods I think it is more of their daily life everyone has to eat so it becomes very needy . . . a lmost . . . . it was 84 that I started teaching Foods it really hit me it is a different way to look at home economics! I Was Always Reluctant To Take Student Teachers since I came to Maskini Secondary I have had a student teacher every year, sometimes two 1990, [was the] first year I was involved in the new [collaborative] program . . . during my masters... I [took]... clinical supervision of teaching wonderful absolutely wonderful!!!!!!! we had Prof Quing. I was always reluctant to take student teachers before that. I had one bad experience I didn't feel competent to be a sponsor teacher I didn't know what to look for or how to be I was not versatile or good enough or interesting enough to be a sponsor teacher when I took that course it took the personal/ness out of i t . . . gave me tools ... that were great for both of us rather than, me trying to pick apart a whole lesson what I thought we need to do pick it apart. it was so nice to do the pre-conference about, 'what would we like to look at today?' It Became Clinical! it was so nice to be able to not reduce my expectations but just divide them up .. 'today we are going to look at introduction and closure . . . I'll concentrate on . . . different ways of observation . . . . today let's look at movement tomorrow let's look at on task behavior of the class' so it became clinical! it wasn't me as nice Diane . . . and you as nice student teacher I can't be mean because you are a nice person we could separate ourselves . . . look at the incident. it wasn't personal on either part... the student teacher just looks at the feed back . . . this is what we saw, let's interpret them together. it was . .. more of working together and improving. I Don't Want Student Teachers To Be Me . . . I have found that I love having student teachers . . . it is not easier having student teachers. but, I can do it now. I have confidence, plus, I don't want student teachers to come here and be me . . . I don't think that's good for them. I like having them because they are so fresh they give me ideas. I feel I pick their brain as much as they pick mine, it is much more sharing . . . We Become Colleagues Also having the time of 13 weeks it is such an improvement when I did mine it was three weeks and you are gone you can't do anything in that length of time when they come, they move in they become part of the school we become colleagues [not] two strangers trying to cram in a whole lot of stuff. You Get Someone Who Is Good It Is Easy To Make Them Better I have always got excellent student teachers .. . good wonderful ideas enthusiasm good skills already you get someone who is good it is easy to make them better I never had anyone who is bad that's what I am scared about. . . . what will happen if I get a student who really needs a lot of help? or who is absolutely hopeless? I dread that day .. hopefully I'll be able to pick that one up soon enough. Holding Someone In Your Life but on the other hand here you are holding someone in your life but I don't want to license some bad teacher so that is a kind of a hidden fear I haven't had to deal with that one yet but drawback...[?] I had a student teacher who had a totally opposite personality type to me I am very sequential very organized I know next month to the day what we are going to do and when I have to order to do it that is what makes me comfortable I like to have my life that way she was off the wall she would walk into a class just wing it here and wing it there change this and change that.".. worked great! because that was for her. I Was Able To Let Go .. but it scared me at first I thought how am I going to work with this wing-nut get her to come to my side a little bit? as foods teacher you have got to be very organized you have to know ahead of time what groceries are coming in .... but it worked out very well she was able, to realize that management skills are very important they need to be practiced I was able to let go of some of my rigidity in demand for step one do this, step two do that. if something comes on the news an interesting event something to do with the class she just brings it in and goes with it yes of course! why wouldn't she do that. . .. ? just because it is Tuesday doesn't mean we have to make banana cream pie if something . . . critical is happening in the world. 77 We Are Not Afraid To Talk To Each Other Personality types are a concern 1 I had never had any true bad things happen We have a very wonderful department to work with They are very flexible very giving of time and energy we are very supportive of each other And very good in what we do We talk it through when we have student teachers of concern We are not afraid to talk to each other about 'what did you see! the big concern . . . ! I thought! I saw! how did you interpret this? I think we've been able to talk about things like that I am able to talk to the student teacher I try to be positive with them But I also question I am not afraid to criticize if I have to But I hope I can do it in a friendly enough manner that they are not afraid of me. Clinical Supervision I think having that course really changed everything . . . it allowed me to separate me from the situation it wasn't me on a piece of paper making judgments it was just what happened these are the words you said listen to a tape this is what students were doing at 9:05 a.m. it is evidence I didn't make it up. Climbing to 80% load!!! I am not so much in favor of the slowly work up to full load slowly slide off. . I think . . . you should be there within the first couple of weeks you should have a full load you should take a full load right up to the end that's reality that's what you've going to have to cope with and if you can't cut it, no job!!!! so I am a bit hard nosed about that teachers whining about preps . . . you are a home economics teacher, you may have seven preps you may have nine preps because in one block you might be teaching two different courses so you are lucky if at 80% is what university requires you get two spares, I don't get two spares 78 Beginning Teachers Have Got To Get A Lot Tougher... on being a beginning teacher? you get a dog's breakfast... you do not walk into a nice easy load . . . most of the time if you are lucky if you get part-time you get bits and pieces nobody ever wants . . . you'll probably get foods Consumer Studies Computer course clothing class in which you've got all five grades . . . . whatever is left over I think beginning teachers have got to get a lot tougher than they have to be in the past . . . . I think they do a lot of great things but . . . they need to work a bit harder in terms of loads we follow the guidelines but live with it. It Shows In The Smiles what has home economics been like? I can't imagine doing anything else I love it completely I look forward to coming to work I also look forward to retiring early . . . . I have intentions of retiring early . . . this is what I am good at this is what I am happy with it shows in the smiles that I get from my kids and the fact that they come and take my course every year I figure I gotta be doing something right. I've . . . Learnt Everything About Teaching From Being A Teacher professional growth? from a beginning teacher? I've certainly learnt everything about teaching from being a teacher I had no idea what it was about when I started I have also done a huge amount of professional development both personally and for colleagues I've written curricula guides . . . my portfolio if you want to look at it is up there . . . . I've sat on committees, I've worked on papers I did my masters in home economics that is about as close as I can get I feel that I've tried to be current I try to keep up to date with the changes that have been happening both in the professional end of teaching and new things happening in the day-to-day home economics stuff whether it is Clothing techniques or Foods o r . . . policies that have changed . . . I believe that is what I am supposed to do I try to . . . A Teacher Educator? As teacher educator? yes! . .. certainly I am not the best teacher educator you could be with but I think I am helpful I think student teachers like to be in my classroom . . . I give them freedom to try new things and try to let them experience good and bad . . . yes they're going to fail sometimes they are not going to die and I am not going to yell at them sometimes . . . I have bit my tongue that I don't jump in and take over. I really resist that I don't feel like it is the end of the world I feel like okay, 'this is something we need to talk about'... but | don't get mad or scared . . . just. . . a little irritated . . . Nine Times Out Of Ten A Student Teacher Recognizes A Disaster you need to make those kinds of mistakes to learn to do it better next time . . . as long as we can share the experience because nine times out of ten the student teacher recognizes a disaster I think it is important for them to bring it forward if they can then we work it out together if they don't, then I say . . . this happened in the class I was uncomfortable with it or I thought it was out of control how did you interpret it? somedays noise doesn't bother me somedays it drives me crazy . . . if it is misinformation, that's different... I don't have problems in correcting that at all but if it is behavior or expectations of some kind I think it is very workable. I Say Hello To The Kids to just slide into a class is not good enough you . . . must have a formal beginning and end whatever works for you as far as the introduction goes that is fine for me I say hello to the kids welcome them trying to be positive they had this Halloween dance last night . . . today that is what I talked about in my foods class in the morning . . . 'did you go? was it fun?'. . . . gets everybody talking focused listening then talk about what you are going to do today how it ties into what happened before . . . in the future. [student teacher].. . didn't say [hello] she just looked at the attendance and started looking for kids . . . no formal introduction . or acknowledgment that class had started at all but the body of the lesson she was fine it is really the beginnings and the ends 80 this [two week] practicum I don't look at it as anything [serious] I would like to be able to make up my mind on this practicum whether or not this person has a chance to be a good teacher I think you can do that in this practicum once I've made up my mind . . . this person will be a teacher I don't look so much about this kind of picky stuff yet. to just slide into a class is not good enough you. . . must have a formal beginning and end whatever works for you as far as the introduction goes. . . for me I say hello to the kids welcome them trying to be positive (Diane, November 1994) 81 Chapter Four Voices Of Experience In speaking I hear myself being created. I hear myself, not as the other hears me. In this cracked acoustical mirror I hear the sound of my own thoughts, knowing that others will never hear me as I hear myself. I am a constant acoustical production. These sounds, and their meanings to me anchor my inner (and outer) meanings in this specific act of speaking and hearing. My voice creates the public context for my articulated thought. (Denzin, 1995, p. 11) [W]hat is familiar is not known simply because it is familiar. (Hegel, in Chambliss, 1987, p. 2) An ethical decision is based in part on things that remain hidden and inexplicit in the consciousness of the individual who makes it. Consequently, how one chooses now depends on how one has already been disposed to choose by one's past choices that although one is not directly aware of them at the moment provide the "unsaid" background of one's present choice. The pattern of one's previous decisions is all important. (Smith, 1991, p. 246) Introduction This chapter is a continuation of my safari within the three teachers' landscapes. Data developed in this chapter was generated through multiple sources - my observations of student teachers teaching, listening to the conferences between the school advisors and student teachers, and from conversations between the school advisors and me on what transpired during the conferences (conversations-on-actions). Hart (1995) reminds us that practicum supervision is an interpretive venture. What follows are my interpretations that are informed by "the teacher I am" (Diamond, 1991, p. 103) and the teacher educator i desire to be. Every narrating is partial, and every story is a reconstructed version of the 'original,' as Gadamer writes, "the subject of the play is not the players... rather the play can only be said to manifest itselfthrough the players" (in Smith, 1991, p. 117). Therefore, for a landscape to depict school advisors' practices and their understanding of how one becomes a teacher, it can only be portrayed as 82 the interaction between student teachers and school advisors, i was interested in exploring the ways the school advisors' understanding manifests itself in the interactions during the conferences, which were further explained and articulated during the conversations-on-actions. In places where necessary, i present the discourse in two columns; one representing the conferences between school advisors and their student teachers, and the other the conversations-on-actions and/or my reading of the landscapes. The reader is invited to enter the dialogue from either column. Three narratives will be told in this chapter as conversations with Jill, Diane, and Jessica. Any information that could be revealing especially of student teachers who are not the primary focus within the study has been altered. However, each student teacher's consent was sought before the study began (Appendix D). Seeing is not understanding. Understanding is more than visual knowledge. Understanding is visceral. The fully interpretive text plunges the reader into the interior feeling, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching worlds of subjective human perception. (Denzin, 1995, p. 16) Conversations With Jill Jill and Diane the home economics teachers at Maskini Secondary had one student teacher Betty, in the 1994/95 school year. The teacher education program at the University of British Columbia recommends that student teachers begin at 20% load and build gradually to 80% by mid-term. The 80% load lasts for about four weeks. However, when to pick up to 80% and drop from 80% varies. The 20% load guideline meant that Betty could start with one subject area and build gradually. She began with grade 8 and 12 clothing and textiles with Jill. She picked two foods and nutrition units from Diane midway through the practicum and one more towards the end. Grade eight clothing and textiles and foods and nutrition are compulsory units. Each course unit has three hours per week. 5 i am tempted to use the term kids instead of secondary students or pupils because the school advisors Betty is a home economics major, with advanced skills in fashion design; a strength that contributed to her being matched to this particular school. She was a hard worker and spent lots of hours planning for her classes. Betty seemed to have a vision, a dream as to what she wanted to teach the kids5. But the reality was different, for she did not seem to have a picture of who she wanted the kids, to know her as. The gap between what and who became an area of contention between Betty and her school advisors. 83 i observed Betty in both clothing and textiles 8 and 12 (CT8 & CT12) and foods and nutrition 10, 11, and 12 (FN 10, FN 11, & FN 12). Observations in the clothing and textiles classes continued to the end of the practicum. Observations in the foods and nutrition classes began at mid-term to the end of the practicum. i listened to Jill's advisory sessions, mostly the post-conferences throughout the practicum. In total there were ten observations, seven conferences between Jill and Betty, and seven conversations-on-actions with Jill, and one joint conversation between Jill, Diane and myself (see appendix B). The complexity of school advising from the perspective of observing Betty teach and listening to Jill's and Diane's advising, and our conversations-on-actions is ingrained in the interactions that took place; and is difficult to represent adequately. Betty was the only student teacher in the department although in the previous three years student teachers had been posted to Maskini Secondary in pairs. Pairing according to Diane and Jill creates a supportive environment for each student teacher and makes the school advisors' duties lighter. Betty's situation was unusual then because she was alone; and secondly, as Jill put it, they did not know "how weak her weaknesses were." i will narrate Jill's interactions with Betty in the first half of the practicum followed by Diane's with Betty in the second half of the practicum. Lastly i will conclude with a joint conversation between Jill, Diane, and myself. The first post-conference between Jill and Betty was held on February 10,1995, the second week of the practicum. It was my second time to observe Betty teach. During the conference Jill raised concerns about what she felt Betty needed to work on. The concerns became crucial and complex as the practicum progressed and i describe them as: 1) Questions about styles of teaching; 2) referred to them as such with lots of devotion, i use the term to characterize the caring, understanding, and/or passion these teachers have for their students and in some incidents, the term could be used to describe the vulnerability that some students are in, which calls for caring and understanding. However, i am also aware that the term is sometimes used in a pejorative manner, but that is not intended here. 84 Questions about teachers' attitude towards kids; 3) Questions regarding kids; and 4) Questions about discipline. In teaching, the concerns are not as distinct as they read. They are intricate dynamics which through writing seem distinct, comprehensible, and easy to work with as a teacher or advisor. However, as the researcher who observed the interactions and participated in some, the intricacies are difficult to untangle and also to distance oneself from. Questions About Styles Of Teaching Betty taught for close to two weeks before a post-conference was held. In the two weeks Jill 'waited' for Betty to be comfortable and to find a routine that worked for her as the teacher. The first conference was on February 10,1995. Jill raised concerns about Betty's style of teaching, and summarized her observations as follows: I like the way you complimented the kids at the beginning about the clean-up . . . Think about the variety of ways to call them to attention. I think you're still a little hesitant to do that.... just sort of stop them working and have them all look at you. "Your attention, please." I mean that sometimes works. Try to think of some innovative way . . . . variety of ways of getting their attention. Don't be afraid to do that in the middle of things like that (Jill post-conference February 10, 1995) Two weeks later, on February 24, i observed CT12 and CT8, and was present in the second formal post-conference. "If you had to sum up your feelings how today went... what comes to mind immediately?" Jill began the conversation. "Aaaah!!!!!," Betty replied. "And why the aaaa?" probed Jill calmly. Betty explained that she would like to pair the pupils next time to reduce the amount of distance in the room because kids were spread across the huge room which made it difficult for them to hear her and 85 therefore they did not respond as expected. She also had to walk up and down several times to attend to them. Jill probed further how she was to reduce the distance and suggested the following: You know what else reduces amount of distance, if you gather them towards you. I honestly felt a couple of things could have been much better dealt with if you had them clustered. Remember the other day we called grade 9s, and they came like that. They are eager to get instructions. Don't be afraid to move, them bodily around the room . . . (Jill post-conference February 24, 1995) Jill explained and illustrated how to make use of the room satisfactorily. She continued, "by the way you did a very good job verbally, directing them to put the bobbin case in the bobbin. That was clear, they were quiet... I told you about it. What I do, I gather them around that demonstration table," Jill pointed at the table and continued: They all have a bobbin case. And I can see exactly . .. maybe end up doing . . . I demonstrate at the demo table . . . you have these 23-24 faces looking at you, the first row sits, the second row maybe stands, and you have a captive audience. It establishes you as the person in control . . . Physically get them together and it will help. You could try . . . . I am a professional at this with grade eight, six times a year.. . When they bring the bobbin thread up, I think that is better demonstrated by you. . . . You can speak your way through it so that they can see it. That was more tricky than the verbal instructions . . . it amazes me there that they were able to follow. And once you get thread up the demonstration table and a piece of fabric inside, once you get to this stage, put the fabric in, lower the pressure foot. (Jill post-conference February 24, 1995) Jill articulately illustrated how she would have done the demonstration after seeing the kids struggle through without adequate guidance. She continued: I am also going to suggest at the beginning of the class, I timed you today, you waited about 7-10 minutes before you said something to the class. They came in; they were good. They got their buckets 6... the questions started. I heard a couple of repeat questions. I think the way you should handle that is just to say 'No questions but when the bell goes, I'll make announcements . . . . we are going to have a demonstration in five minutes'... let them know where they are going. They are anxious to do and to succeed and they don't quite know what's coming next. I don't think they have seen that finished pin cushion. I held it up . . . one of the guys... he saw it and asked 'is this what we are making?' He was surprised and he surprised me. They should sort of know the end point of all this. Where are they going with it all? (Jill post-conference February 24,1995) 6 This is what Jill calls the containers provided to the kids to store their projects in. 86 It was the fourth week and Betty was having difficulties. Kids were completing their first project but they had not seen a finished sample of what they were doing. That bothered Jill because she had seen the samples being made, yet the kids had not been shown. Wasn't it time for Jill to be firm? The class was very busy. Kids were calling for help constantly. Betty could not cope. Instead of calling for group demonstrations she was moving from one pupil to another. Before ending the post-conference, Jill had this to say: With grade 8s you really have to learn good classroom management. And this is where you are going to learn. With the seniors that isn't a problem because basically they know how to behave. But with these grade 8s it's constantly a little mind game. (Jill post-conference February 24, 1995). Though Jill was getting tired of explaining, she cautioned Betty politely: There is something wrong with your demonstration techniques . . . I still question this dividing of the class in half. At this stage I think you should be able to do one demonstration for all of them so that they are quiet, settled, focused on you, and you can sort of speak to them all at once. And the kids that are behind they catch up, or they ask help from their friends. (Jill post-conference February 24,1995) "Had you thought of what you are going to demonstrate? Had you firmly established in your mind the demonstrations that you are going to do today?" Jill probed what could be holding Betty from doing a satisfactory job after putting so many hours in preparation of her lessons. "Yeah, I thought of what I was going to say, I did part through," replied Betty. Politely with a serious look Jill asked, "any way I am going to ask you if you had to do this again . . . how might you handle the techniques you covered today... over again, just run yourself over again verbally, the bobbin case thing," Jill instructed and point by point, step by step walked Betty through the entire 'threading-the-bobbin-case' lesson. She led her through, 'back-spaced' through any point that she failed to comprehend or down played as unimportant, or when she went off-tangent. After four weeks of patience with Betty, waiting for her to assert herself in the classes as the teacher, to lead the kids through the project, to teach; today she took charge, and guided Betty without hesitation. 87 By the end of the fourth week Jill seemed tired of repeating herself and begging Betty to change her style, to face the kids, and to instruct them as a group. During the third post-conference she had a different suggestion. We had observed a lesson together. The kids were eager about the projects. Those who had missed sessions were eager to catch up. But there was something amiss still. According to Jill, the introduction was good, the kids listened, instructions were down to the kids' level; but, she felt that Betty "lost it in 15-20 minutes." She continued: "things disintegrated... how could you have avoided some of that?" Jill asked (Jill post-conference March 3,1995). "Maybe assign someone to those who are behind in their work," Betty suggested. Jill objected to the reply. It was Friday, the end of the fourth week. She had waited long enough for Betty to change, but hope was dying out. By now she had realized what Betty needed was not open-ended suggestions. She reminded her to make use of her samples because kids needed to see what the finished product looks like, something for them to look forward to, to keep focused on, and motivated towards. Jill was also fearful because the class was very fractured today, and being the end of the fourth week that did not augur well. The fractured pieces needed some artistry in rearranging them. Jill suggested that Betty needed to instruct the whole class instead of small groups all the time. "You are going to drive yourself crazy trying to help 25 kids at different stages," begged Jill. "I didn't find them that many," Betty expressed. "They were lots," Jill said and reminded her of what she had suggested a week ago. "/ said to you before to do something in the middle of the class. Calling them together is something you could do in a group instead of six times with individuals" (Jill post-conference March 3,1995). Since the beginning of the practicum Jill had waited for Betty to establish herself and encouraged her to feel confident. She often reminded Betty that the kids do not dislike her, of the need to be friendly with 88 them, and to smile. But today she had moved to another place, that of power. The begging had to turn into action. She could not think of a better way to salvage the situation than to ask Betty to allow her to teach the next lesson so that Betty could maybe comprehend what Jill was emphasizing - the pacing, how she demonstrates, holds and calls kids to attention. She also wanted to introduce the kids to the next project because they were behind. Jill requested a chance to teach the CT8 class. She politely asked: "can I do the class next day? The beginning lesson on the bag?" (Jill post-conference March 3, 1995). Betty was silent. In disbelief and in a After the post-conference, we held a conversation-on-actions low tone of voice asked, "You mean with Jill. It took awhile for Jill to convince Betty to allow her gathering them around and showing to teach the next lesson. Jill had waited patiently since the them?" beginning of the practicum for Betty to realize something was Jill assertively replied, "just doing the amiss and to rectify it. lesson and you can be my assistant. Jill felt that Betty hesitated to let go of her Monday lesson Let's reverse roles instead of me being because of "fear of failure." Jill argued that Betty was there your assistant." "to learn and she can learn by example. I can only say so Betty fell into silence and deep thought, much to her, so maybe if I am doing what I do best, and she Jill pleaded: can pick up a few points, that might be another way of you might be able to observe a few learning," Jill explained her decision, things. See whether they behave a i had heard Jill share a lot of information that if responded little different with me, they may be, to could have been very useful for Betty and the kids, i they may be not. See if there is wondered what it takes for a student teacher to listen to some sort of a difference, in outcome advice and to change perspective, i also wondered do and response . . . I don't mind doing it student teachers realize what their decisions and behavior next day. Just getting them going on mean to kids? the bag. Why do you hesitate? (Jill "She hasn't been able to lower herself yet to the basic level of post-conference March 3,1995) these kids," explained Jill. "By watching you she might visualize how her class can be because i don't think she is seeing it," i suggested in support of the decision (COA, March 3,1995). 