News Feature: The Masters of Teaching program

By Karla Holt

Presented below for your reading pleasure are some comments from students, teachers, principals, and professors about their Masters of Teaching program experiences.

The Good
"The approach to being in schools longer is solid, because the capacity to study the profession is higher."

-Pat Worthington, Principal

"One of the great tragedies of the old program was that people would get to their fourth year and discover in their practicum that they had wasted a whole chunk of their life. Now, people discover pretty fast whether this is for them… anything is better than our old program."

-Bruce Clark, U of C Teacher Preparation Associate Dean

"It’s a good program for people who decide to teach after getting their initial University degree."

-Lynn Raizada, Second-year MT student

"I like that we’re in schools right away–you learn fast whether or not this is right for you. The freedom of being able to research what you want is good. It’s a very supportive atmosphere."

-Tonia Bates, First-year teacher

"The professors were really listening to the concerns the students had. They were ironing out some bugs, so my first year was different from the next. They really want to make the program as good as they can for students."

-Josh Sherwood, First-year teacher

The Bad

"If students are not given some methods, I think that we are
doing them a great injustice. Foundations have to be taught."

-Pat Worthington, Springbank Middle School Principal

"In the first year of the program, one of the requirements was to make a collage depicting what you believe constitutes teaching. I felt it was a make-work assignment from which I learned nothing. This time could have been better spent studying classroom management issues or effective teaching strategies."

-Jennifer Poole, Second-year MT student

"Starting in September was a bit scary because even though I had studied the curriculum and everything on my own it would have been nice to have [received] some help with it… also, assessments weren’t covered enough. I am struggling with that now."

-Heather Wolfe, First-year teacher

"My student teacher had no idea what she was supposed to be doing… I wrote a scathing letter saying that [the University] is not preparing teachers for the real world. She was coming from nowhere to teach."

-Jason Hill, Teacher

"If you are the kind of person that needs a lot of structure, then you will feel more comfortable [elsewhere]. This program is not for you."

-Tonia Bates, First-year teacher

The Ugly
"Paying my tuition last semester made me mad. I did somebody else’s job for four months and paid nearly $2,000 to do it."

-Lisa Bonhege, Second-year MT student

"The tuition wasn’t worth it during the practicum–we were teaching in schools for the whole semester and only saw our supervisor two or three times. What a waste of money. It should be a co-op program or you should get a percentage deducted from your tuition."

-Heather Wolfe, Second-year teacher


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