Friday, October 9, 2009

Courses: P.E. and VAPA

The art of calligraphy - I really admire the dude who drew this one, it looked really nice.

My credential has many things built into it to comply with NCLB regulations. Two of these many things include the fact that I can teach elementary physical education AND visual and performing arts (VAPA).

What does this mean? Nothing really for a typical self-contained classroom teacher. We don't exactly have the time for P.E. or VAPA. But I am qualified to apply for P.E. and art teacher positions in the K-6 grades.

As if the typical schools I work at have the resources to hire an additional art teacher. We barely have P.E. once a week, since we share our P.E. teacher with another school.

Yep. We have to SHARE teachers. Like we share nurses, guidance counselors (which are pretty much non-existent at the elementary level), reading coaches, speech instructors, and resource teachers (i.e. special ed).

If you are boggling at the sheer number of support staff that today's schools need to run itself, well, I was in your shoes not too long ago. You'll get over it.

Anyway, I find it incredibly funny, in the sarcastic way, that I'm qualified to teach P.E. after a one-day seminar on games and sports. I find it equally sarcastically funny that I'm qualified to teach VAPA after a two-day seminar on making pulp paper, Taiko drumming, and interpretative dance.

As a professional, I'm also responsible for developing my content knowledge as well as pedagogy in these areas throughout my career. Which I'm ok with, even if my school can't reimburse me for my efforts. I whole-heartedly believe in life-long learning, and modeling this skill does help me be a better teacher.

All I'm saying is, those are low standards yo. Low standards indeed.

I also have to be honest that I wouldn't be so vocal about it if it significantly increased my chances of getting a job in December.

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