89 Jill's decision reminded me of my years as a pre-service teacher. One faculty advisor was known to 'take over1 lessons from student teachers. A story went around that if he found anyone giving 'wrong' information to kids, he took over that lesson and sought explanations later. Although Jill's decision surprised me, i had observed Betty teaching for close to five weeks and listened to Jill pleading with Betty to try out different approaches for the benefit of the kids, i understood why it is possible for an advisor to take such an action. What does it take to reach that moment of 'stepping in', of running short of words? Betty expressed her opinion about the idea. Jill sensing the reluctancy persuaded her. After a lengthy talk, Jill had this to add: my argument is if you get them together, teach a . . . good lesson, make it very clear, your samples out, with the bag you'll have this (referring to the pattern), they shouldn't be tagging at you all the time. They just shouldn't be. And then if they come to you, with a stupid question, 'have you looked at the sample? Have you looked at the instruction sheet?' I think because we want to help, we have this feeling that we are the only ones with answers. We have to encourage them to realize . . . . I don't know how you want to do that, but for your own sanity I would suggest you try to make better use of samples. (Jill post-conference February 10, 1995) The fractured nature of the class might not have been conspicuous to Betty. We wondered how that could be brought to Betty's attention. "So do you have any suggestions for me? with her?" Jill asked, i hesitated jumping in because i felt i might have been too strict with Betty internally, i couldn't understand what was so difficult about Jill's suggestion, i wondered if i would have had the patience Jill demonstrated. Would i have used such polite language? i wondered what would have happened if i talked for the boys who by now have been labelled 'rebels?' However, all i could think of saying was to report the misery i saw on Betty's face. She was miserable because Jill decided to teach CT8 on Monday, i suggested that Jill talk to her again before Monday. "Put the shoe in the other foot, yeah?" Jill said hinting why she decided to teach the coming lesson. "i think she needs a lot of assurance," i remarked. "We are running out of time . . . four more periods . . . This has taken a lot longer than it should have taken," Jill voiced her concerns and maybe from reading my worries too continued, "i think she's going to pass her practicum." (COA March 3, 1995) 90 On March 10 i was back in Maskini Secondary, observed both CT8 and CT12, and attended the post-conference. It was the fourth one. Jill described the CT8 class as a 'dream hour.' She felt that "right questions" were asked during the demonstration, which forced the kids to think and "look at the samples." She complimented Betty for demonstrating to the whole class unlike before when she was doing one-on-one. She felt that the kids were "great and motivated." But 'set and closure' was still a concern. "You didn't say hello to them. You sat down on the machine and you began to turn over the edge and to stitch . . . There wasn't really an introduction," Jill reminded Betty. After a lengthy talk, Jill reminded Betty that teaching is about coming down to the kid's level. Commenting about grade 8 she affirmed to Betty that as a teacher, she needs to "make them think they want to be [in her class and school]" (post-conference, March 10, 1995). "Are we saying enough positive things?" is the challenge and the question that Jill posed as a starter to our conversation-on-actions on March 10, 1995. "i think so," i replied vaguely. Betty looked worried yet, i felt Jill was very positive and supportive. She "needs to practice managing a class within an hour time frame, with a beginning, a middle and an end," Jill said in reply to my vague remark. "I hope Betty realizes that we are out to help her. But she wants so badly to be nearly perfect. I think she wants so badly to do an excellent job," Jill continued. "Teaching is a different area," i joined in. "Excellence doesn't mean covering the content. There is a lot more." Since kids had made progress in their projects, i asked Jill what happened when she 'took over' the class. Jill explained what she told Betty: see if you can learn anything. Or see anything that I am doing to . . . bring the class together to get their attention, get them motivated - management. I am not a perfect teacher, I might do some things you may think I could do better but, I would like you to just really observe me like I am observing you. And then tell me afterwards what you think. (Jill COA March 10, 1995) Jill explained what transpired in the class she taught that Monday and what she talked about with Betty. She wanted feedback to bridge what Jill felt about Betty's teaching and what Betty felt about Jill's; however, Betty did not comment at all. It was a rough week for Betty. The weight of 80% load was unbearable. She moved to and from clothing and textiles and foods and nutrition rooms. 91 "Are we saying enough positive things? Jill asked again. She continued, "I don't like seeing her upset . . . Don't you sense that she is upset?... Are we criticizing her?" Jill sEARched her practice with these questions. "There is vagueness you don't know what she is thinking, i couldn't read it," i answered. "What is the faculty advisor saying," i asked. i was afraid in case she was upset. The advice and suggestions may have seemed or sounded picky. Like the set and closure, hello and good bye suggestions. But are they picky? By asking a student teacher to say good morning to kids at 8:45 a.m., is that asking too much? Is that being picky? A basic human need? What are the basic ways through which teachers relate to kids? What about responding to suggestions? What are school advisors for? i told Jill i would be afraid if Betty was upset with Jill's suggestions. Jill in response to my opinions retreated back to experiences with other student teachers. She said: it's nice to hear you say that. We have had student teachers for the last few years who have been outstanding. Last year we would have hired the student teacher... She had lots of management skills. Year before that we had two. One of them got hired . . . . scattered brain Sally, but she was really good with the kids, wonderful with the students. She didn't have things organized far ahead but she pulled it off. She had a lot of strengths. So we have had lots of good student teachers. This is the one we have to work the hardest. (Jill COA March 10,1995) It could have been easier to understand a person who challenges and takes advice or whose approaches 'work'. In such a case, she/he chooses to take alternative approaches offered or not in terms of advice or suggestions. Betty's situation was different. She could not get herself to say hello or good bye to kids as advised by the school advisors among other suggestions. Jill felt she was "fine" and affirmed that: It's a personality thing with her . . . She is a very complex personality. I think she can work on her skills and be a good teacher, she certainly knows the material it's just a matter of making it to the kid's level. (Jill COA March 10,1995) Questions About Teachers' Attitude Towards Kids 92 I don't think they come out of the university realizing that . . . . we only have students if they like us and our subject. If you make it boring, or too difficult or whatever they are gone like a flash. You are without a job . . . I think that is very very important. (Jill COA . April 7,1995) What do pupils expect from new teachers? What do they look for that would tell them what kind of teacher the new person is? i was not present when Jill introduced Betty in any of her classes, but during their first conference Jill reminded Betty there was a need to smile to kids. "You know that is important at the beginning especially to grade 8," she cautioned. Jill was very concerned that a demonstration needed to be done at the beginning of every class to the whole class. During the conferences, she ceaselessly reminded Betty of the need to have the whole class attention, to capture the moments that they can be attentive. When the bell goes, Jill said: "My bottom line is don't be afraid ... you need to take control and pull them together... let them know you are there. The class has started" (post-conference February 10,1995). But Jill hinted that, the dynamics of what makes a successful class is more than the logistics that can be laid out; of how to do what when. For Jill, confidence in oneself contributes to having a fulfilling successful lesson and being a successful teacher. Betty did not seem impressed by what had happened. The conference did not seem reassuring. She looked worried. Jill sensing the mood reassured her: "They don't dislike you, they don't dislike being here. They don't dislike what they are doing... It's organization, direction, [and] specifics" (post-conference February 10,1995). The CT12 was a small class of 12 pupils. Being an elective subject, they were there by choice. Earlier discussion between Jill and Betty allowed Betty to design the unit plan. She planned 93 that the pupils would construct a waist(waste) coat using recycled paper and old useable garments to construct the coat. The work sheets and the outline for the project were introduced as follows: Welcome to the waste(waist) coat Tour In your package you will find a pair of tickets, a map of the towns we will be visiting and a list of important places to site see . . . We hope you enjoy your trip. In case of emergency talk to your tour guide-Mrs. John. She does not bite, (emphasis mine) (from Betty's course outline). i wondered what made Betty end the introduction in that way? What did those words mean to the students? What do they say of the teacher? It is possible Betty wrote the above before she met the students. Why would a teacher say such words to a class she had not met? What meaning did it have forstudents? On March 10 i observed CT12 class. A very quiet group although once in a while they threw quiet temper tantrums. Frowns on their faces told me all was not well. Jill described them as unhappy but "once they discover they can do lots of things, they appreciate the activity" (post-conference March 10,1995). Betty had great ideas for the class but introductions to the project were vague and therefore the pupils took a long time to comprehend. Jill argued that there was too much paper and little hands-on. i wondered how can student teachers take risks, or venture into the unknown if things get that discouraging? i wondered what the CT12 pupils were like with Jill as their teacher? Though CT12 class on March 10 seemed stranded, Jill described Betty as getting better. "I heard her say good-bye to kids, which she rarely does." She added that "Betty is starting to have a human face, to see kids as people." 94 Questions Regarding Kids What do they remember that we teach them really? They remember us. I sure remember my home economics teacher. That's what they remember but they don't remember what the heck they did. So how important is what we do with them really? . . . think about it. It's the overall recollection of the experience and whether they liked it or not. (Jill post-conference March 31,1995) As the practicum progressed, things seemed to fall apart for Betty and the CT8 class. Though they were eager to learn to play with the sewing machine or to discover what CT8 was about, their interaction with Betty seemed to develop gaps. Lessons seemed to drag and the atmosphere was unmotivating. Jill worried. The worries were felt in the previous highlights on the conferences and conversations-on-actions. If the demonstrations were not co-ordinated, and if the kids did not know what they were doing, they had to invent something. Betty's interpretation was that the pupils were rude and told Jill that she planned to talk to them. "You can't just get these kids to love sewing .. . All we want them to do is have them sort of enjoy their experience here and learn something about a new machine and some basic skills," Jill advised Betty (Jill post-conference February 10,1995). She continued, "encourage them to play with it. I like the word play. It makes them feel like they are doing something they shouldn't be doing in class" (Jill post-conference, February 24,1995). On March 3,1995 the CT8 class was very busy. Kids needed constant attention because they were eager to finish their projects. Because Betty could not keep up, Jill assisted. Jill described the class as 'fractured' and argued that it should not be happening in the fourth week. She described her feel of the class as follows: "they obviously wanted to do their work today but. . . some of them didn't know what to do next." She said to Betty: "they wanted to do it. When you sense things are falling apart and there are so many kids asking questions, then.. . this is where you kind of have a sixth sense about it" (Jill post-conference, March 3,1995). 95 Different teachers relate to kids differently just like kids relate to teachers differently. After witnessing a fractured class four weeks into the practicum, and deciding to teach the next CT8 class, Jill described the kids in attempts to reassure Betty as follows: for the most part, they are good kids in this school. Even these guys here. I'm not so sure about John but today he seemed to be relatively decent. He was all right with me. With grade 8 you really have to learn good classroom management. (Jill post-conference March 3,1995) Jill was also concerned about Betty's approach and warned against encouraging dependency on kids. "I can't sit by and see six kids following you around. S ix . . . little ducks" (Jill post-conference March 3,1995). "Maybe I am not expecting enough," Betty confessed her attitude towards the kids' abilities. The attitude manifested itself in the way she approached teaching (Betty post-conference March 3,1995). The conversation continued as follows: Betty: I have patience with people who are just beginning with things but people who really ought to know better I start getting very sort of snippy with them . . . Jill: You can't be rude to the kids . . . I know you wouldn't be. I have the tendency to do that at times . . . you can't bring to their attention that they are really asking a dumb question. And they do ask lots of dumb questions. If you just dutifully answer all the dumb questions, they are just going to continue asking them. And I think that is happening with some of these kids. They are too lazy to listen . . . (post-conference March 3,1995) Jill had asked Betty several times to approach teaching as having fun, reminding her to have a beginning and an end to every lesson. By mid-term, the issue of beginning and end, saying good bye and hello to kids became too difficult for Betty. Betty had lots of worksheets prepared for her lessons, and content to cover, but saying hello and good bye to kids was difficult (COA March 3,1995). The above was evident especially with CT12 when Betty introduced the waist (waste) coat project. When asked to relate to kids in a better way she had this to say: 96 Thinking about what I need to get done in the body of the lesson, I know about the time constraints on me, it's like I have 55 minutes, I have to do this and it's going to be some wasting of that 55 minutes. It means I got less time to do this, and that's what I am thinking about. Jill responded: You are wrapped up in what you have to accomplish, the content. That's perfectly normal I think as a new teacher. You get so wrapped up with content you don't even sort of hear what the students are doing when you are demonstrating or something . . . That can be a problem. But I see you are learning to relax, and pay more to ends of the hour in the other two classes. . . . It's nice to see . . . this morning you said good bye to the kids. It's the first time you have done that. That was nice . . . it's not much. But I think it's important to them. (Jill post-conference March 10,1995) It took a long time for the CT12 class to lighten up. When they finished their first project and got to the familiar, cutting and constructing their waist coats, the moods changed. It became a different class from what i knew previously, a docile unmotivated group, i had this to say in my journal that day: Kids tell me they have to finish tracing and cutting by today, i meander through the memory lane and wonder what conditions allow teachers to 'read' their students needs, dreams and aspirations to be able to tailor curriculum to be lived by students and be satisfying. The class today is strangely different, strangely happy. The faces that i could not read last week are somehow 'legible' today, wonderfully calm, deep in thoughts as the pupils shape pattern pieces, cut fabrics for their projects, and begin to imagine how to construct that coat into something wearable, something attractive, something creative... (excerpts from journal March 17,1995) Questions About Discipline I don't know what I gonna do with that John. (Betty post-conference February 10,1995) I don't know what to do with John! (Betty post-conference February 24,1995) I wish I could tie John down to this area!!! (Betty post-conference February 24,1995) Betty had problems from the first week of the practicum with the CT8 class. A few boys especially John and Ken, became scape-goats whenever a lesson did not go as she expected. By the 97 second week the 'problem' was manifest and the 'beginning of the end' was evident in the CT8 class. It began when Betty embarrassed John. It was on a Friday - the class began with a series of warnings, and calls for pupils to pick their work sheets. Those without names were retained without informing the kids what was happening to their papers. John rose from his seat, walked towards the teachers' desk to get his paper after waiting in vain. He was embarrassingly sent back. The class was warned that there will be no grades for worksheets submitted without names. The relaxed happy mood that kids come adorned with changed. How did John experience the situation? What about the rest of the class? Meanwhile the class was idle and noisy. Betty unresponsive to the noise called half the class to the front for a demonstration leaving the other half waiting for another five to seven minutes. Time seemed stagnant. The kids got anxious and fidgeted around the room. The atmosphere in the room was turning sour as the kids amused themselves. From the previous descriptions of what transpired during Betty's lessons and in the conferences between Betty and Jill, organization of learning was a major factor that impacted on other factors and situations. Jill reminded Betty often about the need to organize learning in a form that would encourage kids and allow them to have fun. She reminded her that a smile is important especially to grade 8 who need to feel 'wanted' in the classroom. More importantly, she was encouraged to say hello and good bye to the pupils in every lesson, i wondered what meaning these words had for Betty. "I don't know what I'm gonna do with that John," sighed Betty (post-conference February 10,1995). "He is a problem boy, his coach on the team dislikes him and says he is not a team player, he always wants to be the star, the center of attention and he's got a personality problem," Jill joined in, "so you'll always have students like those... they disappear by the time they get to grade 11/12." "I don't want them to disappear... I'll ask him to come early during block A," said Betty. She. continued to explain how she will strike a deal with him because she did not want him to leave. 98 Jill had this to add: And if he does, don't take it personally . . . I think as a new teacher you tend to want to save everybody, and make a difference in everyone's life. That's wonderful, and you'll probably make a difference in many students lives but it's not a 100% success rate for anybody ever. I am not saying that these ones will be failures but, carry on and try your best with them. (Jill post-conference February 24, 1995) The conversation continued on what to do to John. He was singled out as the source of trouble, i sat there wondering why blame the victims? why single out John? Betty was suggesting talking to him, an idea she has been verbalizing for about three weeks now. Jill suggested to her that taking him to the principal might "smarten him up." Betty kept mum at that. Lastly Jill suggested that she try being kind to him and "see what happens." Finally Betty owned up. "Sometimes I am not sure what to say or not to say. And I know I have foot and mouth disease sometimes, and things don't come out the right way." Jill added: I think he is probably a needy kid although he doesn't look to be needy. He is well dressed but emotionally perhaps he is. Maybe he wouldn't respond to a deal "I'll help you with your pants if you behave in class." If you helped him with his pants he might reciprocate. I don't know. You know him more than I do. I sat over there to avoid these boys here today (laughter). (Jill post-conference February 24,1995) Finally the talk shifted from John to the boys, and also to positive things that happened in the class. In that connection Jill explained: "When I went around and I was helping them, they were most appreciative. And just eager to move on. I was getting really good feelings for all those I talked to, even these guys," Jill pointed to the 'problem corner', where John and friends sit and continued, "I suppose sometimes they do. But for the most part, they are good kids in this school." "I wish I could tie John down to this area!" remarked Betty in denial of what the 'problem' was. "You can't do that though, you can't do that!," Jill exclaimed. "You just have to use more sneaky ways of keeping him in this area. You've got to be sneaky as a teacher. And you are going to have eyes at the back of your head. It's true" (post-conference, February 24,1995). 99 March 17,1995 was the last day for the first group of CT8 with Betty. She taught the first lesson in the afternoon. There was no formal beginning, no saying hello to kids, and no sign of bonding between Betty and the kids. A few minutes after the class started, Betty left for the Vice-Principal's office to continue with Ken's case. It happened to be the proverbial fortieth day for Ken. He handed in someone else's class project and was caught. Phew! It is not John the scape-goat, otherwise the story would have been different. Ken left for the Vice-principal's office too. Meanwhile, Jill took charge of the class. She reminded the pupils that they had to hand in their projects finished or otherwise. It was sad seeing the class end on such a note. Last classes are often fun for student teachers and pupils as they say good byes and thank yous to one another. The rituals become memorable moments. This was oddly lonely for all of us. It was a sad day seeing Ken with his head lying on a desk looking miserable, i sat there and looked at the class, looked at John, remembered Ken's misery and wondered; does a teacher ever win any battle against students? What would we describe, as victory? The week was also a low energy week. It was the week before spring break, before the grade 8 change over from one course to another; the last week for projects, assignments, quizzes, and record of marks to be updated. Everyone needed a break. There was no post-conference between Jill and Betty. Our conversation-on-actions moved from CT12 to the CT8 class. We worried about this CT8 group since the beginning of the practicum, despite the fact that none of us came to their rescue. We did not dwell on what a rescue for CT8 would have been like but we took the time to express our feelings about it. Jill thought aloud: I think it's sad to see what is happening to this grade 8 class. There are some really good kids in there. Kids with good attitude. There are just a few who have ruined it for her. . . . and I think she's allowed them to ruin it for her. She's going to have to learn somehow to put those guys in their place and allow the others to get on with the work . . . she wants 100 everyone to succeed and there are some in there who will not succeed. Because they are not at all interested. (Jill COA March 17,1995) Jill acknowledged that it is common practice for kids to hand-in same projects, "a little humor and its over," but about Ken, she saw it as "serious stealing." "What is your perception of all that?" she asked me. The question was inviting but i was hesitant. How could i tell Jill that the mess was done the day we were party to Betty blaming the kids for her own insecurity, her desire to do her 'thing' and ignoring school advisor's guidance and/or the kid's body language, silence, and uncooperative behavior? How could.i say that what we were seeing and hearing was the fruits of not seeing relationships in the classroom as key to a teacher's success? How could i say that the complexity that one can bring into the classroom in the form of subject matter content, great ideas, creativity should not supersede relationships that a teacher needs to build and nurture? How could i say that she failed to prepare the ground to sow the seeds that she carries within her - creativity, complex design techniques, and resourcefulness. How could i say that we - Jill and i - have been party to all this for not intervening? In my hesitation i talked about an unrelated incident, i dodged the truth too, just like some kids dodged classes. "I am not going to say much about this last hour because it was a disaster, i won't say anything. . . . talk about no conclusions," Jill continued. It was frustrating especially for Jill who was to be left with the 'mess.' Selfishly i mentioned about coming back next week to see the transition of the classes. Jill hoped that the new grade 8 class will be different, "better than this one." She continued: Learning how to teach, she's got a long way to go there . . . learning how to manage a group, to teach a group; she can teach an individual beautifully, but when it comes to teaching 24 kids, and trying to keep them together in a similar stage of the project, is a problem . . . there are kids finishing and others barely started . . . I think I am going to tell her to try . . . some people are faster than others, to teach sort of in the middle. (Jill COA March 17, 1995) 101 i joined Jill thinking aloud: "how do you think we learn that? How do teachers realize how to plan that? to know so many people are ahead today i will do this?" "I don't know. It's almost intuition," Jill replied. Yes, how do they learn to be teachers? What else could have helped Betty realize an alternative approach to teaching CT8? What kind of help should Jill have offered? She started by letting her be, giving her space to establish herself as a teacher. That space became the loophole that the kids saw and jumped into as disinterested people. It became a space that they did not want to be in but they could come and play. They used the space to dodge learning, to do what CT8 was not about. "Yes (laughter) how do people learn to be teachers?" i wondered looking at Jill, posing the challenge to Jill to help me come to some understanding. She expressed: I think in the beginning when we talked about this I used the term sink and swim, trial and error. I asked her today .... I hope she'll stop and think of this. Is there something she could have done to avoid the whole bag problem? I think she's already come out with some answers, she's going to make sure they will put bold letters . . . mark the fabric. I hope she has learnt this. (Jill COA March 17,1995) i asked Jill about the student teacher last year. She explained: She had all the group management skills you could ever want a young person to have . .. but this one needs to learn from her own mistakes . . . she is seeing things falling apart. And once again closure, she should have gathered them. I always gather them together at this last class and I say how much I have enjoyed them as a class, I hope you have learnt something you can take a way, at least a few skills, mend your own jeans . . . I try that, (pause) it's something for boys to come back and do some more, but you can get them to come back if they leave with a smile on their face. But this was . . . I don't think they had a really bad experience but they could have had a much better experience. Its times like this that I wish I had the class back . . . because you lay the ground work for next year's program with these grade 8s and if they go away . . . (Jill COA March 17, 1995) "I hope she's not going to be so uptight about the next group of grade 8," remarked Jill. The experiences that the first grade 8s went through was enough to worry a school advisor. It was 102 something to work against, i encouraged Jill to talk Betty into analyzing the experience and possibly come up with what to do and avoid a repeat. Jill responded: if you just give a lesson, and don't show the sensitivity of sort of seeing what is out there, your clientele, it doesn't always go well. But if they know that you are responding to them in some ways, they respond to you positively. (Jill COA March 17, 1995) We agreed that Jill talk with Betty over spring break for both of them to come up with a better way of working with the next group of grade 8. Coming to terms with what it is that complicates teaching for Betty was beyond our understanding. Jill had this to say: I think Betty is a kind of personality that tries too hard to please and to impress . . . . she is an unusual girl with some of her own problems. What she is doing, it's her personality affecting them, the way she operates in the classroom . . . .I don't know how we deal with that, we have to try and make her a good teacher and not necessarily change her personality... It doesn't work. (Jill COA March 17, 1995) What was happening in Betty's classes was complicated by the fact that no one could force her to adhere to the suggestions given to her on how to improve her instruction and relationship with the kids, i admired Jill's patience with Betty from day one, the way she dealt with her personality. Betty was someone who hardly took in suggestions, or advice and she rarely responded as asked unless 'cornered'. But cornering is a very uncomfortable place to be as an advisor. We like easy going people, who take suggestions easily, admit failure, and show evidence of struggling to get out of their own mess. Alternatively we want great student teachers, already 'made'. I see a new group of grade 8s as a gift. It's like September ail over again. You have a chance to start fresh and learn from your past mistakes or things that didn't go too well. I change every time too, thank goodness I have been doing it, God knows how many times . . . I hope that she really thinks about what happened with those boys, bag swapping . . . try and develop strategies that will avoid any of that from happening. (Jill COA March 31,1995) I don't think any of us intend to fail her and she certainly is not a failure, but I think our frustration is that she is not getting the message on some of the things we are harping on and on about. She doesn't get it, or it takes a long time to get it." (Jill COA April 7, 1995) 103 Conversations With Diane Diane has taught home economics in secondary schools for more than 17 years. Being in Diane's classroom watching kids stroll in full of energy; and Diane enthusiastically welcoming them was a touching experience. This was the atmosphere that Betty came into. Betty was assigned two courses in foods and nutrition in addition to CT12 and CT8. The additional courses - foods and nutrition 11 and 12 (FN11 & FN 12) were to be taught in the foods and nutrition laboratory (FNLab) which was also Diane's 'office'. After five weeks of teaching, what did Diane expect to see, hear and feel in 'Betty's' classes? Formal interactions between Diane and Betty began in the fourth week of the practicum. On March 3,1995 Diane observed Betty teaching, wrote a formal report and held a post-conference. Diane wrote the following on the observation form: 11.00 a.m. Bell and announcements 11.05 attendance 11.10 call students to demo, explanation of today's class 11.20 students sent to groups. 