My Apprenticeship Of Observation

My Apprenticeship Of Observation

A Story by Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo
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Apprenticeship of Observation Essay

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I know that my first year’s salary won’t buy me an Audi R8 Coupe. I know it won’t be easy. But, my apprenticeship of observation has convinced me that I belong in the education field. The apprenticeship of observation is the knowledge student teachers arrive for their training courses having spent thousands of hours as schoolchildren observing and evaluating professionals in action. Dan Lortie came up with the term, he argued that it  was highly responsible for many of the preconceptions that pre-service student teachers hold about teaching. (Lortie, 1975) One of the consequences of this apprenticeship period is that student teachers fail to realize that the aspects of teaching which they perceived as students represented only a partial view of the teacher’s job.

I love firsts. It says something about an unwalked path, a new beginning. Well I’m the first born at home and this is why it might come to make sense. I am the beginner of many things at home, even with the journey of teaching. Yes, it’s just me. It’s safe and interesting to say that even at family gatherings I’ll surely be the only one formally speaking the language of education.

During my 12 years of schooling, which I believe was way more. I believed that I could be anything I wanted to be in the world. I used my imagination limitlessly because of being exposed to various ideas through high school. The idea of being a lot of different things at once resonated within me. With my love for children I had to find a way to have many of them without ever having to give birth to them. I wanted to be part of something great, be part of the future even though this will be history. To make a difference, to shape minds. With my school experience, a bittersweet one to say, I know that teachers are the reason I am the person I am today. Teachers usually had time for me. Knew me as an individual along with my interests, and that opened up my opportunities. I then wanted to do the same for the next generation, the disadvantaged youth who might not obtain the same opportunities as me. Taking the education I had to them at no cost.

This is something I was already doing when I volunteered most of my free time to a nearby orphanage home to help kids with their schoolwork. This for me is closely related to having knowledge about teaching from working in schools. I might not have been in a school setting while doing it, but I gained a sense of what teaching is really like. The reality of the inequalities in our schools remains a reality, there are high school students who still struggle to read and write. Schools with a lack of functional infrastructure. Teacher shortages. Disciplinary problems. An education system that doesn’t benefit all. With such problems in the system, passion can take you far.

I want to be a teacher. No, it wasn’t my second option but first. I want to work beyond the limits of the classroom and everyday challenges in the life of a teacher. I want to birth the minds of the future. As Rita Peterson says in her Ted Talk, “Every child deserves a CHAMPION!” I want to be that champion, to never give up on them, to understand the power of connection and insist that they become the best they could possibly be. I want to live with my heart on my sleeve, unapologetically.

© 2018 Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo


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Added on April 17, 2018
Last Updated on April 17, 2018

Author

Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo
Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo

Piet Retief, South Africa



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