Soap Ducks, Sore Backs & Succotash by Randy DeVillez

Soap Ducks, Sore Backs, & Succotash

by Randy DeVillez

I was an education major for a while in undergraduate school. Several situations led to my switching to a B.A. in English. The first event occurred when my Ed. Psych. teacher, delivering the same lecture two days in a row (not intentionally), while excitedly flapping his arms, spitting (due to his lisp) and drawing an imaginary bell curve in the air, executed a perfect face plant from the podium in front of the lecture hall, landing nose and chin into the lap of the pretty brunette sitting in front of me. Although I was envious, I was not impressed. I also knew I would have to endure other courses with him. The next week, my Introduction to Education instructor told us to bring a new bar of Ivory Soap for carving soap ducks the next class period. He also assigned me (an English-teacher-to-be) to shadow a physical education teacher at one of the local grade schools for my “field experience.” While I enjoyed my time with the coach and really liked him, I can’t say I was learning anything to help me teach college English.

When I thought of the tuition I was paying at a small private college to monitor kickball and carve soap ducks, I decided to switch to a liberal arts degree and double up on courses in my major. I skipped education classes and certification, figuring all the extra course work in my major and minor would help me get into graduate school and give me a better background for college teaching. In retrospect, the decision was a correct one, but my lack of training in education often surfaced during my thirty years in the classroom. I learned lessons experientially from my students and colleagues that I wish to pass on to anyone else following in my academic footsteps, anyone who is considering becoming a teacher.

ONE: Avoid giving your students a headache or backache. Continue reading “Soap Ducks, Sore Backs & Succotash by Randy DeVillez”