My Teaching School
I am almost finished getting my teaching certifications here in Holland for high school and adult education. I’ve been asked by many how that works here so here’s a small explanation. As most thingsare in this country it’s actually very complicated. If something is easy then it isn’t Dutch s… this will be a quick version.
First, there is a distinction between kinds of teachers for high school and adult education namely the first and second grade teachers. They get the same pay and have pretty much the same education except that first grade focuses more on didactics and only first grade teachers can teach the higher classes in College Prep courses, other than that it’s the same. A teacher always specializes in something. For me as a native English speaker and a BA in English I chose teaching English as a second language. This means I can’t teach any other kinds of classes other than English however this rule is often broken by schools when they need someone to fill-in temporarily.
I don’t know what other subjects need to do specifically but teaching a foreign language means the teacher has to be fluent in the language and know the theories of teaching each of the four language skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening. This is a bit different from for the exact subjects such as maths and sciences because they only need to focus on one skill whereas foreign language teachers need to focus on four. Along with all that, teachers need to prove they are proficient in the seven competences and make a portfolio showing their proficiency. These seven competences are: interpersonal, pedagogic, subject content and didactics, organizational skills, working together with colleagues, working with local area, and reflection and personal development. They need to have proof that they are proficient such as feedback from other teachers, filming yourself teaching, feedback from your pupils and your own lesson plans and personal development plans for each class you teach. We have to teach for at least a year in front of a class with a minimum of 12 hours a week and for each lesson a lesson plan is to be made. When class is over a reflection of how you did is to be made. Not all schools require this but my teaching school is considered a very good one and requires it.
I teach in a pretty normal school high school for this area. There are just under 2000 students and I am fortunate it is close by. Although I have gone to two different universities before this one I must say this is by far the most emotionally draining course. All the self-reflections and feedback is like having hard therapy every time you teach. Whenever kids are acting out or being pains it all comes back to you. What did you do to allow this behaviour? What could you have done so this behaviour wasn’t started? What did you do to deal with this behaviour? bla bla bla…
I think when it is all finished then teaching could be fun but at the moment it is just plain frustrating. Fortunately I have a good relationship with all my classes and for the most part the kids are pretty cool. I have 10 more weeks which has become my mantra.