To the future students of Garcia’s 301d:
So you’ve shown up for the first day of class. You’ve read the syllabus and are trying to fathom how all of this will fit into your already busy schedule. Right about now you’re probably thinking about running away, or burying yourself in sand, or figuring out a way to stop Garcia from getting into the classroom. This is normal. In fact, you aren’t alone – my whole class was feeling those exact feelings on day one. 2,500-5,000 words per week sounds like 1,000,000. 2 blog posts a week sounds as appealing as pulling your arm hairs out one by one. And twitter…get out of town. Back channels…what is that, even? Plus, who really has time or access to all those extra ‘current event’ readings on top of all the boring required texts we’re supposed to read? Our class spent almost the entire first week in a therapy sesh-type environment with Garcia reassuring us that everything would be okay. And it was. It was all manageable. So relax, let me tell you how we all managed to keep our cool during 301d.
For starters – Garcia, cover your eyes – reading the current event articles never happened. Not once did we go over any of this stuff in class. If you’re interested in current events in education, more power to ya! But if you’re preoccupied over that, its no biggie if you never seek this stuff out. Second, blogs are not as daunting as they may seem. I started out last semester as a non-blogger. I never even thought about writing blogs. After all, who would really want to hear what I had to say? But blogs are actually…kinda fun. You can write about anything! Things that are happening in the realm of education, what you want to bring into your classroom, acronyms, projects for students, anything! The possibilities are endless. On that note, the possibilities are endless for the genre papers as well. Don’t even think about being alarmed at the fact that only one of the genre projects can be a paper. You won’t even want to write one after you get your creative juices flowing! If I could offer one piece of advice to you, it would be to really step out of your comfort zone with these projects. You can learn so much if you have an open mind and jump feel first into an unfamiliar genre. In the process, you will find out a lot about yourself as a preservice teacher and have a multi-faceted amount of fun. Once you get rolling in this semester you’ll likely find that this class is useful, manageable, and enjoyable.
On a separate note: we all dressed up as Garcia for Halloween. He can really become a star of the classroom when you take notice of his ties, tokens of food, and quirky sayings. So don’t claim him your least favorite teacher on the first day of class. His syllabus looks daunting, but he is all bark and no bite with that one. Overall, revel in this class, participate, and keep an open mind to all that you can learn about your future career as a teacher.