'Betty circulated-troubleshooting 11.40 recall group discussions 12.00 debrief-questions 12.10 dismissal -Must greet students-welcome them to class, outline day's activities -do attendance later-when students busy, don't waste valuable time -relax, enjoy students -closure-lesson summary -say good-bye to group -focus on students make them feel glad they are in your class, be friendly (Diane March 3,1995-observation form) During the post-conference Diane expressed several concerns for the way Betty approached teaching. Specifically, she reminded her that a lesson has three parts and that she needed to work on set and closure. She also advised her to start classes with a salutation immediately when the bell goes and to say good-bye to kids before they leave class. After the conference Diane left, a worried school advisor. We did not have a conversation-on-actions because she had to attend a meeting. Diane was concerned about Betty's teaching approach, specifically the way she related to kids. As the practicum progressed, Diane also questioned her responsibility (professional obligation) as a 104 school advisor. The interactions between Diane and Betty, and Diane and i will be retold as three areas of concern: 1) Questions about styles of teaching, 2) Questions regarding kids, 3) Questions about professional responsibility. Questions About Styles Of Teaching On March 10 Betty had two foods and nutrition classes - FN11 and FN12. It was her first food laboratory experience in Maskini Secondary. The lesson spilled over to lunch hour and worried Diane a lot. Because Betty was not available immediately for a post-conference, we started our conversation as we waited for Betty to finish with the pupils. Diane summarized her observation as follows: What I think happened today was management. Strictly management. I am not worried about Betty but she really needs to be incredibly organized in a foods lab. Because this kind of thing should not happen every day. If the kids choose to stay through lunch, that is wonderful. But it shouldn't be a lesson over lunch hour, if it is a special occasion, that is fine. (Diane post-conference March 10,1995) The worries prompted quick action from Diane. She consulted Jill who had been with Betty for more than four weeks. To salvage the situation they decided that Betty should not teach hospitality and tourism as planned earlier but should take foods and nutrition 10 (FN 10) instead. She was to observe Diane teaching it, then take it over in the course of the practicum. She was to use Diane's unit plan. It was anticipated that the new plan would provide her with some comfort and time to deal only with management of the class. Diane described the new arrangement as follows: It is simplistic in that.. . because everybody is doing the same thing, we put X cans of this . . . . I even think to the point that I would give Betty my material... take a big step back . .. let's do absolute basic home economics . . . basically it will be hop step . . .because quite frankly I think Betty will flame out. I am scared. I don't want to put it in writing at this point because I think she has the potential... absolutely absolutely (sigh)... I am struggling so much with this, I am trying to find a solution that might work. That's why I wanted to talk to Jill, I wanted to talk to you. But I also want... to give her the option. Because these are my concerns . . . I also want her to stay with these kids, she has put so much energy into i t . . . I want her to carry on with that... I don't want to see it happen, it's not happening now. (Diane COA March 10,1995) 105 The situation felt desperate. Diane worried that the kids were getting frustrated. Five weeks into the practicum; what has been happening? What conditions allowed that to happen for four weeks? It was painful listening to Diane wrestle in frustration, i was reminded of Jessica's dilemma which i shared with Diane. Jessica gave student teachers her unit plans and she was getting frustrated because the student teachers failed to embrace the unit plans and teach from them like their own. Diane had the following to say: My other concern is that Betty doesn't have to do a full period demonstration which We often don't do with the senior kids . . . but at the same time she needs to practice to do that because with junior kids you do a demonstration and a lab the next day. And sure you throw in some different kinds of lessons. I want her to be confident with her introductions and closures . . . I have said the middle is fine . . ; . I have noticed she won't say good-bye to them, but I am still very concerned . . . when the bell goes, the lesson has started, it doesn't matter what you are doing. You have at least to acknowledge that they're here in the classroom, say . . . "I'm just going to finish this and we'll get started"... I've noticed too frequently the bell will go, Betty will be doing something or talking to somebody and she'll go, 'did class start?' (Diane COA March 10,1995) Having been around Betty from the beginning of the practicum, Diane's response to Betty's style of teaching was not surprising. What was surprising was the level of shock that Diane was in. There are norms which as teachers we expect aspiring teachers to fall into. They seem very simple requiring only common sense and we raise eyebrows when we come across someone who seems not to tune in. "Are we asking too much?" Diane asked. "Not much," i reassured her. Personally i did not understand what was so difficult about saying hello and good bye to kids, i could not understand why there were no closures and introductions to Betty's lessons. Neither could i understand why the school advisors' suggestions seemed difficult to adopt and adapt to, especially when most of the classes that Betty taught had problems. "It is not much and it's reality. You are going to get seven preps as a job, you are going to have to live with that... it's not three months, it's a life career," Diane remarked. 106 i was reminded of the Friday when Jill decided to 'take over' a class and of the dilemma she was in when she was pushed to the point of taking over the class. It was hardly two weeks since Diane started with Betty, but she was stuck too. Diane listened in deep thought nodding in between sighs of disappointment as i tried to carry on the conversation, i shared my brief encounter with Ken in CT8 class. He was preparing to cut his fabric when i walked close by to see what was happening in his group. "You people are experts... where did you learn this?" Ken asked inquisitively. "In grade 8," i replied without giving it much thought. He looked at me in disbelief and without a word walked away to another group temporarily abandoning his project. It can't be grade 8,' he might have thought. How come his was different and disappointing? i explained to Diane why i thought her observations and comments were necessary; and that she was not alone. There might have been other Bettys elsewhere. "Before we had them in pairs. They bounced ideas back and forth preparing lessons," said Diane, maybe wishing there was another student teacher to work closely with Betty. Meanwhile Betty finished with the kids and joined us. "It didn't go well," Betty confessed and explained what happened. Diane informed her of the change in her teaching plan. What a disappointing day for both Diane and Betty! It was the fifth week but it seemed like Betty's first day in a teaching situation. What would be different between a first day and a day in the fifth week? What do we expect a student teacher's classroom to feel like in the first day and on a day in the fifth week? Diane had mentioned several times that Betty's problem was organization of learning, and that she needed to be "incredibly organized," otherwise she would "flame out" (March 10,1995). She had 107 also remarked that she was "struggling with getting a solution that will work" (March 10,1995). Diane in her contemplations recognized that Betty "puts a lot of energy" into whatever she does. For Diane, it was "bad management, not bad choices, not bad materials." On March 17,1995, Friday before spring break, i was back to Maskini Secondary, observed two foods and nutrition classes and had a conversation-on-actions with Diane. During the conference Diane lauded Betty for starting with an introduction in Block D, and commented that Betty's teaching had improved - "they feel positive about the whole experience. It's a good lesson," said Diane. However, she reminded Betty to greet students in the beginning, to make sure they are listening whenever she is talking, and to continue working on organization. Reaffirming that the practicum is a place "to work out bugs," she added: there are certain ways how things work for me and suddenly it's also very important as we found out this week that you need to be able to organize your classroom . . . . if you can't organize yourself so that you got a system in place then someone else can . . . so you are going to have the advantage . . . that's the whole thing about this practicum, to work out the bugs. (Diane post-conference March 17,1995) "I surely learnt something from kids from that last Friday," Betty remarked. "And that's what you are supposed to do. We would have really been disappointed had you not," said Diane smilingly. Friday March 10 was a memorable day for Betty. On March 28 she explained why she dictated a recipe as a precaution against a 'Friday' repeat. During the post-conference, Diane raised concerns about recipe dictation and questioned the purpose. "Is it a make work project to keep them occupied or is there something else to be gained from it?" (Diane post-conference March 28,1995). Diane advised Betty to also question whether it was necessary to demonstrate any laboratory lesson to a grade 12 class. She argued that grade Diane came into Betty's practicum life a month later. What level of growth need a month of practice teaching contribute? i was concerned that Diane was in a state of shock after realizing where Betty was. It is that state of shock that triggered my asking Diane what she had expected to find when she started with Betty. Diane replied: With Betty's experience she would have been much better to start off with grade 8 and work her way up to the senior class. As it is now I think we 108 12s are senior with lots of foods experience. During the conference, each explained her views about the teaching that morning. For Diane it was a day to seek to know where the problem was, to patiently wait for explanations and to listen carefully. The question on demonstration encouraged Betty to express her fears. She said: well I don't know. I guess it's because what I know happens here in grade 11 block D, I should treat block B similarly probably for lesson planning ease and also partly because I know there is a whole lot of different levels in there. It's a question of trying to make sure the lab goes smoothly . . . I suppose I am terrified of having a Friday repeat. (Betty post-conference March 28, 1995) What an honest response. It was a different way of expressing what she had been through, a terrifying experience. But, hadn't she received suggestions earlier on some ways to avoid classroom disasters - 'say hello to kids before you begin a class, say good-bye before they leave, let them want to come to your class, have an introduction and a closure. Let them recognize you as the teacher.' Could it be that the advice was a prescription Betty felt she did not need. Maybe it was not the diagnosis she felt she deserved. But today, after the dialogue with Diane, she was able to name her feelings. She was able to diagnose her ailments -- fear. She feared a Friday repeat. are having to do far too much back peddling . . . I am finding it difficult to (pause) because I still think I'm repeating the same things, but yes, things are getting better but I'm impatient. So I think it would have been so much better to start with grade 8s. Everybody doing exactly the same thing . . . With grade 8s we are looking at one little thing, like today we are concentrating on measurement. Whereas grade 11 & 12 we are looking at culture, modifications, all kinds of other things with each lab. I think its too overwhelming for Betty. (COA, March 28, 1995) i admired Diane's honesty in our conversations. She recognized and named the impatience that loomed whenever she had to repeat a few suggestions to Betty. Yet she could recognize that progress was being made, although minimal. She also acknowledged that Betty needed reassurance; and every one involved needed to undergo "damage control." She explained: We would have been better off to start with grade 8s, have her get some confidence and reassurance . . . And then step up to gradelO, 11,12 . . . its now trying to do damage control for everybody. I guess I find it frustrating. (Diane COA, March 28,1995) After and during several conferences, Diane told and retold what teaching was/is for her through the anecdotes that she narrated. She expressed teaching ideas, frustrations, hopes and dreams of what she believes kids need to be exposed to as learning experiences - activities and frame of mind. She was concerned about time efficiency in the classroom among other concerns that Betty needed to work on. Yet Betty did not readily accept advice or recognize that she needed to question her ways of teaching. Instead she became defensive. (Diane COA March 28, 1995) 109 The conversation progressed, Betty explained what she needed to work on: it's just a question of trying to sequence the demonstration and trying to get the stuff ready for one class. I am trying to figure out how early I have to get up in the morning so I can get a bus here so I can get here early enough to get that stuff done before I have to actually begin the class, (post-conference March 28, 1995) Diane replied: But then that is never going to change. All of those things that is the life of a foods teacher; is organizing everything ahead of time. You can't come into a foods class and wing it. It's the one thing that demands a whole lot of thought and preparation way ahead of time . . . because you don't want to waste the kids time, (post-conference March 28, 1995) Diane had sensed where the problem lay. She had had a few student teachers before, and knew the kids in Maskini Secondary. Therefore she was confident that what Betty needed was to organize herself. According to Diane, the kids have great respect for teachers and they were very patient with Betty. Diane stated, "if your routine is organized/then you won't have confusion." She continued: Students were busy and you accomplished what you had set out to do . . . we need to tighten up the beginnings and the endings; and really think through the middle part as to why are you doing it that way? What is it that the students are gaining from the way I think I am going to do it? How can I make it more efficient? How can I better meet the needs of the students? As a result of that demonstration, what do I have to do in preparation for that class? It is huge. You do that for now until forever. (Post-conference March 28,1995) Diane expressed the frustrations of Betty's defensive mechanism as follows: I guess I want Betty rather than look at excuses of why she did things the way she did them, to start looking at 'how can I do it better?' 'Or what should I boil before hand?'... I don't need to know after the fact why stuff was done the way it was done, I need to know that you know you can fix it for next time. (Diane COA March 28, 1995) During a post-conference Diane had stated that the practicum needed to be understood as a 'bug cleaner." During this conversation-on-action, i questioned, 'what if the student teachers do not see the bugs?' Often i have sEARched through the discourses that go between Diane and Betty, and wonder whether Betty accepts that the practicum is a place to let go and let be; to fall and rise, to crawl and run. Diane asserted that it is her role as a school advisor to point out the bugs; but, if the student teachers "do not know whether the bugs exist, there is no growth" (Diane COA, March 28,1995). What about defensiveness? "I find that very frustrating, because of that I get impatient and then its personal," confessed Diane. She continued to express that sometimes she feels like forcing her way and saying "this is how it should be done . . . do exactly what I say," but because she wants Betty to discover the way, all she can do is give suggestions, some directions and hope that she tries "rather than defend" (Diane COA March 28, 1995) why she did what she did even if it was not successful. 110 Was Diane too patient and too polite with Betty, or am i impatient? What does a situation like this ask of a teacher educator? When is it appropriate to let go of one's desires, needs, or wants and give a chance to the other? In this case giving a chance to Betty. But to whose advantage was it if it was not 'working', if it was frustrating to all the parties involved? i was afraid that the kids' were losing and worried that Diane's patience and tactfulness while advising Betty was not to the kids advantage. "If one doesn't see the bugs, what do you think you can do? These are kids!" i asked Diane. Diane asserted: I am not so worried about losing the kids yet, because I know that as soon as I get them back everything will be fine. My concern is more in that, if the kids are going to get more frustrated, then they are going to make Betty's job very difficult because they are going to start getting more resentful, angry, goofing off, not being as co-operative as they usually are. So I think you can teach your self into bigger problems. (COA March 28,1995) On March 30 Betty had a 'successful lab'. It was a great accomplishment after many stressful days. She described it as "organized chaos" and confessed that she had not experienced such before. "So how we organized the food in two parts, do you think that worked?" Diane probed emphasizing the joint effort. "Aaa! yes! and no!" replied Betty, "because some of them listened and some of them didn't pay attention at all." "So how can you fix that for next time?" asked Diane in attempts to let Betty reflect on what transpired and come up with workable solutions to the incident. Diane explained that although it was busy, noisy and tiring, it was a typical food laboratory. "You are there as a problem solver... you make one million decisions in 20 minutes . . . Very very typical." "Good better... now I know how it feels like," Betty replied confidently. 111 "How the lab goes I think is 90% how you as the teacher has prepared the kids for it." Diane explained the importance of being prepared for lessons. She continued, "reflect over the week, how do you think you have felt this week?" "Calmer, sleepless but calmer," Betty replied. In conclusion Diane explained: That is noticeable . . . That your presence has been different in the classroom, much more relaxed, much more friendly, you started to .. . enjoy what you are doing . . . It's about time you had fun! That's what this job is all about. If you don't have fun, how can you do this for 40 years ! You have to find out what system works for you because it's not a subject area you can wing it. You can't just walk in and say, 'oh, this morning I am going to do X.' Because it takes such a huge amount of organization ahead of time. You have to work out that organizational system that works for you. That's what is starting to come, which is nice. I can understand your frustration previous to that, in not being comfortable because i t . . . hasn't clicked yet, but now it's starting, it's obvious. The kids are more comfortable. You are a whole lot more relaxed in front of them. You are a whole lot more relaxed with me which is nice to see as well You have been so hard on yourself... Be perfect in 10, 15 years. Now you're going to learn and in order to learn you're going to make mistakes. It's wonderful to see you finally start to let go some of that stuff, and start to enjoy what you are doing. Because now you have learnt tricks, you got confidence, you got some strategies, things are starting to roll, so that you are starting to come into your own. We knew it was there but it was such a struggle for you to just shake off that whatever, and get to a good start. It's great!! This has been a nice week. I have felt really good about this week and I have sensed that you have as well . . . You got to get that balance. It's hard work. It's really hard work being a teacher. It's even harder work being a home economics teacher. That is not going to change for along time for you. (Diane post-conference March 31,1995) Questions Regarding Kids -Must greet students-welcome them to class . . . -relax, enjoy students . . . -say good-bye to group -focus on students make them feel glad they are in your class, be friendly (Diane March 3, 1995-observation form) The above is a summary of what Diane wrote on her first observation of Betty's lesson formally in March 3,1995. Her concern for pupils was central and is evident in every post-conference. For instance in March 17,1995, she was happy that Betty had an introduction in the beginning of the class. 112 However, she felt that Betty needed to work on it because she was not greeting kids. "She's kind of jumping in with what she's doing," Diane reported. Diane advised and assessed teaching from the way kids behaved towards Betty's approach. For example when some progress was observable, Diane had expressed the following: "they were really enthusiastic about their labs which is always nice to think... they're not making something they hate!... they feel positive about the whole experience. It's a good lesson" (March 17,1995). But there was Sammy in grade 12 who loved singing as he performed his laboratory duties. Occasionally he came into class ecstatic about a certain song and sporadically would break into a loud spell. Betty complained about his singing during a post-conference. Diane responded, "if they're on task... it doesn't bother me . . . But if you find it annoying you have to tell them ... I look at it, if they're singing that to me is they're happy." "Sometimes noise bothers me; sometimes it doesn't," Betty continued. Diane reminded her of the importance of communicating with kids what is acceptable and what is not. I have always made it a policy if I am not a 100% I tell the kids that. If I had a bad class and I am snarly then I'll tell the kids that if I snap at you today it is not because I hate you, I had a bad experience last class, I am feeling a little edgy, or I am getting a cold. Be up front with them because they will be much more understanding with you . . . . say 'I'm sorry ' . . . . they'll go, 'she is not feeling well we can make allowances for her'. Comfortable working relationship. (Diane March 17,1995 post-conference) "I am moody and crabby to some degree and I can't keep on telling them that so I just tend not to discuss it unless I am really feeling bad," Betty replied. Diane responded: Well that is going to be up to you how you need to deal with that, but you'll find that kids are much more responsive if you show them that you are human. That you are fair, still honest, still doing your job, still love them, that's what they need to know. That there is still that underlying consistency. (Diane March 17,1995 post-conference) 113 Doesn't teaching entail being honest and forgiving? And is it possible to be honest to the other without being honest to oneself? Is forgiveness possible without openness? The above post-conference was tension-filled. The March 10 disappointments were still looming in the atmosphere. Because spring break was approaching, Diane felt a progress report was necessary. It would give some directions on what she thought and believed Betty needed to ponder during the break, and to work on when they resumed. "Maybe I need some direction as to what I should include in that... I don't want to go overboard with praising. But I do want to make positive statements... on the reports," Diane remarked and sought my advice. Would documenting what Betty needed to work on be of assistance to her? Would she take suggestions more seriously? What would have been a better way to help her "iron out the bugs?" What was necessary for Diane to do in order to balance her remarks, advice, and suggestions? There are demands that she could have assertively taken on, there were kids' needs that she is an advocate of, and there is Betty who was under her responsibility as an educator. What was the report reporting? On March 28 Diane was concerned that class time was not being efficiently utilized. She cautioned Betty against wasting kid's time by dragging lessons or by giving them activities that were not important. She asked her to question: Is what I am asking them to do meeting the goals that I have set up for the unit? Or the class? Then within that, you have to look at the individual differences. Sometimes you are going to lose some kids, you are going to lose the low end or the high end. You can't possibly address the needs for every student, every class at every level. It's impossible. But what you need to be aware of is that, 'how can I not lose them forever?'