HS introduces new course: “Exploring Teaching as a Profession”

on November 30, 2018

In the months ahead, we will be going behind the scenes in our school buildings and district departments to better familiarize our community with the people who make up the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District.

In our first installment of M-W MATTERS, meet Michelle Bulla, English Department Chair, who invites us into her high school classroom as she teaches a new course, “Exploring Teaching as a Profession.” In the brief video, Mrs. Bulla describes how the the idea for the course evolved and her goals for the students who participate. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will include students’ perspectives of the new course and Part 3, during which Mrs. Bulla describes her unconventional path to finding her passion in teaching. Meet the #mwfam!

Outlined below is more detailed information about the new course and how it came to be at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

Excerpts from a conversation with English Department Chair Michelle Bulla regarding “Exploring Teaching as a Profession”

Q: How did you come up with the concept for the new course?
A: We offer a number of “university in the high school classes” here – from SUNY Albany – and they pushed out a new class for this fall called “Exploring Teaching as a Profession” and I thought it was an amazing idea. It is an opportunity for our students to explore a profession that a number of our students and former graduates do go into. We polled students – current seniors – and the feedback was overwhelming.

Q: How was curriculum designed?
A: The syllabus for the course actually came from SUNY Albany – they gave an outline of specific items that the course needed to address, like an introduction to educational philosophy, pedagogy, the requirements to get a teaching certificate, and topics like that. I had to flesh out a syllabus that aligned with their expectations and gave me an opportunity to give students a chance to be really hands-on, and practical, in the work they are doing. We wanted them to do a little bit of teaching, and get into teachers’ classrooms and do observing of actual teachers. And we’ve been able to do that.

Q: What does a week in the classroom look like?
A: I have put a number of things in place to keep the students both immersed in the current field – education is in the news all the time and there are things that happen all the time that affect what we do in schools. On Mondays, we call it “Media Mondays,” and one student starts class by telling us about teachers or education that was in the news. On Wednesdays, another student will start class with an article that addresses some event and talk about how that event may impact education. For example, a student addressed the recent hurricane and how a community was dealing with their school being demolished. Students had an interesting conversation about how schools are not only houses for education, but also serve a really important function in society.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Students’ Perspective!