• John is a second year teacher who has
just been given his teaching assignment
for next September. He is a French major
with a minor in physics and has done
methods courses in each. Next year his
teaching assignment includes courses in
each of these areas plus one section of
• Marie is a teacher with over twenty years
experience. She is firm and confident both
in the classroom and the staffroom; she
freely offers advice, especially to the
younger, inexperienced staff members. If
one is ever in need of an opinion, ask
Exchange # 1
John: How am I supposed to teach
geography when I haven’t even done an
undergraduate course in it? As a matter of
fact I haven’t even studied it since grade
Marie: Oh, stop whining. You’ve got plenty
of time to read the textbook, and if you’ve
read it, you can teach it. No sweat!
John: I know I have plenty of time to READ
the text, but I’m not sure how I will retain
the specifics of the whole course
throughout the year. I have the same
number of preps as I had last year with my
Marie: Look, simply stay one class ahead.
You can read faster than they can.
John: What am I going to do about resources? I
don’t have anything to use outside the text.
Annette has been teaching this for years and
she has resource material on every section.
Marie: See if she will give you some worksheets
and book the computer lab for once a week for
them to look-up vocabulary words. (You have to
keep them busy so they won’t have time to surf
for porn or steal the mouse balls.)
John: Maybe I can learn the specific material for
the course, but I don’t know anything about the
“big picture” of geography. What if students ask
me questions about things not in the text?
Marie: Wing it. Bluff your way through it. You’re
smarter than they are. Never let them know that
you ‘don’t know’ or they will question
everything you try to teach them. Baffle them
with bulls…… well, you know.