.... they are going to feel they are valued and getting value from the class as well. (Post-conference March 28, 1995) 114 After listening to Diane advising Betty especially on March 30, the day that was exhilarating for both Diane and Betty, and re-listening to the tapes, i was concerned that the advice could be miss[ed]-understood. The post-conference was lengthy. The suggestions might have sounded contradictory to Betty who had been undergoing tumultuous times, i was afraid the voice that said, 'say good morning, be friendly to kids, let them enjoy their being here,' could be read as contradictory to the voice that said, 'deduct marks there and there' if a kid is late for class. On April 6 conversation-on-actions i posed the questions to Diane inviting her to dwell with me along the puzzling path. 115 There were concerns too about kids becoming lazy and Betty getting easy on them. Diane advised Betty to encourage independent thinking. It's often easier to answer the questions than to get students to think about it. They will just suck you dry. If they know all they'll have to do is just ask and you'll tell them everything so that they will get perfect. They are never going to think on their own. (Post-conference, March 28, 1995) On laziness Diane suggested that Betty could deduct marks from the late comers especially, and those who do not bring required resources to class, i.e. aprons, pencils. Diane expressed: Those kids are getting so lazy . . . They would come to class naked I think because they couldn't be bothered to get dressed. And that we would provide them with everything they need. Sammy doesn't have a pencil 90% of the time. He is in Foods 12 don't you think Sammy by now should be having a pencil at least? They are getting lazy. I don't think it's something that we have to tolerate. Maybe it takes something like a cold shower to get them to realize 'yes, these things are important. They need to be prepared. They need to be organized and they need to be on time because it impacts every thing throughout the class. (Diane post-conference March 30, 1995) Diane reaffirmed her pedagogical consciousness as follows: [T]he expression tough love comes to mind. That I still value them. I'll still say hello. We haven't changed the rules out here. That if you don't wear an apron, you know that you are supposed to wear so you're losing marks for it. It doesn't mean that I don't like you, that I won't smile at you or say good morning, but I'm still taking marks off because you have broken the rule and you know the rule and you are getting lazy. I have been lenient and now is the time to get back on track . . . and the same thing in not understanding recipes. Why do a demonstration? So that you know what's going on. That's my responsibility. I want to ensure that you are successful. But you have a responsibility as well. You need to come prepared to class, and one of them is the apron and also understanding what you are doing that day . . . reading your recipe again before you come to class . . . I'll still love you even if you screw up. But you have had your chance, so this is the consequence of that. I don't have a problem with that. (COA April 6, 1995) What voice and message would the student teachers hear? I guess you have to know your students, you have to know the rules and the expectations. I think you have to be very confident in what you expect, and you don't change those things over time. That if the rule is this, that is the rule. It has to be followed. You have to follow it personally . . . if i don't wear an apron, the kids nail me. And that's fair. . . i think that the student teacher has to understand that you can be nice and be firm . . . you need to have that kind of consistency. They appreciate it because it is not confusing. If they know that everyday this is what is going to happen, then it's not a scary place to be. (Diane COA April 6, 1995 1.16 Diane understands and enjoys being with In addition, Diane had advised Betty not to kids. She advised Betty to be tough. But condone kids laziness which manifested itself in toughness that understands and cares lateness, and failing to read the recipes before coming to because: class, i wondered what the language of discipline in the [Kids] are very forgiving . . . that never c l a s s r o o m ' o f s i n c e r i t y i n Pedagogical relationships, of ceases to amaze me that the kids of this fairness and forgiveness would be interpreted as. school will allow you the space . . . and they ,., ,,., . ...... , , .. . are very generous with student teachers Would there be any possibility when so far the language which is fortunate . . . cause I know in some of recognition of kids presence -'say hello', and 'good situations they get eaten alive. (Diane COA . , ... ,. ,, . , , 0 . March 28 1995) bye to kids has not been embraced yet? What meaning did these have for Betty? This is what Diane had to say in response: I don't think it's contradictory as much as criticism of her that I told her she shouldn't do something, therefore she isn't perfect. Therefore she is a bad teacher. Not that I am a teacher, I'm supposed to help, I'm supposed to answer questions. No, I think it's more personal than that. (COA April 6, 1995) Betty's reluctant response to Diane's advice was legible from the pose that she presented. However, the conference was very amiable. Diane's pronouncements, recommendations, anecdotes speak of what pedagogical relationships entail - firmness of character, consistency of rules in the classroom coupled with fairness, kindness and a caring attitude. But, what would be the nature of comments that could be understood as authentic as opposed to being read as personal attacks? Diane had experienced better years with student teachers. Better harvests. This year was different because of the "strength of that personality... always resistant," lamented Diane. The messages are communicated, but, "the changes haven't happened. It is only two weeks left. It scares me" confessed Diane. The most distressful incident was that Betty never said good-bye to the classes/kids that she had in her final days in Maskini Secondary. What gratitude to the kids for allowing her the space temporarily on her journey towards becoming a teacher? What a missed moment! The moment to 117 reach out a step closer, to reconcile with those she may have felt did not give her space in their class, and with those who may have felt wronged by her. The moments when authenticity speaks, when judgements are transcended, erased, as attitudes change; that unconditional moment: she did not give the kids a chance to forgive and not necessarily forget. Diane shared with me the final report she wrote for Betty. She explained: "I wanted to try to state it how it was. But also wanted questions to be raised" (COA May 3,1995). Diane explained that she struggled to incorporate a discussion about Betty's relationships with the students in the reporting in vain. Finally she left out the relationships part, because she did not have anything positive to talk about. To whose benefit was it left out? What happened to the CT8 group that started with Betty in the beginning of the practicum? i wanted to know what and how they were doing after they finished with Betty and moved on to Diane's v . for their foods and nutrition (FN8) course, i visited one of their lessons with Diane on May 3,1995 to have a feel of life in Diane's class after which i wrote the following in my journal: Today Diane made my day... i have longed to see those kids in someone else's class They started with Betty. In the process of silently negotiating her space and their negotiating theirs, they lost each other. Most of the boys who never spoke in CT8 were very loud and sat in the front row in Diane's class. If what John needed in Betty's class was attention he gets it here. Eli got in trouble today for using inappropriate language; not from Diane, but from the majority of the students. Disciplinary measures are a responsibility of the whole class. Tony, sitting next to John is fiddling with Joy's hair. Jim is on the front row though in Betty's class he never dared move close to the front. Francis is in the front row too. It was all smiles. There was full participation. 'Mrs. D do you have kids?' A student asked. 118 Yes, 300.' 'WoooowUU! the class exclaimed. 'All Maskini kids are mine (dead silence befell the room). The 300 of them,' Diane remarked as she continued to demonstrate a process of making cookies. The question came after Diane demonstrated fairness. The recipe produced 16 cookies but the class was composed of 20 kids. One kid was concerned that they were more than the number of cookies the recipe was to produce. Diane scooped 19 portions laying them one after another on the baking sheet. The kids were busy counting. After the 19th scoop, Diane asked the class what to do in order to create the 20th portion. The class in unison suggested scooping from the other bigger portions, and some even pointed at the ones they thought needed reducing. The kids were worried that someone might miss. When Diane moved towards the oven, she asked what temperature was suitable now that the cookies were tinier than the original temperature called for. John's response was mentioned as the correct one. He smiled with a satisfied look. (Journal excerpts, May 3,1995) Questions About Professional Responsibility [Student teachers] have wonderful ideas . . . those who are good it's easy to make them better. I never had anyone who is bad, that's what I am scared about. What will happen if I get a student who will be in need of a lot of. help or who is absolutely hopeless? (Diane November 1994) Diane said the above during our first conversation. Had she known what the practicum was to offer, what might she have said? Two months after the practicum started, the weather became predictably cloudy and stormy. Betty was not embracing suggestions as anticipated of student teachers. She would embrace a suggestion in one lesson and not in the next. There was lack of consistency. On March 28, i revisited our first conversation for us to dwell-in in relation to what had transpired. The above November 1994 excerpt evoked the following thoughts from Diane: I keep asking myself, with every student I have had, the alternate question is, would I hire this person? Would I work with this person? And if I can't say yes, then I think that we got big problems (pause). I don't think Betty is a bad teacher, she is not hopeless, I don't feel at 119 this point, she is not in danger of failing her practicum. This next part is what I have difficulty with, would I hire her? Would I work with her? (COA March 28,1995) Diane had a student teacher whose personality type was opposite of hers, but before long, Diane was "able to let go some of [her] rigidity in demand for step one do this, step two do this" (Diane, November 1994). The letting go, taking a step back and allowing a space for the student teacher to be, changed Diane's views of 'how' student teachers become teachers, and about self. But communication is a decisive factor on whether collegiality is possibility between a student teacher and a school advisor. The nature of communication determines the dynamics that take place which have implications for what the practicum becomes for the parties involved. About her relationship with Betty, Diane had this to say: I would have thought given my previous experience, that we would be better friends by now, and we are not at all. (pause) You are never buddies, but I would have hoped we would have become more colleagues than we have had. I feel there is a struggle. And in talking with Jill it's like there's this adversarial thing that we are doing. Whereas in previous years we were more of a whole department working together as a team. So there is a real distance there that I don't enjoy. I find her odd. I guess that is the way I would describe her. She is an interesting person. She has had interesting experiences. But her personality is odd. I don't know how else to explain it. (pause) I guess if I were a colleague, I would not seek out her friendship. I could work with her, but she wouldn't be a person that I would cultivate or tolerate. I sometimes wonder whether she is carrying on in spite of us? That she just put in her time that she knows she is going to be successful.... I'm not sure she is getting the most out of the experience. (COA March 28, 1995) Personalities that 'rub' and 'tunnel vision syndrome', are two conditions that become 'stumbling blocks' to collegiality. They block one from reaching out to others, from opening up, from recognizing others as partners, from reaching out to others, and from building collegial relationships. These conditions breed emotional pain, fatigue, and fear. As we dialogued along these pain inducing paths, we also realized and acknowledged that everyone has undesirable parts. But in circumstances where we seek the other in conversation, only 120 the desirable surface. However, most often we seek peaceful working conditions and relationships; openness as opposed to defensive attitude, and receptivity to others' ideas as much as we build on ours. We seek relationships that encourage friendships, partnerships; and those that build our leadership qualities. Otherwise we may withdraw and become indifferent. Inspite of the seriousness that the above talk entailed, Diane could afford a smile, and some laughter. This brought feelings that some healing was happening, i wondered what school advisors and program coordinators needed to know to avoid misunderstandings between school advisors and student teachers and/or conflicting personalities. Doesn't it seem like suggesting we avoid ourselves? Diane, having had a number of student teachers, believed that Betty was "an exception to the rule" (Diane COA March 28,1995). She recalled that the University of British Columbia project in home economics gave them an opportunity to meet a few times with would-be student teachers ahead of time. From the previous experiences with student teachers during those meetings, Diane found the student teachers "very excited and interested, and really wanting to learn." Comparatively, Diane found Betty "so tight" and described her as having "this perfectionist attitude that she can't admit that she needs improvement" (Diane COA March 28,1995). What conditions allow for such an attitude, the many excuses, and defensiveness? What about insensitivity to kids? In what curriculum does one find lessons on the above? School advising also means licensing and recommending another to the College of Teachers. But do school advisors realize that? Do they have 'powers' to assertively decide to recommend that a student teacher be licensed or not? According to Diane, "we don't need any more bad teachers" (COA March 28,1995) because "we can't get rid of them once they are out there." 121 i could feel and hear Diane writhing in the labyrinth of duty and professional responsibility, agonizing between the body and the mind. She said: "I don't think Betty is a bad teacher." The writhing was painful. She continued: I think when [Betty] talks to a student in certain instances when she is helping them work out a problem, she is friendly. She is helpful, she has good intentions, so yes in that case I do think she does have good rapport. But on the other hand in a group as a whole class she is very tight. I think she is not as sensitive I think as she could be.(COA March 28, 1995) I still go back to the responsibility as a school advisor. I don't want to give somebody a license to teach if they do not deserve it. So I also want to make sure when I sign that piece of paper in the end, that I do it in confidence. And that if they ask me for a recommendation, or a principal phones me and asks me that I can in confidence tell them yes, I think this person is a valuable staff member (pause). I am having a great deal of trouble. Betty has really good strengths, she is very talented, she is very interesting, and I think she'll make a good teacher but she has to relax a whole lot and take our suggestions not as reflections on her as a person, but as ways to hopefully make her better. She can't seem to get out of the defence position. And I don't know how to break through that. Because sometimes I find myself saying, I used the expression today, 'let me ask a question' because I haven't gotten any answer. And because all I get are excuses. Forever. Then I get angry (laughter) annoyed that, 'get over that. I am tired of hearing that.' But it's not something I say. I think it's rude (laughter). (Diane COA March 28,1995) It is April 13,1995 Diane is busy in FN 11 and FN 12 video taping Betty's introductions to the lessons. The beauty of Diane's video-taping exercise today is that it allows us to witness the level of communication that has developed between Betty and Diane. It is never too late to change. Betty has a week to go in two of her three foods and nutrition classes and she is still working on her introductions. After the two foods and nutrition classes, Diane and i continued with our conversations-on-actions. We continued from where we had previously stopped. The episodes that occurred, and the moods that involve us invite us to dwell on what school advising could be like and has been like. Diane had taken a clinical supervision course while in graduate school. During my first conversation with Diane, she had been very positive on how useful the experience gained from the clinical supervision course would be during her school advising. She expected that her experience would enrich our study. Although it has in unexpected ways - it has illustrated the difficulties of working 122 with people. That no matter how knowledgeable one can be, we reach a point when what counts is not the measure of knowledge that one has, but what one can do with the wisdom. What conditions barred Diane from retrieving the wisdom gained from the clinical supervision course and incorporating it into the dynamics of school advising in 1994/95 school year? i witnessed Diane wrestle with what and how to write feedback to Betty, i boldly asked whether she could apply what she did for her clinical supervision class project this time with Betty, i was suggesting perhaps such practices would provide better guidance and coaching for Betty. Diane had the following to say: I have felt that my observations have been very limited with Betty. I haven't felt that we have worked together as a team. I have never been able to pin her down about what it was she wanted to work on. I always felt like I was imposing things on her. . . there was never feedback about where she felt she needed work. So I kind of lost interest a little bit because I would have liked to have taken on the process as a partnership in growth, and to . . . aid her in her growth as a teacher. But I never got the sense that she wanted that. I got the sense that all she was interested in was passing and I was to tell her what she needed to do and she would do it and 'let's get on with it'. So I took a giant step back in my involvement I think. I resented that kind of attitude so I don't think I wanted to commit as much and that has bothered me the whole time. (Diane COA April 13,1995) What conditions allowed such feelings to transpire? What wounded Diane so deeply? What pushed her into such a discomfort, to a state of ambivalence to the responsibility that she had cherished so much, and had earlier enjoyed and looked forward to? What about the 'powers' bestowed on school advisors? Diane explained the conditions to have been induced by: The personality of the student teacher. I have found it very difficult to work with. I found that to be quite honest she brings out the worst in me in conversation . . . I don't like that. I find that I get very impatient because I don't get straight answers. When I require a sentence I get a book. I get annoyed. So that's one area. Also I think because there has been this tunnel vision, on the end and doesn't seem to be the interest in joining the family of the school, it was all, 'this is my task, and I don't see beyond that'. So I... felt limited in the help I was able to give, (pause). [And] the fact that she didn't have a home economics partner here; that could have been very helpful. Also . . . if she had been able to work with me right from the beginning of the practicum, in some way, rather than come into it a whole month into . . . I had certain expectations by that time about her ability it took me a week or two before I realized that wow! We have to start at the beginning rather than in the middle. (Diane COA April 13,1995) 123 Yes, Diane underwent some shock in the beginning of the practicum. The first laboratory lesson was just the beginning, a symptom of what is and what was to come. Could there have been writings on the wall(s) that were overlooked? So what does this year's practicum experience mean for Diane? What did it offer? I didn't enjoy it. (pause) I can't wait to get my kids back, (pause) My kids can't wait to get me back. I found it frustrating. I don't think I was helpful (pause). Jill and I have been talking about not having a student teacher next year (pause). Maybe for a number of reasons, one reason being the faculty advisor... If it was a different person, (meaning student teacher), I think the faculty advisor would have been fine. We were wondering 'if this wasn't fourth in a row, do we need a break?' Maybe, I don't know. Do we still have enough to offer in terms of programs? . . . but right now both of us can't wait to get back to normal. (Diane COA April 13,1995) Diane reaffirmed her earlier confessions that the worst has been brought out in her. No collegiality nor appreciation. She described: It has been very hostile almost. I would have thought by now we would be friendly, be able to share something outside of what we are doing but hasn't happened. Every year at the end of the practicum one of us hosts a dinner party to invite and wish our student teachers well. We haven't even talked about it. If we are going to do it, it should be next week. It probably won't happen. (Diane COA, April 13,1995) During previous conversations, Diane continued to contemplate Betty's lack of growth. She writhed with the pain of trying to be objective in writing feedback reports on Betty's performance. The pain was prevalent especially when she had to put anything in writing. Now the final report writing time was drawing near. We had talked through the pains, narrated the frustrations of having to write the reports, especially if there is hardly any gratifying moments. On April 26 Diane's discomfort beckoned me to suggest: "what if you [Diane] had to put on a continuum, how would you rate her practice and growth? Where did she come in, and where is she now?" Diane illustrating on the table, an imagined continuum scale suggested, "this is where we started and this is where we would like to see them. I would say here." "Good! 50-60% mark?" i affirmed. 124 "There has been improvement. It picked [peaked] a week ago. Now she has lost it because of the end," Diane explained. "It is a Pass," she confirmed. "The continuum might help you in your wording although the down hill is not encouraging," i suggested. Referring to a report Diane wrote a few years ago, i remarked: As a teacher reading this, i feel the honesty, the enthusiasm, and i sense no bias, i have felt, especially being here, i have come to understand the practicum in a very different way. It's very easy to read things and think it's heaven-like, but i think school advisors go through a lot of hell. (Jennifer COA April 26,1995) 125 Joint Conversation With Jill And Diane On May 12 we held a joint conversation which was meant to be a place to listen to each other's experiences - especially Diane and Jill. Each worked with Betty, i was interested in hearing what they would do differently next time. Earlier, during the first conversation with each of them separately, they had expressed lots of satisfaction with the way the practicum and student teacher advising was managed. During previous years, they had been both part of the collaborative project. They had support from the home economics education program co-ordinator, and from the faculty advisors they had had earlier on. i wanted to express my gratitude. They had allowed me into their space, they had supported this project through the many hours of conversations which took place during their lunch or after school hours. By being in those classrooms with the kids i had been reminded of the days i taught secondary school, of my younger days as a high school student, and more importantly of parenthood. Re/living those moments in what temporarily became Betty's classrooms meant more than this text can depict. To open our conversation i had this to say: i didn't know what school advising is. But sitting in those classrooms for those days and hours i have come close to understanding what school advising was like or could be like. .. what has challenged me most is your patience and your high level of understanding Betty's strengths and weaknesses My question would be, looking backwards through the practicum, and understanding it as a learning experience, for all of us as advisors, what would you do differently today? (Jennifer COA May 12, 1995) Diane replied: For me I wish that Betty could have started with me a lot sooner. . . . I wish we had known her better when she started with her long practicum so that we knew where her strengths will be; I think we had an idea where her strengths would be but I don't think we really understood how weak her weak would be. (Diane COA May 12, 1995) Jill agreed with Diane's observation. The greatest challenge for school advisors when working with student teachers is personality types, and the same applies to student teachers. Jill expressed, "I don't 126 know how you work with that as an advisor. You can't make her over. You just have to work with the concrete classroom management... style." She also remarked, "Betty learnt a lot about herself." Both Diane and Jill described the experience this year as the most difficult advising situation. Jill explained that she spent more time "trying to cajole her into this teacher that [she] would like her to become." Whereas "others kind of fall into it, they pick up clues and it just happens," but Betty was different, "very knowledgeable about the subject area.. . was extraordinary in foods, she knew her stuff inside out. It was just this managing the group and personality thing." She continued: What I do admire is that tenaciousness. . . . Everybody handed in everything. Whereas I tend to be violent, 'if you don't want to do it, I told you three times'. She will tell the kids 20 times. That the kind of persistent characteristic she has. I guess I admire that because that is something I could do more of. (Jill COA May 12, 1995) I found it very hard some days to be nice. . . . She brought up the worst in me. As in everything, as a person, as a teacher, as a friend, a colleague. I didn't like myself at all when I was with her (Diane COA May 12, 1995) No, I can't say that. Occasionally my blood-pressure would zipup. (Jill COA May 12, 1995) Diane and Jill agreed that it was the person not the program that made the difference this year. They have had very positive experiences in the past with student teachers. They described them as "absolutely wonderful and it was hard to see them go back to school. It was hard for them to leave the kids, hard for them to leave us" (Diane & Jill COA, May 12,1995). What about the two week practicum that comes as an introduction to the 13 week? Wasn't the stormy weather predictable? Was it preventable? Jill expressed that no signs were evident and continued: It astounded me in the beginning when she began. My area was her strength and subject-wise she knew exactly what she was talking about, but it was her classroom management. It astounded me that she missed so much of the obvious classroom management stuff . . . Cues, student cues. (Jill COA May 12,1995) 127 Both school advisors described the two week practicum as a "waste of time." The 1994/95 practicum became a different story to tell for Jill and Diane. Both had had student teachers for several years. Every year brings new experiences but this one was extra-ordinary. Inspite of the emotional fatigue this practicum induced, after it was over, and they had their classes back, they were able to revisit it and had these comments: Jill: We knew clothing was [Betty's] area of strength, that's why we had her begin with clothing. Maybe in retrospect from what you said (referring to Diane) we should make them begin in their area of weakness. Diane: I think for Betty would have been 20/20 . . . and rather than do the seniors, I would have had her start the juniors first and then pick up the seniors. Jill: I am hesitant though to have student teachers working with grade 8s somehow . . . I wouldn't have said that with Jay for instance . . . maybe evaluate the person a little bit now. How will this person deal with grade 8s? Because that's the critical crop. We only get one chance; chance of our life time to sell it to them, and if we blow i t . . . Diane:. I think also having two student teachers, I liked that a whole lot better. You also have a chance to see them work with each other which is really important. Jill: We should be working with each other as staff members . . . the collegial thing. Diane: The fact that they can rehearse things with each other. I think it's to their own advantage. They can get a little bit of confidence; That they might feel better being in each others classroom than being in our classroom to observe or to help out or what ever. Jen: But the whole thing has taught me school advising is not easy. There is so much that goes on it's like you're juggling all these things in the air. Jill: Teaching is such a personal thing anyway, we all do it differently and to try and advise somebody how to be a good teacher... they're going to be doing it the wrong way. It's a fine line we have to walk, isn't it? So we can concentrate on the tangible, like classroom management and house-keeping. Diane: How do you teach somebody to be nice? Jill: You can't.. . you can force them into saying hello and good bye. Greeting the kids like somebody comes to your house and you greet them . . . and welcome. You should do that with the classroom because it is your home. Diane: I don't want another Betty, but I'll take another [Jane or Rose or Mercy] in a minute. Jill: Look at all the years we have had student teachers and look at how many Bettys there have been? Very few so I think our chances are good that this won't happen next year, jen: But given if another one came, there could have been another option too, you would know how to approach the whole thing. Diane: Yes, I think you are right. Having lived through this one, we would tackle it much different next t ime.. . 