It was very interesting reading about Wagner's experience as a teacher in training. I'm having the best experiences with my master teachers. They have/are providing me with so many opportunities for learning and for practicing. They have provided me with the freedom to try what I want, guide me where they have previous experience and support me in all of my current career and school endeavors. They have each instilled me with a confidence and a feeling of preparedness in this career that I did not expect to have for many more years.
Wagner believes that teacher preparation programs are terrible because the required classes are irrelevant to teaching, and students do not get useful feedback on their lessons or performance. Wagner sees the current teacher preparation programs like receiving a high school diploma. “What one has to do to become certified as a teacher or administrator is nearly identical to what students have to do for a high school diploma—take a disjointed collection of courses of uneven quality and the pass tests that rarely measure the skills that matter most" (Wagner p. 148).
I believe I am very different from many of my peers as I see our current courses and curriculum as relevant to my teaching. Maybe not everything, but there are key pieces in our courses that help us to become more effective teachers. Teaching is a profession that is forever evolving and there is not enough time to teach everything we need to know. I believe our program does the best they can to prepare us in the short 9 months we have with them. Wagner finds that his own teaching was trial and error. He did a lot well, but he didn’t understand why it went well and couldn’t articulate what he was doing right. I believe a great teacher education program can be discovered by trial and error as well. There is no right way to educate a future educator (though there are many wrong ways!). I believe our current teachers in this program try new things with us and keep what works, tweaks what needs tweaking and scrapes what doesn't work. I know that they took our feedback and reflections from our first semester and made changes to our second semester after hearing from us. And that is what an effective teacher preparation program should do; they should be constantly evolving.
I feel extremely prepared to be a teacher from my teacher preparation program. I would design the program very similar to how it is now. It's not perfect and it's a lot of work, but I am learning something new every day and evolving as an educator every day because of it. I would reflect each semester and year of the program to see what worked well, what needs to be tweaked and what needs to be scared based off my observations and feedback from the students.