My Idea: Making Teacher Prep More Like Scrubs

Imagine if Teacher Prep programs were more like the hit TV Show Scrubs!

While I have been accused of having ridiculous fantasies, I actually think this idea has some merit.

I mean, doctors have “Teaching Hospitals” (as seen on ER, Scrubs, and House), why don’t we have “Teaching Schools”*? A place where first years (new teachers) walk around the school with department heads discussing what they see in the classroom and how it can be improved.

It would probably look something like this…

The following scene takes place in a school with classes behind two-way mirrors (like ones that can be found in interrogation rooms on TV shows). The Department Head leads a group of first years around the school.

Department Head: “Milton! Tell me what you see here.”

Me: “A class, sir.”

Department Head: “If I wanted an answer that vague, I’d ask a politician!” (To make this feel more sitcom- ish, I made the department head sardonic. For the overall storyline, this is a necessity.)

Me: “A class of students watching the teacher give a lecture. From the look of the drool on that student’s notebook, this has been going on for 30 minutes.”

Department Head: “How do you propose to fix this?”

Me: “Interaction, sir. I would begin class with an introductory activity bridging prior learning to what we’ll cover today, move into a short lecture, begin an activity that demonstrates the principles of the lecture, and, finally, debrief it with the class. In general, I would recommend switching gears every 20 or so minutes.”

The scene continues with clever wit, discussion, and music by The Fray.

OK, so this may not be the ideal situation. There do seem to be a few problems. First, I imagine few teachers would actually want to teach at said school. Second, parents may object to 2-way mirrors being installed into their community. Third, I haven’t actually heard The Fray’s new albums so maybe we should use Of Monsters and Men instead.

I realize that in order to teach, we go through an education program, student teaching, and eventually, at least in Massachusetts, an induction program.

But a little of me just wants to be on Scrubs.
*When I typed “Teaching Schools” I chuckled a bit. I am fairly certain that every school really is a “Teaching School.”

A note about the title: Scrubs devotees will understand.

_________________

This article is also posted on Michael’s personal blog michaelkmilton.com where he shares ideas and lessons from his classroom.

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