128 Conversations With Jessica Our goal is to help you be the best you can be in 15 lessons, and from there on, you are on your own . . . But I don't want you to be concerned in that I am evaluating. I want it to be me helping you to learn more than anything else. If it feels like you are getting dumped on, don't worry about that . . . . (Jessica, post-conference March 9, 1995) / sit here waiting for the student teacher to begin the class, i meander wondering what is teaching? How does one get to know how to teach? How does one know she/he knows? Isn't one of the routes to knowing the student teaching practica? The evaluation forms and feedback to student teachers tell of school advisors' thoughts, ideas on how the student teacher is fairing, growing, and surviving. The feedback is meant to help shape and polish the student teachers' thinking through planning and actual teaching. It is meant to guide student teachers, to offer hope and look forward to doing it better than yesterday. It is also meant to be a compass to help student teachers read directions, a pointer to a 'safe' and fair space for the parties concerned - kids, school advisor, and the student teacher who is being guided and assessed to determine whether she/he can teach and/or can make it in teaching. Student teachers are encouraged to push the margins, to try the edges, as they map and find their way of teaching and into teaching. (Journal excerpts, February 20, 1995) During the 1994/95 school year Jessica had two student teachers, Tiany and Chety. Because Lord Cook Secondary is small both student teachers could not start teaching at the same time. Therefore, Tiany began with the first group of grade 8 foods and nutrition and Chety followed with the second group half-way through the term. Both Tiany and Chety have physical education teaching majors and minors in home economics. For Jessica, school advising became a process of going over the same unit plan, concepts, and similar guiding procedures twice. But, was it repeating oneself or was it narrating, advising, and guiding student teachers through a path that she believed in? In what ways was it what she believed was important for student teachers to try out, to incorporate into what they were aspiring to become? The first pre-conferences with Tiany and Chety were on January 31,1995, and on March 2, 1995 respectively. There were five conferences (pre-conferences and post-conferences included) with 129 Tiany, and five with Chety. Of the ten, three were held on the phone. Those on the phone were audio-taped while those conducted at school in my presence were video-taped, i observed four of the classes taught by Tiany and five of Chety, and held conversations-on-actions on five of the nine observed lessons (see the appendix D). The interactions that transpired during these conferences, lessons and conversations-on-actions were rich and informative. The gist of the text lies in the verbal exchanges. The dynamics are manifested in Jessica's steadfastness in what she was calling the student teachers to try out, to accept, and to embrace as teachers, and in her continuous questioning (de-puzzling) of the decision to give student teachers her resources(i.e. unit plan for the foods and nutrition 8 course instead of the student teachers constructing theirs). Jessica's advising can be distinguished by two concerns: (a) questions about organization - lesson planning and teaching, and (b) questions about self - dilemmas about the decisions she made. In what follows, we will hear first Jessica's concerns about how students organized their teaching. This is heard through Jessica's conferences with the two student teachers, my interpretations of my observations of the two student teachers' teaching, and our conversations-on-actions. Lastly, we will hear about 'the dilemmatic state' Jessica found herself in. Because Jessica had two student teachers, i have used two columns to juxtapose conferences with both students and our conversations-on-action on what transpired in each student teacher's classroom. Questions About Organization It all began on the evening of the first day of the practicum. i received a phone call from Jessica inviting me to attend the first pre-conference between her and Tiany. The practicum started January 301995, the day Jessica received Tiany's lesson plans for the first week. She planned a pre-conference to talk with Tiany through the plans, i had explained the objectives of this study to Jessica earlier anticipating that we would meet and identify favorable dates for our observations and 130 conversations-on-actions. Jessica's initiative was therefore an acknowledgment of a co-researching relationship that we were about to engage in. i accepted the invitation, replaced the phone but lingered on a few questions: Could this be one of the meanings of being a co-researcher? Could this be partly what it means to volunteer for research? During the meeting, Jessica explained that she intended the meeting to be a time to give Tiany useful feedback, and asserted that she would like to see growth throughout the practicum. She expressed that Tiany's lesson plans demonstrated thoughtful planning. She reminded Tiany that a lesson plan has three parts and only bears meaning if it links teacher(s) and kids - when it bears a pedagogical relationship, i thought that was a good beginning and a timely one. Being the first week of the practicum, i felt the student teachers needed a compass to map their world of student teaching; and a second day to the practicum was early enough. It was the second time i listened to Jessica talk on/about growth. The first time was during our first conversation. She had informed me that she expects growth in student teachers. This time she affirmed that the practicum ought to speak to the concept of growing in becoming a teacher. On the fourth day of the practicum, Jessica and the faculty advisor met with Tiany who arrived with the 'corrected' lesson plans. From the faculty advisor and school advisor's observations, the behavioral objectives needed more work. Both advisors stressed the importance of adequate pre-planning and the need to reflect on what one has pre-planned. The meeting was lengthy. i left the meeting convinced that what transpired were good reminders from voices of experience. Both Jessica and the faculty advisor highlighted what has worked over the years for them. They were sharing, suggesting and requesting that Tiany try those ideas; that she weave her ideas with theirs. Tiany nodded in acknowledgment and only asked for clarifications, i wrote the following in my journal that evening: 131 The approach sets the stage for student teachers to be able to dimly imagine what is teaching. Not just putting words on paper. It is making use of all the senses, dwelling in the world of kids, predicting events before they occur, being a weather person, predicting the weather in the classroom, setting an environment for teaching, preparing grounds for growing what one believes is important for kids. It is creating ecological conditions that favor all the kids in that environment. It is making life in the classroom worthy, reaching out to a l l . . . (journal excerpt, February 2, 1995) In what follows i will speak to five concerns that Jessica dwelt on in attempts to walkVne student teachers along the path that she steadfastly believed in - that of becoming organized teachers. The concerns touched on what i am calling behavioral objectives, 'the rationale question', clarity of instructions, teachable moments, and laboratory duties. These concepts are related and interwoven. Disentangling them in order to describe them is tantamount to 'picking a lesson apart'; a necessary evil that i have heard school advisors apologize for committing. However, Jessica reviewed almost all lesson plans ahead of time and gave student teachers guidance on what the lesson demanded. Remember that lecture where we were taught about behavioural objectives; that they predict the observable, the do-able and measurable activities in the classroom? The 'rule' was/is - use verbs. Those verbs which are supposedly limited by our imagination and through which we assume we can successfully predict what is going to happen in our classrooms. Don't the verbs guide us as we prepare for certain activities? Jessica was not amused that the student teachers were lacking in the know-how of incorporating the 'predictors' (objectives) in their lesson plans, that they were lacking in the know-how of re-reading the unit plan, the concepts and creating creative lesson plans. She was also concerned that they were not linking behavioral objectives with the content. On February 9,1995 Jessica and Tiany held their first post-conference. Tiany had had her first laboratory lesson that morning. Jessica explained the need to link lesson or laboratory activities with behavioral objectives. Giving an example 132 of a process of making muffins she emphasized that Tiany should stress the process and not the muffin. She also advised her to plan the lessons in a way that would encourage kids working together in pairs. By February 14,1995, writing the behavioural objectives was still a challenge to Tiany. Since Jessica had talked about the hows and whys of writing behavioural objectives in every conference, this time she tried a different approach hoping that Tiany would recognize what they are and their purpose. She instructed: "I would like to try something different... Write down what you think is new to the students. What they are going to learn." By March 13,1995 Jessica was still talking about learning objectives. She had a pre-conference with Chety and objectives were a major focus. Chety started with the second group of FN8 after Tiany and so this time Jessica tried simplifying how objectives could be thought about and well stated without sounding technical and threatening. She reassuredly expressed it as follows: Your objectives are good. You might want to flesh out your muffin method stuff a little more to the actual thing that they are going to learn . . . You are on the right track. One of the things that I had Tiany do that helped her a lot on her objectives . . . is to sit down and go through everything that the students are going to learn. Everything that is new. Assuming that they are coming in with nothing. Knowing that in that class there are students that can do everything and others that cannot do anything at all. So assuming that they are coming |n with nothing; what are all the things that they are going to learn? You are fine, you are on the right track... It's important for you to think about what they are going to learn even if you don't turn it into objectives. You just write down what they are going to learn because basically that is what your objectives are.. That way it helps you to plan your lesson. They are supposed to be really simple because you are reviewing every single time, you are reviewing safety, sanitation . . . working together co-operatively .. .measurements because every single one of these is measurements for flour mixtures and you are talking about the importance of measuring:... Everything is.very similar. You are talking about the differences and the methods . . . but once you get on to the next set, there is a whole bunch of things they are going to be learning. They're learning new equipment, it's quite a lot. The egg McCook is a perfect example. It takes 5 minutes to make these things but because they are learning so many new things . . . it actually takes them a long time to do it. Because they got co-ordination, they got the top of the stove . . . so you sit down and write down what is it they are really learning to do . .. that will help you. (Jessica March 13, 1995) 133 Jessica reminded Chety to review key concepts and types of equipment needed when using certain ingredients while demonstrating a day's laboratory activities. She reminded her to emphasize co-operation between group members. For Jessica a foods lesson is not just an activity; there are other values to be promoted and encouraged in laboratory activities. Behavioural objectives are only meaningful in connection with the content and the kids. In the following two occasions first with Tiany and later with Chety, Jessica could not have emphasized the need for connection in a better way. She had advised them to question teaching as they plan, and cautioned on the need to have a rationale for teaching the selected concepts and on the need to understand how they were to teach the concepts. She reminded the student teachers of the need to let the kids know. She explained: Why are we doing this? . . . Why teach about the Canadian/British Columbia Food Guide? Why teach the processes] of making a muffin? . . . (Jessica pre-conference February 2,1995) Why is this important? why should kids learn this? what exactly did you want them to learn? How are you going to know what they have learnt from doing this? . . . . why is what you are teaching important?... (Jessica post-conference March 9,1995) Jessica cautioned and continued: "To engage kids in activity, they should know. It doesn't matter whether it is. kids or adults... they want to know what is going on" (Jessica post-conference March 9, 1995). Even with 'well stated' objectives and a rationale for teaching whatever concept, instructions must be clear. Those moments before a demonstration in a laboratory lesson when listing the day's agenda, who is doing what, and telling kids what follows what activity are important. What about surprises? What about room for serendipity? Not ignoring the unplanned for moments? Jessica reminded the student teachers that part of a successful lesson and teaching is clarity of instructions. 'Let them know where they are going.' 134 On March 9 especially, Jessica was concerned that part of the problems that Chety was falling into was because she had not given clear instructions to the pupils. She advised on the following: You need to be very clear on your instructions. What you'll notice is the more questions you have with the kids, the less time on activity you'll require. And really when you have 20 kids running up there, it really helps to know what they are doing. So why is what you are teaching important? That's probably my biggest question. Why is foods 8 important? Why are you in here? What are we doing here? Also with each topic, each thing that you do, think why this is important: . . that's something that needs to come out. (Jessica March 9,1995) To conclude the post-conference Jessica expressed the following: There's lots of stuff in there but I would say, things that you need to think about are your clarity of your instructions. They're only grade 8s . . . Try to get across the importance of what you are doing. Why is it important for you to do this? Rather than thinking of teaching the stuff. When you come to the demonstration . . . one of the things we look for is that we are not teaching a recipe, we are teaching a method . . . I like the kids to be thinking all the time what is it they are doing and why is it they are doing it. (Jessica March 9,1995) Imagine a game of juggling. The popular juggler at the beach is tossing several objects of all sizes and shapes in the air. It seems endless and scary. Finally, the activity is punctuated with all objects perching safely -- some on the palms, others in the mouth and on the head? Risky? Have you ever felt like a juggler juggling this learning activity and this group of kids with that other activity within so many constraining minutes, and with the feeling that the learning activity(food) has to be ready within the given lesson? i sat listening to Jessica advising and sometimes it felt like i was watching juggling lessons. One of the lessons could have been on laboratory duties - who is doing what in which laboratory activity, who is working with who? If April is absent, who is going to work with Jan? When the cheesecake is in the oven, what are they going to be doing? What about the recycling bin and compost? Jessica had the following to suggest to the student teachers to ensure, that like juggling, the lessons are a success. 135 When Tiany was preparing for her first laboratory lesson, she was advised to model through the instructions she would be giving kids. Jessica expressed it as follows: Usually my first demonstration of grade 8 I make a big production. Now I'm going to . . . See I have got my hair tied . . . I am going to wash my hands . . . I usually make sure my sleeves are rolled up, and get them to do tha t . . . . (Jessica pre-conference February 2,1995) "How are you going to go over laboratory duties? Expand on that in your lesson plan," Jessica questioned and suggested to Chety and continued to browse through the lesson plan. "I don't understand how to go over," answered Chety as she continued, "I don't have any ideas on how to explain." What about grouping kids? I usually draw a table on the white board and number it. And usually take a table and physically work around it. The way the room goes, we all number the same way . .. facing the wall is number one, facing sixteenth is number two, facing the white board is number three . . . Everyone who uses the room the number is the same way so they come back in grade nine and go back into their numbers . . . . (Jessica post-conference February 2, 1995) 'Show me,' you should have a look today on one of the lab sheets. And you'll see them initialled all the way across. 'Teacher check,' is always part of the method. It is not their end product. It is something to see that they understand what it is that they are doing and why they are doing what they are doing. Usually I get them two or three questions that I am going to ask them at their teacher check stage . . . Remember throughout your demo emphasizing that you are teaching a method, you are not teaching a recipe. Helping you to use this recipe in order to get to . . . So I'm not just demonstrating blueberry muffin . . . . (Jessica pre-conference February 2, 1995) "How are you going to organize laboratory duties? who is going to do what on the first day?" Jessica questioned. The discussion developed into a lengthy session on the logistics of a demonstration lesson. Finally, Jessica advised Chety to review her theory on food. She encouraged responsibility and partnerships] in her planning and explanations of laboratory duties. (Jessica post-conference March 9, 1995) 136 On March 2,1995 Jessica concluded the post-conference with Tiany as follows: So organizing your units you are getting better at it. In that case it is getting them organized so they know whom they are working with before they move out. Then they have all those questions sorted ou t . . . . (Jessica post-conference March 2, 1995) The conferences were informative. Jessica narrated what has worked for her after years of teaching. However, like a game of juggling, not every bit of information is grabable, or embracable. Chety once remarked:" it's like information overload." "Oh, I'm sure," replied Jessica and summarized the session: Having them learn what it is they are doing; they are not just getting into end product. When you play a basketball game, whether you win or not it is not so important. It is how you play the game. That's basically the same thing here. (Jessica post-conference March 9, 1995) "You don't need to take all the suggestions at a go," Jessica remarked as she handed Tiany a copy of the observation forms. Tiany had a very active responsive class. She had no problems asking for volunteers; most kids wanted to assist in the demonstrations, often slowing down the lessons. The kids were also very vibrant in asking questions. They were very inquisitive as to why a certain method is appropriate for certain foods, why use a steamer? why use a non-sticky pan? Jessica emphasized the need to listen to kids questions because they offer teachable moments. She felt the questions guided how much theory kids should be exposed to. Jessica continued to give a summary of events as Tiany read the report: You did a nice job of reviewing measuring. You had a lot of questions and I would like you to start noticing i t . T h o s e questions are really teachable moments for you . . . . This was just a general observation no specific focus . . . they were very good questions . . . . (Jessica post-conference February 9, 1995) The kids' interest kept growing. On February 20 and March 2,1995, Jessica was finding the teachable moments unexplored. She re-emphasized the need to explore them because they offer spaces with perspectives that hardly any other moments allow us to see and hear from kids, i worried that Jessica 137 had given enough reminders. It was the fifth week, i wondered whether teachable moments offer similar possibilities for student teachers like they do for practicing teachers. When kids answer in choruses (many kids at once) what does it feel like for student teachers? What about seeing several hands queuing in the air? Don't they demand moral judgment be made instantly? - whom to call first? Which hand was up first? Which gender goes first this time? What do those hands mean to student teachers? Could they be threatening? What if they asked a question that a student teacher does not know the answer? What might that mean for the student teacher and/or any observer? Jessica complimented Tiany for a good introduction. She noted an improvement on theory and asked her to be reflective. She suggested: Comfort level of information will come with both time and experience. And I don't know if anything but time and experience. Experience in particular. You are learning what you need to be teaching them so that you'll continually be thinking about those things. And if you had the time to sit down after the lab and write down, 'okay, where did the kids go wrong in the lab,' then those would be the things you hadn't focused on . . . . My question here is, how can you use their knowledge and experience in a more guided way? . . . questioning is a technique that needs good practice. How can you use their comments and work with them and bring them all together as a class? Because they know a lot.. .. How do you use their knowledge and experience to make it a whole class? It is not problem solving. It is a teaching learning experience, getting their knowledge and working with it and also get across the things you want to do with them . . . (Jessica post-conference, March 2,1995) Jessica did not only challenge and question, she also gave clarifications and suggestions. Other highlights of her observations touched on the need for student teachers to organize learning from a broader perspective. They were instructed to think about the following, where kids should be seated after the bell; how to organize students' activities so that 'weaker' ones get as involved as the active ones during the practicals; how to use waiting time after recess; the need to complement students during the closure for good work, cooperation, good behavior before leaving class; and the need to reward students (use of stickers). Other anecdotes dealt with were how to mark the laboratory exercises and the need to explain to the students where the marks come from. 138 Being the fifth week, what do the highlights speak of? What about eariier suggestions offered to Tiany? What was Tiany's receptivity to the anecdotes? Need Jessica be harping on the same concerns she started with on week one? March 7,1995 was the last day for Tiany in FN8 class. She planned for a demonstration, a test and teacher evaluation. The demonstration focused on cheese cake preparation. Kids were very enthusiastic and playful about the idea of cheesecake. When all the groups completed the tasks and the cheese cakes were all in the ovens, Tiany administered the end of unit test. A post-conference followed immediately after the above lesson. Less time was spent on the observation form because it was Tiany's last day. Although it was not a perfect point in Tiany's teaching/Jessica expressed that there was some progress in Tiany's lesson plans and writing of behavioural objectives. "What would you do differently if given a second chance in the same unit?" Jessica asked. Tiany listed four areas she could change. She would involve pupils less in the demonstrations to save time, and shop for more ingredients than expected to allow adequate amounts for the class. She acknowledged that she learnt a lot through lesson planning and also the importance of pre-planning for easier teaching. 139 Finally Tiany's time came to ask for a summary of her performance. "How have I grown?" she posed the question to Jessica. She was concerned whether Jessica had witnessed any growth and any potential as a foods teacher, i felt the question beckoned for a rethinking of the whole process --How does one rate a beginning teacher? What is growth in such a situation? What does a teacher educator expect from a becoming teacher? After all the toiling, listening to advice, redoing lesson plans as requested, after trying out suggestions, how does that get measured and rated? What matters? What does a Pass call for? What does it mean? (journal excerpt March 7, 1995) i felt like that was the only question Tiany asked during the six weeks. She had been given many opportunities, but never dared to question, or challenge Jessica's advice and guidance. Tiany was a student teacher who did not question. She conformed. She was a quiet, calm person most of the time; always appeared composed. She was patient both with the pupils and the school advisor's guidance, and appeared contented with what was going on in FN8 class. Alternatively, she might have known the game to play as a student teacher[?] She expressed contentment with Jessica's advising -- techniques of coaching and provision of teaching resources (i.e. unit plans and worksheets) for student teachers use. Basically Tiany's practice included what and how to think through the resources, producing workable lesson plans and teaching. Jessica paused for a few seconds and with her calm voice said, "yes, you have improved tremendously." It was an encouraging remark, a positive note and mood for both to part on and with. A good-bye was said that lit the path for Tiany. She needed to hear that as a rejuvenation for the second half of the practicum. My worries were furnished by the fact that, student teachers are usually worried about what kind of 'verdict' the school advisors might pronounce; and that's what Tiany was probing for with her question. 140 Having Chety as a second student teacher, having to go through similar procedures for a second time, and witnessing minimal growth generally on the part of student teachers tired Jessica. So by April 10 she tried a different way of giving feedback to Chety. She asked her to do self-evaluation using a checklist. This was the second time for Jessica to suggest self-evaluation from Chety as a starter for their conferences. It was the tenth week. Chety rated herself 'satisfactory' in 13 out of 14 categories. She felt she did not 'perform' very well because she was away for the weekend and had to do her shopping at the last minute on Sunday which left little room for adequate planning. However, responses to her teaching were similar to Jessica's observations, therefore they spent the rest of the conference talking through the lesson plan for the next day. In general Jessica spent hours teaching Chety how to interpret the unit plan and plan lessons. Often i wondered what made it seem such a chore; Chety did not seem to 'get it' and if she did, why the dependency? This was frustrating for Jessica. Jessica knew about Chety's busy schedule. Chety was on a national volleyball team and she had to continuously practice during the practicum. She was also coaching one of the school teams. Jessica explained it as follows: For our school production we are doing 42nd Street, and the story is set in the 30s and this director decides to put on a big Broadway show. Once he decides who his cast is going to be he gets into this big lecture that for the next 5 weeks 'you are going to do nothing but sing and dance and basically until you drop.' Its quite a good little speech . . . And you sort of' feel you have to be like that with student teachers. Your life has got to stop. Your family problems, your children problems, if you are going to do a good job. And maybe for some people they should go away and leave their family and leave their other things behind them if you want to do the best you can do. (Jessica COA April 10, 1995) In spite of lack of adequate commitment to practice teaching, i felt Chety expressed herself adequately and she tried to open up. Yet after listening to several conferences between her and Jessica, i always wondered whether she listened to advice, i shared my skepticism with Jessica. My inquisitiveness was triggered by Chety's reasons for not getting time to prepare lessons adequately. In this particular week she talked of going shopping on a Sunday afternoon for her Monday class because she was too busy. 141 She responded: I think she was listening. Like she said today there are certain things I have said over and over again . . . she is listening. But she does not seem to know how to do it all. She gets little bits each time . . . her growth curve if we could graph it is very slow. Whereas based on the guidance we have given her, the faculty advisor and I have been quite consistent. We've been saying quite the same things . . . But possibly that is the volleyball and she is tired. She is also . . . coaching. At the back of my mind I have to keep saying, home economics is not their subject. It is her minor. And probably all this will be . . . (Jessica COA April 10, 1995) After the practicum we held a final conversation-on-actions. Jessica summarized the student teachers' overall performance as follows: I would say the biggest challenge is lack of knowledge of the subject area. Knowing for both home economics is second and PE is their main, I think there is lack of basic knowledge; and I will also say their lack of ability to be creative in any kind of way. (Jessica COA May 9, 1995) Questions About Self It's a constant battle I have .. .and it is something you can think about as you're going through this. A question I asked Tiany when she finished. Would you prefer that I didn't give you anything? . . . if you are doing it again would you like to start from scratch? . . . (Jessica post-conference March 9, 1995) I don't know how student teachers can take your material and make it their own. Unless they write their own, but I think personally it is a waste of time. (Jessica COA April 10, 1995) Jessica's sharing of her resources (i.e. unit plan and worksheets) for FN8 classes with student teachers meant that they did not have to invent anything. According to Jessica, the sharing would 'prevent' the student teachers from spending "their whole time typing and writing stuff up." Jessica also wondered whether they would include "what is important?" Or alternatively, if she did not give them they might "get someone else's anyway." (Jessica COA March 9,1995) In spite of the reasons for giving student teachers the resources being convincing, the decision haunted Jessica throughout the practicum. By the fourth week there were signs that something was .amiss. On February 20 we both observed Tiany teach, followed by a post-conference and a 142 conversation-on-actions. Jessica had observed that Tiany's lesson had no set or closure, that she lacked theory of the concepts she was teaching about and rationale for teaching them. Jessica also noted and commented that question and answer techniques needed exploring and the instructions needed clarification. Being the fourth week, Jessica was growing anxious because despite offering numerous suggestions, and walking Tiany, for example, through some of the resources (unit and lesson plans), Tiany did not seem able to grasp and work with the resources or offered suggestions. During our conversation-on-actions Jessica began to question her decision. She sEARched herself, a sEARch that provoked the following: I guess the more I do this with a student like Tiany whose home economics isn't her strength, I have to always keep that at the back of my mind -- this is her minor it's not her major. Would this whole thing have been better, if I had not given her anything and let her create everything? But some of the work sheets she has brought in on her own. I don't think they are necessarily appropriate for the age level. I don't necessarily think it would be better. I know one other thing that I'm seeing is that it is my stuff that she is using and she is having trouble with that. All the other work sheets that she's given me are someone else's, they are not hers either. If I saw her writing and inventing, and being creative, that way, then I would be encouraging her to. But even the stuff on the new lesson, all the work sheets, none of those are hers. She hasn't created any of them. (Jessica COA February 20, 1995) After Tiany came Chety. On the fifth week, Jessica held a pre-conference with Chety in preparation for her first week in FN8 course which was starting on the sixth week. On March 9, Chety had her first lesson followed by a post-conference. What Jessica observed threw her deeper into 'the dilemmatic' state. She wondered what might have been a better way to guide student teachers - Chety this time. Afraid that circumstances were repeating themselves - saying things over and over again without much progress on the student teachers' part; and afraid that she was consequently talking too much during the conferences, she tried a different approach. She asked Chety to write a self-evaluation of the lesson she had just taught. 