A Pedagogical Comparison of Two Secondary School Teachers
Phillips, Arthur James Hindovei
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I served my student internship at Portage Central High School, during the fall of 1999, the last school year of the millennium, a fitting date, because at times my internship seemed to be infected by some strange manner of Y2K disturbance or virus. Part of the awkwardness of my student internship--at least the part that could not be considered self-inflicted--came from the fact that I had been placed in the charge of two mentor teachers. As an apprentice member of the profession, there is the temptation to become entranced and to spend three pages extolling the many native virtues of all my future teaching confederates. But I would feel compelled to admit that teachers tend to be territorial and detail oriented, especially in the case of English teachers. Perhaps mastering the particulars of punctuation and syntax change the chemistry of the human frontal lobe, but both of my mentor teachers had their own distinctive and forceful way of directing their classroom, and their individual styles bear examination. In the interest of protecting the privacy of both saint and sinner, fair and foul, my mentor teachers will be discussed under the aliases Mrs. Pasteur and Mrs. Poodle. It is my impression that a comparison of their teaching styles works best when taken from the vantage point of the first day of school. Even as students walk into each of these teacher's classrooms for the very first time, these students are already witnessing different approaches to teaching.