EduMagic: a guide for pre-service teachers
The back cover of EduMagic suggests that it “challenges the thought that ‘teaching’ beings only after graduation.” Author, Professor Sam Fecich believes that pre-service teachers have “value to offer their future colleagues” and I have to agree with her.
I spent some time talking with Fecich recently and she definitely practices what she preaches.
I’ve also had the opportunity to work with one of her students through a virtual co-op which has been mutually beneficial for both me and the student. Given that experience, I was excited to dive into Fecich’s book, EduMagic: a guide for pre-service teachers.
The table of contents immediately made me smile. Very cute that she uses an acronym to lay out the content of the book.
The entire guide maintains a very informal, coffee shop conversational vibe, which I much prefer to a stuffy textbook. It is the same vibe that I try to achieve with my own book: A Wannabe Teacher’s Guide: getting hired, having fun & staying sane.
I also love how her theme of eduMAGIC carries throughout the entire book. Each chapter begins with a quote from the likes of Harry Potter and The Princess Bride. She continually reminds readers that they have the magic within them.
My only complaint is a lack of visual content. I wish there were some photographs or charts to compliment the useful information.
Advice from EduMagic that I wish I’d had when I was in college.
1. Get to know your professors outside the classroom over a cup of coffee or lunch.
I always viewed my professors as so far above me that they wouldn’t be interested in getting to know me on a more personal level, or my story of why I wanted to become a teacher. I did not get to know any of my professors on a lasting level and I regret that.
2. Google is your new resume
Google was a fairly new entity when I was in college, but these days potential employers will look to Google to get a sense of who you are. I love how Fecich gives her students an assignment (described in the book) which requires them to Google themselves and then reflect on what they find.
I actually put a similar workshop style post on the blog recently as part of my 5 steps to being a better candidate series.
3. Gone are the days of a binder portfolio
As Fecich puts it in Edumagic, “a digital portfolio is an online repository and centralized place to show off your edumagic.” Fecich lists the pages she recommends including explanations. This section is worth a read and can be paired with my step-by-step guide to creating an online portfolio.
4. Always be ok with making a mistake
As a very type A person, it took me a while to take risks and learn through “failures” and mistakes. Fecich reminds readers that “learning isn’t always reflected in a grade like an A+, sometimes learning takes the form of failing.”
5. Get out of the classroom
I wish someone had told me to get out of my “hole” (my classroom) more to better myself as an educator. I didn’t participate in an edcamp until I was in my 10th year of teaching. Now I help facilitate them in my building. Edcamps, conferences, and even social media can be invaluable for professional development.
Quoteables from Edumagic
“The seeds that you plant in someone’s life will grow faster than you may ever know.” (page 4)
“You are NEVER just a teacher. You have the power to influence the lives of your students for better or worse, for good or bad.” That my friend, is the secret. You can impact the world. Don’t let anyone say that you can’t.” (page 14)
“Don’t just teach your students the way you were taught — you are teaching a new generation of students.” (page 24)
On professional learning networks (PLN): “Don’t collect followers like Pokemon but engage and grow with your followers and those you are following.” (page 43). (PS. follow Fecich @Sfecich and me at @ATeachersGuide on Twitter.