143 i wondered what Chety would focus on. What would she seek guidance about? What was she prepared to put effort in and how enthusiastic might she be in terms of receiving Jessica's pieces of advice and collaging them into what she could call her ways of teaching and being a teacher? Jessica started the conference as follows: Our goal is to help you be the best you can be in 15 lessons, and from there on, you are on your own . . . there is lots of stuff in what I said today. But I don't want you to be concerned in that I am evaluating. I want it to be me helping you to learn more than anything else. If it feels like you are getting dumped on, don't worry about that, I could already tell today you had lots of confidence, you were relaxed, and that in itself as far as the teaching goes you know when you go in, you are confident, the kids know you are confident... there are lots of stuff, it is just a matter of time and practice. So don't worry too much . . . . (Jessica post-conference March 9,1995) A lengthy dialogue ensued between the two. The post-conference touched on Jessica's dilemma, lesson introductions, student teacher's teaching voice/class rules, the need to have a rationale for teaching, clarity of instructions, and punctuality. "You basically read the rules," Jessica remarked and advised Chety on the need to personalize the rules. She also questioned the decision to give student teachers her unit plan and accompanying resources. She explained further: Would you prefer that I didn't give you anything? . . . if you are doing it again would you like to start from scratch? Because part of the problems in those four sheets is that they are my rules and they are my stuff, but I have a relationship with those, that's why I have put down there 'you need to have a relationship with the materials to get comfortable with it.' You sounded to me like a substitute, 'like this is what your teachers left for you, and this is what you gonna learn'.. .You need to develop a banter teacher talk about i t . . .they did better with the second page. The first page you read it and did not discuss it. You just stood behind the demo table . . . . (Jessica post-conference March 9,1995) 144 Jessica reminded Chety of the circumstances that take place in the classroom that she needed to bear in mind as she planned her lessons. Chety participated actively through asking questions, clarifications, seeking for answers and/or 'the right way' to do things in 'Jessica's classroom.' For instance, her questions were often directed towards - 'How do you do this? Do you have this?' These were frequent questions from Chety. What did the questions imply? Could it be lack of personal perspective to teaching and/or lack of commitment to what she was embarking on? Might the attitude have complemented Jessica's readiness to provide information, to give anecdotes as to how she likes and does teach a certain concept in a certain way? Although Jessica never implied her way as the best and only way, the student teachers seemed to want to 'xerox' readily Jessica's narrated ways of doing. Yes, they had Jessica's unit plan, and lots of other resources were available to them. Could that have blinded them from trying out any other ways, from seeking independence and exploring other ways of teaching? Immediately after the above conference Jessica and i held a conversation-on-actions. It was the week after Tiany finished her teaching and the week that Chety started with a different group of grade 8. It was a time of transition for Jessica. She said good-bye to Tiany and to Tiany's ways of teaching temporarily as she welcomed and learnt to work with Chety. It was a week of getting used (possibly) to reaffirming what she believed in, this time with Chety. What was it like for Jessica going through the process twice? Going through what seemed like 'repeating oneself and questioning one's decisions? Our conversation-on-actions dwelt on Jessica's contemplations. What other approaches might have paved the way for the student teachers to embrace teaching? What other approaches could have prevented them from sounding like 'Jessica's substitute teachers?' i had sensed Jessica's mood during the observations and having listened to the conferences i began the conversations-pn-actions as follows: "i heard you with a few sighs and a few mmmmm . . . what was happening?" "I was really frustrated because I had gone over her lesson plans and suggested things that didn't happen. I decided not to emphasize too much in our discussion today [conference]," Jessica explained the feelings, the facial expressions, and the sounds of frustrations which were evident as i sat beside her in Chety's class. 145 After observing Chety teach and realizing that the previous pre-conference was not productive, Jessica tried a new method of giving feedback. She asked Chety to write down what she felt and thought about the lesson she had just finished teaching. The approach felt very humbling, i felt like the question was: 'Yes, search yourself, listen to yourself teach, listen to the kids you are teaching and write down what and how you feel. Are you satisfied with the preparation you had made for the lesson? Could there have been a different approach to what you took the kids through? What do you feel about it? What do you hear the kids telling you?' i complimented Jessica for.asking Chety to do a self-evaluation during the post-conference. Jessica had this to say: "Yes . . . I was really worried about.. . dumping too much on them at the beginning. But if you don't do it at the beginning it is too late. The time that they are in here with me in lesson six and lesson seven, it's too late to do it. We have to let them know." "I was frustrated because she hadn't listened to what I had said . . . I think she is quite open." "It really frustrates me. They got a four year degree to give correct information as well. That bothers me a little bit. So that's why I suggest she goes home and take a Management Foods and read it, and know what she is doing . . . As school advisors we can teach them, help them learn how to teach but I don't think we should have to be teaching the theory behind it. They should be coming ready. (Jessica COA March 9, 1995) Jessica sEARched herself, worried about what other ways she could adopt to give feedback and guidance. As the conversation progressed, she revisited the idea once more: The other thing is that I wrote lots of things here but many of the things were the same [with what Chety wrote about her lesson]. It is the same thing over and over again. So I am not dumping her with a whole bunch of things to think about. And that is what I felt as I was writing, that she was going to be frustrated.when she read this. But essentially it is the same thing over and over again. (Jessica COA March 9, 1995) What other route could Jessica have taken? She needed to guide the student teachers, she needed to keep pointing to a path toward Chety's becoming organized in a foods laboratory, writing satisfactory lesson plans, and the hows of thinking through the planning before coming to class for instance. The path chosen seemed like that of techniques: the how to. From our conversations, Jessica was determined to guide Chety in her practice teaching but sounded frustrated that no signs of progress were evident yet. The student teachers are only there for a 146 certain time and school advisors have to decide whether one can make it in teaching or not after a given number of observations. She was also frustrated because both student teachers demonstrated inadequate subject matter knowledge. She worried that both Chety and Tiany were anxious and concentrated on "producing stuff on paper", therefore, failing "to think about what it is they are writing down." She often worried and questioned the decision she made: that student teachers use her resources for FN8. The bone of contention was this: maybe if student teachers had drafted their own unit plans, maybe they could have taught differently, maybe they could have embraced the concepts better, maybe they could not have sounded like substitute teachers. These kinds of reflections came up a few times during this and previous conversations, "i still do not know whether that is the answer," Jessica thought aloud. "It looks like you are really reflecting on it? i expressed my curiosity as to what she was thinking about. Jessica explained further as we concluded our conversation: I think if Tiany did it again, she would feel ownership of material the second time around . . . And it is a realistic situation. Because people do go to schools and departments and there is Foods 8, 9, 10 classes and they are not only teaching one. And the teacher says, 'This is what we are doing.' That's what happened when I came here . . . . I remember standing at the demo table and going ha! (laughter). I could never understand her method and recipe. I could banter about the theory. (Jessica COA March 9,1995) Jessica had experienced the pains of using someone else's resources (i.e., unit plans, recipes and method) as references. She also understood the need for student teachers to use the resources available in a school because they are in the school for only a short time. She argued that the practicum time does not call for a need to reorganize a grade 8 program because in most schools the program is standard. There is no room nor time for student teachers to reorganize it given the impermanence of teaching practica. 'The dilemmatic state' was constraining. On April 4,1995, i visited Lord Cook Secondary. Jessica was very busy with departmental matters. She wrote an informal report for Chety and later 147 conducted a post-conference on the phone. The dilemma was no secret to Chety. Part of the conference went like this: Jessica: I guess I feel reasonably good about carrying on with giving you as a student teacher or anyone as a student teacher my stuff and saying here, you figure out how you want to teach it . . . Chety: the way you gave . . . say I was going to teach foods 9/10/11 . . . I would go, here I have some good ideas, how do I expand on that and make it different but I know now what you have done so if I had to do it again now I have a better idea of how it could work and why you put this lab here . .. it's been good, we had something to follow or else we first get thrown in like that, you go, 'wow!' Jessica: With grade 8 . . . they do a lot of comparing too. What are you doing now? You see them coming from next door . . . they come down from French, oh yes, they are on that lab now. They like to know that you are doing the same thing . . . they are already coming in . . . Chety: I know Jessica: They do compare so if you change it too much . . . it really throws them off. In a way I think it's nice that they stay the same. But I still have mixed feelings as to whether it's to your advantage because I am constantly questioning how I would do it. Chety: yeah yeah! Jessica: Yes the way I would do. it makes the most sense for me, but it's not necessarily going to make sense for you. Chety: I think today what I asked you, I was a bit thrown out, I didn't have one of my lesson plans, I didn't even know that was supposed to be there . . . Jessica: but if you had planned the whole unit, it would be all yours. Chety: exactly. Jessica: Your questioning to me then would be in this case, or in something like this . . . 'what would you do', as opposed to 'how do you do this.' You don't have to do it the same way I do it. I mean you could choose not to demonstrate at a l l . . . Chety: but I think if I had it my way I would have had a lot of questions from you. Because I am unsure . . . just this little things . . . I would be missing something . . . I guess I would have talked to you and you would have told me what is essential. Jessica: that's the problem usually for student teachers, how do you build their confidence l e ve l . . . . (post-conference April 4,1995) How far and/or firmly can school advisors push student teachers towards growth? If growth was like a staircase maybe one stair at a time would be possible. How would we read the actions? To whose benefit? What would that mean? Jessica seemed to understand Chety very well. The fact that home economics Was/is the minor subject, it was the one Chety was learning in the process of learning teaching. Physical education and volleyball were her favorites and where her energy was spent. Might that have contributed to the laxity? Was there laxity or was it our imagination? According to 148 Jessica both Chety and Tiany were similar in the ways they took up student teaching. Jessica summarized their teaching ability as follows: Neither of them are really worried. I think they are both okay. I am not concerned other than their ability to do it. If some people phoned me up right now and said that there was a straight home economics job, and these two people have applied, would you recommend them? I would say no. I wouldn't recommend them for a straight home economics job, and particularly if they didn't have support in school. And good support . . . if someone phoned and said I have got a part time position and 3 blocks of 9,1 would say sure. I think either of them could do it. As long as there was someone else in school to help them and if they had some time to think about what they're doing. (Jessica COA- April 10,1995) Jessica struggled to understand her decision, she understood the pros and cons, yet in practice those 'rules' of comparing and contrasting defied themselves. Student teachers are different and every year brings something different. Jessica oscillated between uniformity - the need to teach similar things to all grade eights in order to avoid comparing and/or complaining; and the student teachers' inability to teach from someone else's plans. Yet, she believed that if she did not give student teachers her resources they would simply use someone else's. In our last conversation-on-actions, i wondered what Jessica might do differently next time since she had identified what decisions might have needed a different approach, i asked: "If you were to do this again what would you change?" She had this to say: I don't think I would give them my stuff, my program. . . . I have done it before and every time I have done it I think about i t . . . particularly . . . if that was the only course they were teaching in my area, I would not give them . . . (Jessica COA May 9, 1995) This was not the first time for Jessica to give student teachers her resources. She had a student teacher who was able to embrace the resources and made them hers. Jessica explained it as such: one of my student teachers . . . the last of the collaborative project. She was a very meek mild young woman. She wasn't even sure she wanted to go into education. I basically convinced her that she should do i t . . . I talked to her about all the benefits of going through the program.... she took my program and changed it around, reorganized it. (Jessica COA May 9, 1995) 149 Jessica had been harping to the student teachers on the need to embrace the given resources like one's own. But it did not happen as expected. What would taking a pre-established program and making it one's own entail? What type of commitments does it call for? During our last conversation-on-actions, Jessica expressed the intention of giving resources to student teachers as: I sort of think, how much different is their program going to be than mine realistically. Probably not that different. So in giving it to them I wanted them to have an opportunity to teach. To teach from beginning to the end, to collect the marks, to evaluate kids, to welcome kids; they are their kids. Just to teach because the time crunches so fast that they would have to be working and to be planning everything as well. I think what happened this time was more on their side. It gave them the chance to be lazy. I don't think it made them better teachers, for the kids there is the consistency that did stay there . . . (Jessica COA May 9, 1995) Jessica summarized student teachers'teaching as: Generally lack of interest in home economics. [I had] the feeling they just want to get through the hoop, just want to be done and be gone. What scares me is they never took advantage of what they had. I don't think they really took advantage of the learning opportunity that the practicum provides them. Too busy trying to please. (Jessica COA May 9, 1995) 150 Chapter Five Interpretations And Implications General Insights When one narrates a safari, what gets remembered and retold? A safari to a grand parents' home, to an uncle's, and/or to a childhood friend's home all speak to our h(ear)ts differently, even as one packs to leave and unpacks after the trip. There is a Gikuyu saying that goes like this; Mundu utaceraga eciragia no kwa nyina kumgagwo wega. It refers to a person who is always at her/his mother's house (care, environs) and believes that the mother is the only person who knows how to cook. It also means this person is not adventurous, and that she/he understands the worid from a very limited place. A safari can be a journey of continual self-(re)interpretation that is full of occurrences where we learn about things that are "not us" (Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996, p. 70) and so learn about ourselves. This chapter provides an interpretation and implications of the conversations with and from Jill, Diane, and Jessica. It also highlights perspectives that point to a need for change. Pagano (1990) asserts that there is "more than one way to tell a story and more than one story to be told" (p. 197). Chapter three is one of the stories that could be told from the first conversations i had with each of the school advisors; and chapter four and five present one of the many ways to interpret what transpired during the 1994/95 practicum in each of the school advisor's classrooms with her student teacher(s). Sumara and Luce-Kapler (1996) write that "the artifacts that surround the human subjects, whether material or linguistic (stories that we tell of our experiences)" become "commonplaces for on going interpretations" (p. 68). This safari provided spaces for school advisors to tell their stories of teaching and school advising. Each conversation and conversation-on-actions was a space for interpretations of the school advisor's understanding of her practice. Hence, this research document could serve as a 151 place for collective (re)interpretation. However, what follows are my interpretations. This chapter is not a conclusion to the safari, but suggests continuities upon which the narratives are embedded. Intrinsic to the narratives themselves are many nuances of motives, assumptions, and insinuations open to interpretation and speculation. On safari we encounter a lot: people, fauna and flora; we hear a wide range of sounds, and we might taste a variety of foods. All three landscapes - Diane's, Jill's and Jessica's speak of pedagogy and different lived-curricula that school advisors (re)oriented their student teachers to. Each tell of three school advisors leading their student teachers to "(un)becoming" one of them; and of teacher educators being led to unbecoming the teacher educators of yesterday (Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996, p. 68). Marjorie Wolf (1992) tells us that "doing field work is a matter of being at the right place at the right time" (p. 128). The experience of fieldwork does not produce a mysterious empowerment, but without it a researcher would not encounter the contexts. For instance, contexts like the student teacher who hardly said hello to kids, and the kids who would rather attend other school activities rather than come to her class; the boy who loved singing in class as he engaged in assigned learning activities, and the student teacher who became irritated yet said nothing; the teacher whose class was a refuge for kids in their spare hour(s); and the emotional tensions during student teacher/school advisor conferences. These contexts speak to what school advising and student teaching could be like. These contexts created the tectonic moments that caught my h(ear)t, hEARing, and sigh(t). i had admired the practice of school advisors who participate in the education of pre-service teachers, i thought they rested as someone else taught their students. In the district where these school advisors taught, there are no national secondary school examinations for home economics subjects; therefore, i had imagined teaching was very easy in such a situation. One does not have to cover the 152 curriculum document from the Ministry of Education cover-to-cover in fear of the examinations. But alas! there is more than examinations to worry about. It was exciting to hear that the student teachers could design and teach a two or three week course(s), after my many years of teaching a rigid mandated curricula. But it never occurred to me that allowing student teachers the 'freedom' to construct and structure their own course units, and/or providing them with curriculum plans does not necessarily make teaching easier for them. There is nothing extraordinary about these experiences but without them any attempt to convey their meanings would be compromised, and i would be a different person today. Wolf (1992) reminds us that "experience is messy," and "when human behavior is the data, a tolerance for ambiguity, multiplicity, contradiction, and instability is essential" (p. 129). Similarly, Flax (1987) reminds us, life is "unstable, complex, and disorderly" (p. 643). It becomes even messier when we ask school advisors or educators to fit their lives into a system, with institutionalized programs, and assist us in making someone a teacher. No wonder Diane asks, "how do you teach someone to be nice?" (COA, May 121995). The school advisors questioned their practices as school advisors -teaching people what it means to work with pupils, bell hooks (1994) tells us that as teachers, our emphasis becomes affirming of who we are through the action of being with other people in the classroom and achieving something there. As a researcher, i have struggled to textualize what life was like for school advisors during the 13 week practicum and what they made out of that life - the contradictions and instability that make us human beings. While on safari, i discovered that each advising/teaching landscape was unique and that my experiences were informed by each uniqueness; all speaking to the fact that being a teacher is being with people. 