Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Health sciences in education or, "How to break a CPR dummy"

Can you identify the high fructose corn syrup?

This marks the round dozen-th in official posts describing the process of becoming certified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentials (the CCTC, or what I like to call, "The Great Wise Board of Educators Not Actually Teaching Anybody Anything," TGWBENATAA).

Hold on to your hats, folks, there's going to be another dozen to go before I'm done with this tag. At least.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's first recap. You've now:

~ obtained a BA (or BS) in something. If you've long known you wanted to teach, the something is probably child development. If you decided to teach half-way into your undergrad years, it's communications or economics, or more likely both. If you knew from the very beginning in the womb that you wanted to teach, you probably already have your credential along with a major in education. Possibly you are on your way to an M.Ed. Which makes me wonder why you are reading this in the first place.

If you were (and are probably still) waffling around, changing your mind from law to accounting to architecture to the medical field to ::insert occupation here::, you would have a math degree. That's me. Go mathies!

If teaching is only a stepping stone to what your eventual goal will be, you would have studied the fine arts. Or English.

People with engineering backgrounds won't become teachers for another 15-30 years. By then, this guide will be obsolete. However, you are used to things going obsolete, so don't worry. You'll be able to wing it.

In any case, whatever your own education background is, you have one, which is really all that matters in this part of the process anyway.

~ You've taken the CBEST and CSET.

~ You've worked with kids. And liked it enough to consider spending 3/4 of each year with them.

~ The FBI and DOJ has deemed you a non-pedophile.

~ You've applied and been accepted to an accredited university's teacher preparation program for pre-service training.

~ You're now taking this series of courses, and these courses, and then there's this one, as well as this, oh and don't forget this lovely pair of courses either.

~ You've passed that damn RICA.

Congratulations! You are now ready, wait. Actually, if I remember correctly, you should have done the following step somewhere between getting an undergraduate degree and passing the damn RICA. It doesn't really matter when, although some programs will make it a mandatory pre-requisite before entering the field work component.

Because it's useful to know CPR and emergency first aid when, say, one of your students is having an asthma attack and he doesn't have his inhaler on him.

Or if something goes wrong during a lock-down.

Or when a student insists on eating thirteen hamburgers because he was traumatized by a year of homelessness and is taking the Scarlett thing too far, and you have to explain to him why eating so much is actually just as bad as not eating at all (note: see Educating Esme).

Not to mention the fact that 4th/5th/6th grade teachers are in charge of explaining sex ed.

So take that health science for educators class. Mine was mainly about cancer, nutrition, car accidents, and sitting through 40 presentations on healthy living.

It will probably require you to become adult and child CPR certified, which can be done through your local American Heart Association or Red Cross.

I got mine at a fire station in the seedier part of my town. I got yelled at by a fireman because I wasn't compressing hard enough. That it's better to break a rib than to have the rubber torso die of asphyxiation. So I pumped that dummy with ten times the energy of my tennis kill shot.

And made the head pop off its hinge.

I turned to the fireman and said, "Is this any better?"

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