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Education reform needed

By JONATHAN BALMER
Contributing writer

State legislation recently doubled the expectations for aspiring educators to include 200 observation hours—  which sucks generally but especially at Georgetown College.

Other institutions, such as UK and Morehead State, place their “Education Methods” classes all near each other, during the day time and have what is called a “Practicum” (three weeks in which students are given off from class specifically to learn by experience in actual public school classrooms).

Georgetown, thankfully, recently gained a Practicum. But my (one) methods class meets from 3p.m.-5p.m. on Mondays. That’s not exactly prime time to go observe a classroom.

Here at Georgetown College, secondary education students, like myself, go to class in their chosen subject areas and their schedules can often leave them time to observe classrooms only outside of public school operating hours.
Suddenly, a huge-freaking-problem appears: I can no more go observe a school at 4 in the afternoon, when I am free from classes, than you can get a McGriddle from McDonald’s after 10:30 a.m. School hours, like McDonald’s breakfast, is one of the unchangeable rules all Americans must accept. However, our current class schedule at Georgetown College can neglect this common understanding. Neither my major courses or my education courses create sufficient opportunity to complete my observation hours.

I place the blame on no one individual because I know no one person is at fault. However, what Georgetown can do to help students is block methods courses. It would require quite a bit of inter-departmental cooperation, and I realize no perfect situation may be found. But other institutions have at least made efforts to accommodate education students. We need this change like Pixar’s “The Incredibles” needs a sequel. Currently, both remain a pipe dream.
Likely if change ever comes in this area, it will be too late for me. But that alone won’t stop me from hoping for the best for future aspiring pedagogues at Georgetown College.