153 The school advisors' stories in chapter three tell of the social historical context of teacher education during Jill's, Jessica's, and Diane's time. Each school advisor had a different practicum experience. For Jill, the requirement was two summer schools. She expressed that she learnt teaching "through trial and error." Diane and Jessica took a professional year at the University of British Columbia. Practicum for Jessica constituted three short durations in three different schools. Being a teacher, a school advisor, and having been a faculty advisor, she could re/live those moments anew. School is a place Jessica looks forward to every working morning. She expressed that she tries new things, gets involved in various activities and projects, because she does not like being bored. She expects student teachers to work hard. Jill looks across time and observes that teaching has changed. She reports feeling more like a social worker than a teacher at times. However, she asserts that she loves teaching. Diane talks of teaching with enthusiasm. She speaks of the past with passion, and conclusively says she "never looks back." She affirms that the smiles she gets from kids in her courses are motivating and she loves teaching for that. Saying hello and good bye to kids is a very crucial component of Diane's life as a teacher. Tectonic: As i planned this safari and discussed it with my advisors (committee) i was afraid of the unknown. How will i manage to conduct a study in a different cultural setting? What will the teachers be like? Will they understand my English? How will they receive an outsider? What about kids in the classrooms and the student teachers? i was afraid. Full of fear, i ventured into the unknown, the knowable and unknowable, i announced the safari and its intents to the school board. i wondered if anyone would be interested. Shortly after, Jessica phoned in acceptance. The idea that.someone had shown some interest encouraged me to wait for others to call and even to follow up with a phone call. i was afraid even after having three teachers agree to participate in the safari. My physical and perceived difference as a visible minority reinforced the fears. How do i establish rapport with them? 154 It was after the 'get to know you conversation' that my fears (s)melted away, i met three teachers who were ready to work with me, ready to take risks by having me in their classes and (at)tending their conferences with student teachers. None of us knew what tidings that would bring. After the first conversation i felt ready to plunge into the safari, i was ready to pack. More so i was ready to sit and listen to the voices of experience. Teachers have very busy schedules and with a student teacher they barely can afford an extra hour for visitors or researchers. Baumann (1996) observed that "teachers are always 'on'." He adds that "no matter how organic research becomes, it must be conducted within an already hectic schedule of teaching and supervisory responsibilities" (p. 33). My comfort and hope through the safari was fanned by the school advisors creating time. Lunch hours became great theorizing slots as we enjoyed our lunches, or after school when we celebrated the end of a busy day. i felt honored because school advisors agreed to participate in the project. They willingly shared their professional stories of becoming teachers and school advisors. Generally, during the practicum, time has to be created to confer with student teachers even in absence of a research project. Teachers use their spare hour(s), telephone (like Jessica did), or meet after school with student teachers. Otherwise, it is those few minutes in between classes, break time or during instruction that advising takes place. The 13 week practicum became a continuation of my life in teacher education, stopping on the bridge that lay between it and public schools - the world of school advisors where i continued the safari to the head teacher's office in sEARch of a teacher in whose class i would have loved to be. As i packed i wondered what was important for school advisors as teachers; what they urged student teachers to emulate, to challenge, and be. On the bridge three distinct landscapes emerged. The terrain inhabited by Jessica seemed very ordinary. But lest we forget, "the extraordinary is like the ordinary" (Ricouer, in Reagan and 155 Stewart, 1978, p. 239). What i thought were basic skills for a teacher on internship to come adorned with, were lacking and therefore no longer basic. What Jessica thought was an easier way to teaching became a challenge to her and her student teachers. In this landscape the questions for me became those of Jessica questioning her decisions and the Tylerian language. In what ways could Jessica have taken a different approach in her advising Chety and Tiany given that they could not articulate how to teach (foods and nutrition 8) what they wanted to teach, and at times could not state why what they were teaching was important for kids? As an advisor, where would you have begun with them? What are the options? i had imagined that by the beginning of the millennium, educators would have cremated the Tylerian rationale and its language of objectives and lesson plans. However, what shocked me was not its use but how necessary the language was if Jessica was to be of assistance to the two beginning teachers who needed to know how to read curriculum materials and translate them into a lesson (unit plans). They needed a map to assist in shaping their pedagogical intents (van Manen, 1991). Jessica had shared her curriculum resources with student teachers. The move seemed necessary and a possibility for growth (en)during the practicum. However, the sharing created questions for Jessica to dwell in and not answers to student teachers' needs as she had intended and anticipated. The behavioural objectives and laboratory activities - muffin lesson, pizza laboratory, grouping kids, kids sharing duties - all speak to what Jessica intended for the kids and what she desired in the kids' lives. She often suggested to student teachers through anecdotes during the conferences what she intended with what concept, topic, or learning activity. "I have a relationship with that," she often reminded student teachers, as she urged them to cultivate some relationship with the resources and embody teaching. Through the language of lesson plans and behavioural objectives, Jessica tried to communicate what was good for kids to be exposed to and what was not. She often remarked - "I like 156 the kids to be thinking all the time what they are doing and why they are doing it [therefore], how can you use their knowledge in a more guided way?... questioning is a technique that needs good practice. How can you use their comments and work with them and bring it all together as a class?" From the dynamics that had transpired between Jessica and the student teachers, it was evident that she has transcended the Tylerian model,- but for the sake of student teacher's learning, it seemed the only place to start. Thus, Jessica began with the language of behavioural objectives expecting some growth beyond it. The instructions she gave to the student teachers sounded easy but, they were not infectious. They did not influence change as desired, van Manen (1991) reminds us that "influence, like 'the flu,' is something that we 'catch' or that 'catches' us - influence is something that we are overcome by, that takes our body and mind" (p. 16). However, the student teachers did not seem to have been infected, and if they were, the incubation period took longer than the 13 week practicum allows; perhaps the practicum was too short in this case? The teacher in me was growing impatient and disappointed hearing and seeing Jessica sit through four conferences, giving similar suggestions because the previous ones were not embraced or challenged, nor were alternatives sought. It was not the repetitiveness that irritated me but the lack of reciprocity. That was tectonic. This affirmed that all Jessica could do as an advisor is remind, suggest and possibly inspire - as powerful as school advisors are conceived to be, they cannot push student teachers towards authentic growth7. 7 If a school advisor forced a student teacher to do something, the latter might do it as demanded in order to please. It could be perceived as growth but if it's not sustainable -through the student teacher's desire for change, then it is not authentic change. For example, Betty was not consistent in saying hello or good bye to kids. If she had grown towards that direction, then i would perceive that as authentic growth. She would have been passionate about it, and it would have become second nature. 157 Jessica's tendency was to suggest alternatives to what a student teacher might have had in her planning as a reinforcement or a call for change, luring her towards growth - "know how to write objectives... embody teaching; take ownership of the materials and sound like a real teacher not my_ substitute... let them know where they are going.. . why is what you are teaching important?" By the end of the practicum, Jessica yielded: "I don't know how student teachers can take your material and make it their own. Unless they write their own, but I think personally it is a waste of time." Jessica's question interrogated her decisions. Even though not all suggestions were embraced, even though her advising did not seem to bear fruit, she acknowledged being a (p)layer in the landscaping. Really tectonic: Facing eastwards towards the lands(capes) inhabited by Jill and Diane i hear whispers from bell hooks (1994) saying; "individuals enter the classroom to teach as though only the mind is present, and not the body" (p. 19). It reminded me of Jill's description of Betty's approach to kids and teaching as "cerebral... it is up in her head." Both Jill's and bell hooks' words interrogate Betty's words that said: "in case of emergency, talk to your tour guide she does not bite." Pain inducing words they are. i ache(d) when i read them - she does not bite... i ache when i dwell on them, i remember Jill's advice to Betty during the conference, "you can't be rude to kids," and Diane's comments: "cynicism is not humor." i sit quietly gazing at the CT12 class that Betty had un(ad)dressed with those words, i feel the words stripping off kids' integrity, a stripping that makes them invisible. They throw silent tantrums. The tour guide disregards the mood in the class. She keeps busy through explaining the waste(waist) coat project, i ache, i can hardly tell what kind of learners CT12 are because whenever Betty un(ad)dresses them, they remain numb. It is chilly. Apart from the body language - silent tantrums and long disinterested faces - nothing else can speak to the condition their bodies and mind are in. They are unhappy and bored by what they are doing. Jill explains: "it is too much paper work." My time comes 158 to ask Jill what these students are like 'normally.' She replies: "they have been turned on to sewing, that is why they are taking senior clothing and textiles in grade 12." It was a lonely landscape. It felt like '40 days and nights in the wilderness,' seeing CT8 'hang out' in GT Laboratory (CTLab), and 50 minute lesson(s) going to waste for most of the kids, listening to Betty use John as the scapegoat for all the ills. Hearing Betty say hello and/or good bye to kids one day and not the other, despite the frequent advice and reminders, and listening to Jill in support of Betty say: "they ruined it for her." Despite the atmosphere being so sour, it was refreshing to see kids playfully engage with their projects; hear Jill advise Betty to encourage kids to play with the sewing machines, and encourage fun. Despite the trials(trails) that my mind seemed to be on, it was inspiring to see kids come to class lively and looking forward to continuing with their sewing projects. It was touching to hear and see the kids approach Betty with smiles asking for guidance. Diane's voice echoes in my h(ear)t: "kids are very forgiving . . . kids of this school are very kind to student teachers." Yes, kids are very forgiving. It was sad seeing John call Betty to see his project and get snubbed. It was even more saddening hearing him politely remind Betty when she finally remembered his calling "you refused to hear me." The parent in me was in pain. The teacher in me might have sat there in the name of respect for colleagues. Where was the school advisor? Where was Jill? Where was i? In what ways were we party to silencing John and others? During my first conversation with Jill, she had expressed that a few student teachers "fall into it," while others "never seem to get it." After being with Betty for the two week practicum, Jill had noted: "I think the one this year [Betty] is going to need a little bit of work, truly a creative soul, has lots to offer but...." (December 1994). Jill's landscape for thirteen weeks became a place of but . . . . 159 From the above reading, could Jill have smelled something? Could she have sensed what was ahead? What writings were on the wall(s)? In what ways were they preventable? Jill's advising illustrates two levels of concern - she promoted teaching as fun and encouraged Betty to try different ways of creating and gaining kids' attention, and to relax. She also assured Betty that kids did not dislike her, nor what she was having them do. Her other concerns are shown when she 'sides' with Betty. Here i feel she failed to acknowledge that the class was 'messed up' and tells me "they [kids] ruined it for her." However Jill continued to say Betty needs "to learn from her mistakes." Let us re/listen to Jill's summary of Betty's teaching: For the most part they are good kids in this school. Kids with good attitude. There is just a few who ruined it for her. She's allowed them to ruin it for her. But learning how to teach, she's got a long way to go . .. I hope she'll stop and think of this. I hope she has learnt this. She needs to learn from her own mistakes. I don't think [kids] had a really bad experience. But they could have had a much better one . . . What she's doing it's her personality affecting them. I don't know how you deal with that. We have to try and make her a good teacher and not necessarily change her personality . . . It doesn't work. She's certainly not a failure but our frustration is that she's not getting the message on some of the things we are harping on and about. Or she takes a long time to get it. What seemed at issue is the conflict of values that Jill struggled with as she observed Betty teach. Betty was with Jill for the full 13 weeks, but the time did not seem to have infected any substantial changes in her thinking and being. Epp (1993) states that one's way of thinking "is more than reason; it 160 constitutes the way one conceives oneself, who she/he is" (p.478). He argues that, conflicts in values constitute threats to one's identity, and induced changes can therefore become revolutionary shifts. In the beginning of chapter four, i mentioned that Betty seemed to know what she wanted to teach the kids; but she did not seem to know whom she wanted the kids to know her as. There was therefore, conflict of values in what Jill believed needed to be done and, what Betty perceived she needed to do and be. For example, Betty subtly resisted suggestions that she place relationships with kids as an important terrain in her developing into the teacher she wanted to be or she was. From the above words, Jill seems to have been trapped between loyalty to a colleague and to what kids' needed: a compassionate teacher. Jill's dilemma is also evident from her conversation with Betty on page 89. What we hear from Jill's words is an educator caught between the two response-abilities. In what ways could she have been impartial to both the student teacher and kids? Being in CT8 classes felt like being a secondary school teacher once more. The naive grade eights eager to learn a new subject, their smiles, playfulness, curiosity about the new clothing technology machinery, the foolish acts by kids and their assumptions that teachers would not realize, and the numerous questions from kids wondering what i was doing in their classroom. It was very welcoming. Situations like these were questions begging for my (re)action. Profoundly Tectonic: Dwelling in Diane's landscape became a source of hope, of strength and fulfillment after wander/wondering in the wilderness. It felt like coming to an oasis after being in the Sahara desert, scorched by the tropical heat, gasping for water and breath on the verge of dehydration. The feelings of finding a place inhabited by an oasis with greenery, healthy vegetation and fullness of life was refreshing. To inhabit means "to live, or reside in, occupy as a home;" (Funk & Wagnalls, 1980, p. 400). i feel the oasis inhabiting. Once it embraces a space as home, it provides nourishment to the fauna and flora. Like 'influence,' there is mutuality between the oasis and the life it supports, van Manen 161 (1991) reminds us that "influence is something that radiates [or diffuses]... influence connotes the openness of a human being to the presence of another" (p. 16). Diane was like an oasis for the kids. Like a traveller who finds an oasis at a certain moment, i found refreshment for the soul/mind/body, i found solace and hope; especially for the CT8 group that Betty had first. We are reminded that "great human beings bring with them something like a hallowed atmosphere, and when we seek them out, we feel peace, we feel love, we feel courage" (Thich Nhat Hanh in hooks, 1994, p. 56). This is how i felt kids felt in Diane's classroom. There was something unique about the way she received them with importance attached to their presence in her presence. That was profoundly tectonic. Their reaching out to Diane was her source of energy and that was fulfilling on the kids' part. Trivial though they may seem, her gestures of kindness, of reaching out, contribute(d) to frraf student coming back tomorrow, and opening up to Diane, trusting her and seeking out her friendship. For example, Jane a grade 12 student approached Diane for assistance with her English assignment. Diane suggested she come over lunch hour for assistance. What touched me was not Diane's acceptance, but the student's confidence and trust that Diane would assist - that she could call on her for any assistance, and not only in what pertained to home economics. Diane had suggested in the beginning to Betty that hello and good bye were important before a class begins and/or ends, and that Betty should work at letting the kids want to come to class. The language of hello and good-bye is a language of possibility and openness; It is inviting, enticing, and welcoming, "a language of intimacy and relationships" (Peterat, 1996, p. 40). It instills confidence that almost anything is possible. That is the language i heard Diane immersed in and cajoling Betty to try out; to taste and feel its goodness. It was the language that Jill used at times; a space of ambiguity and incongruity; at times calling Betty to be nice to kids, at times siding with Betty. Both Diane and Jill were reminding Betty that she was to assume responsibility, to lead and be led by kids. As the adult it meant 162 sending an invitation, because leading means "going first and in going first you can trust me" (van Manen, 1991, p. 38). Thus school advisors suggested that Betty adopt and embrace a language that would create room for trust between her and the kids and let leading be. i often wondered how long kids might have waited for a change of attitude from Betty. How often might they have come in expecting change? It was that waiting that Jill could not bear. She had to take over a class. And it was that waiting which she did not hear at times when she sided with Betty. The waiting also shocked Diane after five weeks of teaching and continued to wear her down to the end of the practicum. Diane was distressed by Betty's refusal or resistance to embrace the language and practice of saying hello and good bye to kids. The refusal or resistance made obvious a mind/body split, and made it seem such a chore on Betty's part. The pain was a challenge that i had to face and console. Diane had stated this about Betty: "she brings the worst out in me in conversation. I don't like that. I didn't enjoy it. I can't wait to get my kids back.. I don't think I was helpful, [and] can't wait to get back to normal." This is a language of trust in the researcher and the co-researching relationship. It is in the moments of pain that i heard Diane tell me: "I need advice from you," or "I have a headache." i was taught by Diane's response to Betty's complaint about Sammy who often sang loudly in class. This was a different landscape - one could sing in Diane's class as long as it was not disruptive. She suggested to Betty that she should ask Sammy to stop singing if she was uncomfortable with it. Diane explained: "I have always made it my policy if I am not 100% I tell the kids that... be up front with them because they will be much more understanding with you." The suggestions were asking Betty to accept vulnerability and take a risk. Betty replied: "I am moody and crappy... I can't keep on telling them that." Diane advised Betty that kids respond well if they know one is human, fair, honest, and loves them. She believes that "underlying consistency" is important. This reminds me of 163 bell hooks calling to teachers to learn to enter the classroom "'whole' and not as disembodied spirits" (1994, p. 193). She reminds us that kids want an education that is "healing to the uninformed and unknowing spirit. They do want knowledge that is meaningful" (1994, p. 19) and therefore, expect information that shows connection between what they are learning and their overall life experiences. This is what Diane suggested to Betty on many occasions. For example, when she asked, "is it a make work project to keep them occupied or is there something else to be gained from it?" (post-conference, March 28,1995). The Pass: A Pass was feasible from each of the landscapes for student teachers to sail through to a career in teaching. From Jill's perspectives, Betty's teaching and development was passable. Jill advised Betty to, "continue through the never ending road to perfection" (Jill, final official report, May 1995). Diane writhed with pain at first wondering whether "we need any more bad teachers," and what her professional responsibility was. After meditating on the 'whole,' she concluded, "Betty is not a bad teacher," and allowed her to sail through the Pass. It was a peculiar year for the school advisors. The advising was troubled because student teachers and school advisors seemed to have different motivations and fundamentally different ways of thinking. The school advisors, student teachers and faculty advisors are all responsible in the co-construction of a collegial relationship, and in the development of an environment for all to learn. Waite (1995) writes that, school advisor/student teacher conferences are either passive, collaborative or adversarial. He argues that, although school advisors chair the conferences, what transpires in the student teachers' classrooms influence the directions the conferences take. However, Waite (1995) claims that only a collaborative attitude allows them to "co-construct a positive image of self and other" (p. 74). In chapter four i have presented what transpired between the student teachers and school advisors during the practicum. School advisors did not impose agendas outside what happened in the 164 student teachers' classrooms; however, student teachers remained predominantly passive and seemed to want how-to prescriptions. That was a source of frustration for the school advisors who sought colleagues. Jessica and Diane felt like the student teachers were fulfilling a bureaucratic requirement. Diane diagnosed it as "tunnel syndrome" and described school advising as "this adversarial thing that we are doing." Jessica had expressed feeling like: "student teachers just want to get through the hoop, just want to be done and be gone." Diane wanted "some kind of partnership" with Betty. School advisors expected student teachers would be naturally eager to grow, but they seemed to want to do what school advisors do or what they perceived school advisors wanted them to do, and if not, they resisted silently. Take Tiany and Chety, for example, they seemed very receptive to suggestions during the conferences, but hardly incorporated them in their thinking and teaching. When they attempted to, they regurgitated exactly what Jessica had suggested. This was disappointing for Jessica. In a frustrated tone, Jessica cautioned Tiany and Chety that by so doing, they sounded like her "substitutes." Power: Waite (1995) also reminds us that power shifts from and among student teachers, school advisors and faculty advisors. The narratives in this dissertation illustrate that, the co-researchers and their student teachers went through stressful moments. Power can be felt emanating from each person. Because structurally the practicum supervision is based on asymmetrical power relations, even when school advisors attempt to dissolve their own powers in the practice of supervision, student teachers rarely tune in as colleagues. But, power is not something that is exercised only by the powerful when they wish to control specific actions of the less powerful. It is "something that defines in a profound way the very relations themselves, the actual relationships that create the powerful and the disempowered" (Quantz, 1992, p. 480). Nevertheless, power offers possibilities. By raising it to consciousness, we are able to identify "both the empowering and 165 disempowering, and constraining effects of the social and cultural forces" (Corrigan in Quantz, 1992, p. 481). Quantz advocates incorporating concepts of power (knowledge/desire) into our discourses and holding on to their transformative possibilities. Ideally, education should cultivate collegiality and interdependence among colleagues. However, power is a practice that promotes personal and institutional loyalties. How then can teacher educators work towards a practicum where differences and otherness are understood and transformed to praxis that does not destroy either persona? In what ways might a faculty advisor for instance, in Diane and Jill's scenarios, have changed the atmosphere and the dynamics that transpired? Jessica's situation was different possibly because she worked closely with the faculty advisor. However, "there is no doubt the one who blesses is greater than the one who is blessed" (Hebrews: 7:7 Good News Bible, 1987). The one who carries the 'blessings' of Pass or Fail, is reportedly powerful. Lawn (1996) reminds us that a teacher who is familiar with "the habits of tradition is a figure of authority" (p. 274). For Lawn, authority is not "an arbitrary or regulative form of power to which the learner is forced to submit, but something making a claim upon us" (p. 274). We yield to the authority of the teacher because it presents knowledge in the form of address: "it beckons us, intrigues us, invites us to engage with it in the pursuit of our own self understandings" (p. 274). i feel this is how and what teacher educators and student teachers need to regard and understand school advising within the practicum setting as. Time: Time and power in a practicum setting go hand in hand. Time is a sacrifice to be made and hardly a commodity ready for consumption. Without feeling the need for others, a faculty advisor and/or school advisor could cling to her/his time. If there is tension, time can be a barrier to communication or an opening. Because time is core in the creation and maintenance of learning communities in the schools (Baumann, 1996), its availability could reduce the power of power and the 166 chance (availed through each participant sacrificing some time for the other) becoming a transformative possibility (Quantz, 1992). Time could also become the space to "seek competence as well as community" (Darling-Hammond, 1996, p. 5). Waite (1995) suggests that we need two courses of renewal: "the personal or individual renewal and the systemic" (p, 74). Because Jill, Diane, and Jessica sacrifice(d) their time and comfort to be able to guide student teachers, at the personal level they grew professionally. Staying behind after school and/or making use of lunch hours for meetings was a way of reaching out to student teachers, talking with them, offering needed assistance, and both the school advisor and student teacher understanding where each one was at. Jill, Jessica, and Diane availed themselves to student teachers. Because of creating time for advising, they were able to identify growth and a Passing possibility in their student teachers. Credit for the professional growth evident in the school advisors at an individual level goes to the collaborative project, which as i mentioned earlier was the foundation of this project (for details see chapter two under Identifying And Becoming A Co-Researcher). For a school advisor to participate in my project, she had to have participated in the collaborative project. Among other accomplishments, the participants of the collaborative project were encouraged to think of themselves as teacher educators. Therefore, the commitment to teacher education evident in these narratives, their positive attitude to school advising and student teaching, and receptivity to a researcher, tell us a lot about their personal growth as educators. At the systemic level major questions arise. First, the need to recognize there are school advisors who invest a lot of personal resources - tangible and intangible - in the practicum supervision (time, energy, comfort, and material) and there is need to reward them adequately. There is need to intentionally seek ways of understanding their perspectives. This can be done by enriching and 167 nurturing collaborative practices between school advisors and faculty advisors, and between school advisors, faculty advisors and student teachers without erecting more bureaucratic hurdles. A basic step would be for advisors to seek to hold joint conferences often, and make the meetings spaces to open up to each other. Secondly, faculties of education need to establish a criteria for the kind of school advisors and secondary schools they want to recruit. Those committed to the cause/course of teacher education will find time spent with student teachers a form of professional growth and a worthy contribution to the profession. Relationship building: School advisors were keen on promoting a "language of intimacy and relationship" (Peterat, 1996, p. 40) in the classrooms. Peterat suggests that the language would promote teacher development because teaching pertains to joining a "community that can sponsor human development more than knowing" (p. 40). School advisors advocated relationship building with and to student teachers in different ways depending on what the pedagogic situations (Aoki, 1988) availed; or when pedagogical moments (van Manen, 1991) presented themselves. Peterat (1996) suggests we "engage the language of intimacy and relationship if we are truly to foster the human development of teachers." She affirms: "it must be consciously sought and intentionally constructed" (p. 40). Because what restrained the student teacher/school advisor relationship mostly was the Pass -- the dichotomous nature of the decision to license or not to license - questions prevail: what would it have been like if school advisors did not have to write a summative evaluation? In what ways would the dynamics, the questions they live(d) with be different? Dariing-Hammond (1996) quotes Lisa Delpit who writes: "we all interpret behaviors, information, and situations through our own cultural lenses; these lenses operate involuntarily, below the level of conscious awareness, making it seem that our own view is simply 'the way it is'" (p. 12). To counteract that view, i suggest we need to listen more to the other and, also to move a way from the 168 need for immediate affirmation and accept that a student teacher may not appreciate our ways instantly. The movement is crucial for one's growth as a teacher educator. Sometimes one has to let go of one's ways of sharing the wisdom. It is challenging and it takes time for both school advisors and student teachers to accept that challenge as positive and a possibility for growth (to both advisors and student teachers). For example, Jessica had suggestions for the student teachers - she offered alternatives, possibilities, and anecdotes for student teachers' lessons and unit plans. However, she realized after working with Tiany that, student teachers were not always receptive to anecdotes and/or they did not know how to incorporate them in their practice. At that point, Jessica asked Chety to do self-evaluations which served as an alternative to giving suggestions. Diane also changed her way of giving feedback. She video-taped Betty's introductions and closures to a few lessons towards the end of the practicum hoping that Betty would get the message by watching herself on the screen. After watching the video-tape, Betty remarked that she found it boring. "If you found it boring, what about the kids?" Diane asked. There is need to practice compassion. Yes, they are beginning teachers, they need time to establish themselves and their routines, to develop rapport with us and kids, to know the material and the environment. Some take longer, some fall into it, some painfully struggle along the paths. The pain can be infectious. There is a respectable pain; pain that colleagues appreciate and there is painful pain, self induced and uncalled for. Respectable pain involves articulating and giving up old ways of thinking and knowing and learning new approaches. It is uncomfortable, van Manen (1991) writes: "if as adults we want to try on new modes, to make something different of ourselves, to gain new perspectives, then, we, may first have to unlearn, unmake ourselves, or, integrate new outlooks with our present deeply rooted views" (p. 36). 169 School advisors are not perfect human beings; and i recognize that the contradictions are embraced as part of the learning process, and part of what one struggles to change. Efforts evident in the school advisors' practices not only enable me to remember and recover myself, they change and challenge me to renew my commitment to an active pedagogy. Their struggles through the Pass are calling me to embrace and nurture collaboration, and my professional responsibility and answerability during the practicum more seriously. Maybe i need to ask what Haberman asked: "Is the experience intended to perfect correct behavior or is the experience to prepare a professional who can monitor his/her own behavior?" (in Slocum, 1989, p. 33). This kind of concern resonated with Diane when she said: "I need to know that you know you can fix it for next time," and with Jill when she expressed: "that is a sign of a good teacher... where you are willing to make adjustments according to your audience . . . because you think it is a good idea." My co-resEARchers dared to create theory from the moments of pain and encounter; they courageously revealed wounds to give us their experiences, to teach and guide, and sketch out new theoretical journeys. Their narratives speak of "tensions around seeking new ways of being in the practicum relationship" (Peterat & Slocum, 1993, p. 51). The three school advisors dissatisfied with the level of growth demonstrated by the student teachers could have resorted to the alternatives suggested in the practicum handbook. However, they approached what was at issue from an individual understanding of the practicum. They were patient, they continued to offer guidance, and listened to their student teachers. Practicum as a place of praxis: As a teacher, on a safari back to the classroom, my feelings and discernment were in relation to teaching. Kids were the lenses i read teaching with and the ears that i heard the dynamics through. It was the kids that i either felt were being left out, silenced, or 170 cared for in those conferences and conversations-on-actions. Pedagogical moments are what i saw and heard; they reinforced my hopes that classrooms are hope-filled places. The practicum is a place to generate theories and a place of praxis. It involves cultivating personal professional wisdom about teaching through the acts of teaching. Conversations-on-actions assisted us in articulating what in teaching is done tacitly and routinely, they developed into a time to recall what transpired. We attempted to interpret and understand the actions, the decisions made and the suggestions shared, and student teacher re-action to her own teaching. Therefore, conversations-on-actions became "commonplace" (Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996, p. 70) for social interactions with each school advisor. Through conversations-on-actions, school advisors questioned student teaching, and their own actions. As we consulted, conversations-on-actions became a reflecting place, a decision-making and reconciliation space. Where action plans could be verbalized, sketched, and meditated on. Theories and assumptions could resonate, be strengthened and/or abandoned for another more suitable. For example, Jessica had decided and insisted on sharing her resources for.very convincing reasons; but by the end of the practicum, she acknowledged that the decision was hampering the student teachers' growth. Jill too had theorized about the dilemmas she found herself in after several unyielding conferences with Betty. She reflected on the dilemmas and was able to talk to Betty during spring break about the things that Betty needed to think about changing to prevent 'messy' situations recurring in the second CT8 class. When Betty started with the second group, Jill stayed watchful of any symptoms and intervened before any incidents occurred. The conversations contributed to our understanding of how learning how to teach and teaching one how to teach are complex and delicate processes. 171 Interlude The hermeneutical approach is embedded in an ethical cast through respect for the individual as interpreter and meaning-maker. It is with that ethical concern for respect of the school advisors' space and time that i have found conversation and conversations-on-actions very important. It was inviting for one not to feel scrutinized or (interviewed. In this safari, the co-researching aspect was enriching as school advisors verbally articulated their practice - the way they do what they do, how they have been approaching a certain concept, what it means or has meant and as they begin to see it from a different perspective. For example, Diane and Jill hardly imagined an aspiring teacher who could not say hello to kids at 8:45 am no matter how many reminders. Never had i imagined, that such advice could be a chore, and stress everyone. We saw it, we felt it and felt the resistance. It still remains incomprehensible. Co-researching became an enabling environment that provided not only a panoramic and horizontal view of teaching, and of people becoming teachers, but also a space for asking questions. For example: what is it like for a student in this class? What does it mean for teaching? The school advisors' practices speak to a variety of concerns in teacher education, i moved away from right/wrong reductionist thinking and attempted to provide an opportunity for conversation, a dialogue bent on encouraging understanding. What i have highlighted here - the school advisors' stories, their interpretations and my re/interpretations of the conversations - are only a few ways of telling the stories. What one might perceive as blindspots in a school advisor's practices need not overshadow one's capacity to learn from the teacher's insights. Epp (1993) writes that in conversation there is integrity which is worthwhile because it creates a desire to understand various viewpoints. These narratives are opportunities to interpret, to bring one's experience to bear through one's stories, to dialogue with the texts - the participants' and researcher's interpretations. 172 School advising is shaped by overlapping layers of themes sedimented in the concept of one bad student teacher or good student teacher. A story told in this manner allows an educator to change her/his perception of her/his practice. If she accepts a student teacher next year she might work with her/him in accordance with the previous experience. By the end of the practicum, Jill and Diane had expressed a need for a break from school advising; but by the time we held our last conversation-on-actions they were feeling ready for another lot of student teachers. These were feelings of readiness to cope with whatever situation might arise. They expressed hope and desire to continue in their mission of teacher education. Woolcott suggests that educational research can be thought of "as problem setting rather than problem solving" (in Peterat, 1993, p. 53). From the narratives, this study has been/was a problem setter. It left us co-researchers with questions to dwell on whereas during our first conversation, the school advisors had expressed satisfaction with what they had been through and with most student teachers they had been with. After our encouraging conversations, they got to a point where what they thought was settled was unsettled. Questions arose that might guide and nourish their practice for many years. Since i left the research sites, Jill and Diane have worked with other student teachers, and will have two this year (1996/97). Jessica was on leave during 1995/96 school year. This year there are two student teachers in Jessica's department, although she is not directly involved with them. In a very ordinary way this study introduced teachers to teacher research. They revisited their decisions, analyzed their feelings, and explained the whys and hows of their feelings very casually. The beauty of it all is that, they did not allow denial to mask other feelings. And, therefore, the practicum ended on a healing note. To quote Paul Ricouer, they moved from i think to i will or i can. This movement reveals a very optimistic approach to human behavior, and to teaching what one believes in or cares about Even when our styles of teaching differ, even when our personalities are 'corrosive' to 173 one another, one does not remain frozen in time and space. Through conversations with colleagues she/he can move beyond that point Smith (1991) calls this kind of understanding and wisdom "sy nesis" (p. 280). He writes, "its that proper blend of principledness and flexibility that allows one to be sensitive to the singular quality of each situation without falling into either ideological rigidity on the one side or unprincipled opportunism on the other" (p. 280). He articulates that "synesis in an ethical understanding is not just understanding of a situation, but also showing understanding for someone" (p. 280). It is a very disorienting and tectonic process. For example, according to the University of British Columbia 1994/95 teacher education program handbook, school advisors had the following option: they could have written an interim report (individually or in consultation with the faculty advisor(s)) about their concerns, and with suggestions for improvement, and consequences (if student teachers did not work on the suggestions). Writing an interim report could have resulted in someone else carrying-out a cross-check and offering his/her recommendations. But none of the school advisors sought that option. In living those moments, i believe this resEARch changed the teachers we are. We learned to neyer take for granted any teacher should recipes for practicum supervision. Research Questions Revisited Chapters three, four and five are responses to the two resEARch questions that guided this study: What is the school advisor's understanding of her practice? What is the school advisor's understanding of how one becomes a teacher? The responses to the questions are embedded in the various narratives which i liken to the parables of the Kingdom of God as explained by Paul Ricouer (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978). Ricouer explains that the bible does not tell what the Kingdom of God is; it only tells what it is Ijke (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978). Ricouer's explanation fascinates me and mystifies what i have taken for granted since my Sunday school days. On a similar note, i feel 174 strongly that the complexity of school advising can only be talked about according to what it was like and can be like. Ricouer reminds us that parables are "narratives of normalcy" (in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 239), whose amazing power comes from the fact that they do not speak with the "language of the myth, the language of the sacred" nor "the language of the mysteries" (p. 240). They speak the language of "our history . . . of the profane... of open drama" (p. 240). What is remarkable about the parables and their language is the contrast, the thing about which they speak of - the Kingdom of God - and the kind of thing to which it is compared - fishermen, stewards and workers, fathers and sons, a mustard seed and a sower. Fishing, sowing, and working are very ordinary events in peoples' lives. So is a parent/child relationship (for example, the prodigal son). However, they are compared to the Kingdom of God (Good N ews Bible, 1987)(see M atthew 13:45-46, 47-49; 13:31-33). The idea that nothing is written about what the kingdom is, contradicts our empirical training that tends to use "images only as provisory devices and to replace images by concepts" (Ricouer in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 242). Ricouer suggests that we proceed another way and embrace a mode of thought which is not metaphorical for the sake of rhetoric, but for the sake of the message it carries. He asserts that only analogy surmises what is practical. Ricouer's suggestion reverberates with my elders' call for alternative modes of inquiry (Hultgren & Coomer, 1989) and of a different way of reasoning. It also resonates with Conle (1996) who writes that metaphor is a process we are involved in, and which constructs who we become. For me the process became the saOan-ing and the birthing of the title of this dissertation - Exploring school advisors' practices: Dwelling in/between the tectonic spaces. i have gathered into a unifying form various narratives that speak of/to school advisors' understanding of their practices and, their understanding of how one becomes a teacher. The narratives 175 and the situations they speak about make whole what we have to grasp as a whole. They help us understand each advising of a student teacher by a school advisor on a certain day, in the tone of a previous incident reminder, and/or suggestion. The narrative fragments and the synopsis make sense in the whole. Like the parables they constitute a "network of intersignifications" (Ricouer in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 242), which a reader approaching the dynamics from a different perspective might find disappointing for failing to draw comparable, congruous ideas, and unequivocal concepts from the stack of metaphors. In what ways can what is disappointing become amazing? i intend this study to speak to the fact that there is more to think through in the complexity of school advising and student teaching rather than try to synthesize the practices into a single concept As Hart (1995) writes, we can draw from these narratives all kinds of theories which have informed, reformed and deformed pre-service teacher education from antiquity to now. If we attempt to isolate the idea that Jessica should not have shared her resources to start with, we misread the good intentions that informed her sharing. We would also ignore the fact that sharing is an attribute of collaboration, and that the changes that Jessica went through carries with them transformative possibilities. If we isolate the idea that Jill should not have taken the class from Betty, we would ignore the time during which Jill patiently hoped and waited for Betty to find a way out of the mess the class was in. We would also be refusing to hearken to Jill's voice that had tried to give Betty various suggestions to salvage the class, and we might also be padding our ears from the silent voices in that class crying for rescue, direction and meaningfulness. We might also ignore Jill's silence at times. She might have been stranded between needs of a colleague who was beginning teaching, and the kids. By isolating the above events we would alsohave interrupted the dynamism of Jessica's and Jill's narratives and extracted frozen concepts. Ricouer reminds us that there is more to think about in the response given in parables than any kind of theory. 176 On the same note, a zealous attempt to draw ethical or moral inferences from examples given in parables might deviate us from the complexity involved in working with people. A tactless zeal quickly transposes a complex situation into trivial advice, and into "moral platitudes" (p. 243). Parables teach in an extraordinary way. The situations that confront us in this dissertation seem contradictory at times. Sometimes i have felt like telling the school advisors to be consistent in their advising, yet life is not a consistent sequence of events between one situation and another. Ricouer reminds us that "life is granted by the very means of this paradoxical path" and "hyperbolic orders" (p. 244). For example, collaborative practices include: collegiality, sharing resources, arid planning teaching together. These practices demand recognition of other, intentional attempts to build relationships, and to keep dialogues open. These practices can be disorienting to the parties involved, before they begin to be reorienting. Similarly, student teaching and school advising can be described as "reorientation by disorientation" (Ricouer in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 244), which is very very tectonic. Tectonicness manifesting itself in the narratives of everyday life - "narratives of normalcy" (Ricouer, in Reagan & Stewart, 1978, p. 243) - say hello and good-bye to kids, make learning fun, why is what you are teaching important let kids know. Tectonicness can be felt and heard when one (a teacher) moves into someone else's space, or when someone comes into your space. Learning to use the space, learning to work with another, sharing and/or borrowing resources, relating, being, sharing other relations - pupils — all these mean learning to be with people: a tactful8 way of being. 8 According to van Manen (1991), a tactful teacher bears "mindful skills that enable [her/him] to act improvisationally in always-changing educational situations" (p. 187). 177 Questions That Point Directions For Pre-service Teacher Education Programs And Research Pedagogical relationships: This report has highlighted and reiterated through various narratives the importance and the need for educators to continually promote and nurture relationships (pedagogical, triadic, student teacher-school advisor, student teacher-student teacher relationships). Diane, Jessica, and Jill's landscapes remind us that the direction school advisors take in advising student teachers is often determined by what a student teacher brings into a school advisor's landscape. From what we have heard, the conferences began with what transpired in the student teachers' classrooms, and seldom from the school advisors' agendas. Jill and Diane's landscaping spoke a lot about their caring attitude towards their pupils. Expressions like "say hello to kids, make them want to be here, make learning fun," all speak of benevolence that embraced the atmosphere. The triad: The need to promote triadic relationships during the practicum is widely documented in teacher education literature. For pre-service teacher educators, each year means new beginnings. Triadic relationships can be characterized by a "collaborative ethos" (Peterat, 1996, p. 2) where those involved could begin their safaris to and through the practicum anticipating ways of working with others in order to build collegiality and partnerships in growth. The adventure would involve listening and being open to the others. A student teacher experiencing an atmosphere where school and faculty advisors are collegial, and collaboratively guiding her towards growth, might succumb to embrace anecdotes and requests readily. In such an atmosphere, personality problems will lack spaces to manifest in, and instead contribute to both an understanding of the situation at hand and understanding of colleagues. U nderstanding a situation in teaching/learning (pedagogical) means placing kids first - the forgotten terrain in the concept triad. Relegated to the periphery, kids may become shadows that literature portrays as monstrous tormentors of student teachers. Shouldn't we re/think the metaphor -triad? What would it be like if kids were to play an authentic part in the teaching practicum and teacher 178 development, and not just providers of space for others to occupy? i suggest the concept "crystal"9 in place of triad. A crystal would be appropriate for the practicum because there are more than three sides in which to approach a texhing/leaming situation. Teaching practicum as it is, is dominated by the advisors' perspectives (school and faculty) with student teachers playing a lesser part By including kids, we will have embraced multiple ways of understanding what kids need, of understanding the practicum, guiding student teachers, and providing kids with caring teachers. Richardson writes that: a triangle is rigid, fixed . . . [a] crystal. . . combines symmetry and substance . . . an infinite variety of shapes . . . multidimensionalities . . . Crystals grow, change, alter, but are not amorphous. Crystals are prisms that reflect externalities and refract within themselves, creating different colours, patterns, arrays, casting off in different directions. What we see depends on our angle of repose. (1994, p. 522) Pairing: Pairing of student teachers during the practicum is a strength that the three school advisors praised and advocated. Since the introduction of the collaborative project all student teachers in the home economics education program are posted in pairs (if numbers allow). The school advisors acknowledged that, when student teachers are paired, they assist one another in various ways - they plan lessons together, brainstorm and develop ideas together; and if friendship develops, they counsel and console each other. These and other practices supplement and complement the school advisors' roles. During the 1994/95 school year, the home economics education class had an odd number of student teachers. Betty was the only student teacher in Maskini Secondary home economics department. We know very little from Betty. Where did she get her support? Having felt the dynamics, and heard the narratives between the school advisors and Betty, and Betty and kids, could pairing Betty with a student teacher have altered the dynamics? If indeed pairing is a form of support for a student teacher by another, isn't it important that schools of education (pre-service teacher programs) explore 9 Laurel Richardson (1994) used the term crystal in connection with triangulation, a research technique, i 179 what it means for a student teacher to be paired (or unpaired) in terms of emotional well being and, general preparedness for teaching? Two week practicum: From our beginning conversation with the school advisors, it was evident that the two week practicum does not provide a clear understanding of who a school advisor is to a student teacher, and who the student teacher is to the school advisor. In what ways might schools of education re/design the short practicum and make it meaningful for school adv isors, student teachers and kids? Would making it a three week practicum allow school advisors and student teachers to gain sufficient knowledge of who the other is? Student teaching practicum: Teacher education programs are full of student teachers looking for jobs, others for a career, and others are there because it is a calling. These three are distinct but related reasons that bring people to schools of education. In what ways can schools of education prepare teachers for the 'market and, provide kids with teachers who want to help them develop a sense of purpose in life? My co-researchers raised questions pertaining to practicum supervision and their professional responsibility. Are school advisors meant to be the guardians of the profession? Are schools of education the gate-keepers? Is the student teaching practicum an organized sufficient measure of who can make it in teaching and who cannot? Or do we need to re/think the whole practicum organization, preparation and advising? suggest we import her idea of a crystal into the teaching world ~ student teaching practicum. Chapter Six A Note To Diane As i turned the gaze my gift of sigh(t) from Maskini secondary my heart was left behind My hEARt sojourn the classrooms and dwell there in i salute you my co-resEARchers not with fear this time, but with honor. My hEARt weeps with joy the eyes(i/l) of my heart are tear-full not because i found the answer but of the numerous questions i dwell on questions warmly embrace me they cuddly inhabit me. What made you Diane so vigilant of kids well-being? what made you so persistent? that kids must be wished a good day, evening and weekend? what made you so passionate? that kids must be treated like human beings ? if i wasn't present if i wasn't present in your presence in kids' presence if i wasn't inhabited by those pedagogic moments i would have asked why i would have asked why you had a headache why the sleepless restless Easter weekend? if Easter meant nothing for me i would have nagged you more seeking for an answer may be i would have offered a formula diagnosed you and even prescribed some concoction. Might those have been your needs? might that be what the system needs? i forgot to ask we've seen many formulae in teaching what about prescriptions? after miss-readings of our temperature ailments and conditions? My hEARt weeps with joy eyes(i/l) heavy with tears overflowings of joy when i remember grade eights unfolding in your presence i am reminded of the memorable day when i headed towards a head teacher's office in search of a teacher in whose class i would have loved to be Threesome decades later i have found a person who is tactful who cares for those sheltered in her care whose tone of teaching my HEARt wishes to hear in every classroom i visit... My heart over flows with the warmth of joy-full tears yes i found you and also found kids who found a teacher a human being in moments of need... What makes it possible for kids to find a teacher in you? what makes it possible for a researcher to find a teacher in you? what about pre-service teachers? 182 References Alcoff, L. (1991/92). The problem of speaking for others. Cultural critique, Winter, 5-31. Altricher, H., Posch, P. & Somehk, B. (1993). Teachers investigate their work. New York: Routledge. Aoki, T. T. (1988). 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Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 53-60. 190 Appendix B Summary of Field Activities Schedule For Data Generating With Jill Week Observations Conferences Conversations-on-action 1 *** *** *** 2 February 6 February 10 February 10 February 10 3 February 13 *** *** 4 February 24 February 24 February 24 5 March 3 March 3 March 3 6 March 10 March 10 March 10 7 March 17 March 17 March 17 8 SPRING BREAK 9 March 31 March 31 March 31 10 April 7 April 7 April 7 11 *** *** *** i 2 *** *** *** 13 April 26 *** ***. . 1 4 10 May 12 with Jill and Diane Schedule For Data Generating With Diane Weeks Observations Conferences Conversations-on-action 1 2 3 4 5 March 3 March 3 6 March 10 March 10 March 10 7 March 17 March 17 March 17 8 SPRING BREAK 9 March 28 March 28 March 28 March 31 March 31 March 31 10 April 4 April 6 April 6 April 6 11 April 13 April 13 April 13 12 *** *** *** 13 April 26 *** April 26 14 May 3 May 3 May 12 With Diane and Jill Key: *** No visits but if made no conversations/conference held 1 0 The schedule reads 14 weeks in a 13 week practicum because spring break is not included in the concept '13 week practicum.' Schedule For Data Generating With Jessica Week Observations Conferences'P1 & P2 Conversations-on-action 1 February 2 (P1) 2 February 9 February 9 (P2) February 9 O 4 February 20 February 20 (P2) February 20 5 March 2 March 2 (P2 Tiany) (P1 Chety) 6 March 7 March 7 (P2 Tiany), March 7 March 9 March 9 (P2 Chety) March 9 (Chety) 7 March 13 March 13 *** 8 SPRING BREAK 9 March 27 *** *** 10 April 4 April 4 *** 11 April 10 April 10 April 10 12 *** *** *** 13 *** *** May 9 Key: P1 stands for pre-conference P2 post-conference *** No visits but if made no conversations/conference held 192 Appendix C Sample Interview Questions The general areas and sample questions were as follows: 1) Demographic questions concerning teacher education, academic preparation, teaching experiences etc. For example: Tell me about your background as a teacher. Probes: How long have you been teaching? What attracted you to home economics education? Do you have a philosophy of teaching? Tell me about it. What experiences have contributed to evolving of your philosophy? 2) Questions related to school advisors'understanding of student teaching. For example: Tell me about your experiences in the student teaching practicum. Probes: How many years have you served as a school advisor? What has it been like? What do you believe works well for you as a school advisor? Why? Tell me about the influences the practicum has had on you, your philosophy of teaching and as a home economist. What are the draw backs of having a student teacher? What are the benefits? How do you cope? What do you think student teachers need most? Why? 3) Questions related to professional growth as a teacher and a school advisor. For example: Tell me about your growth as a teacher. Probes: What has teaching of home economics been like for you? How do you think you have changed as a teacher since the beginning of teaching? What changes have occurred in your teaching career? What do you believe is professional growth to you as a teacher and a school advisor? Do you think of yourself as a teacher educator? In what way? 


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