Posted in Secondary Education Preparation

Secondary Education 276: Learning About Teaching

In the class Exploration of Teaching (ScEd 276R), you create lesson plans and practice those plans with your fellow education majors. Above is a clip from my very first practice teaching experience in ScED 276R. 

Registering for college classes can be a daunting task.  Personally, when it comes to making my course schedule, I have to plan out my classes long in advance. Once I do this, I wait for the day of registration, and then stay up until midnight  so that I can be the very first person to sign up for the sections I need. Last year, however, I almost had a meltdown. I was planning on registering for my very first education class, ScEd 276R. As I was registering, I was given the option to pick whether this class would be worth four credits or three. It never occurred to me that I had to choose. Was there a difference? I didn’t want to make a mistake and sign up for the wrong number of credits. I started to panic! It was then that I realized that I should have done my ‘homework’ on the class before getting to this point.

I have talked to a number of secondary education majors who experienced similar anxiety when they registered for their 276R classes. Few secondary education majors understand what to expect from this class since it is their first class dedicated to teaching. Hence, I thought I’d dedicate a post to answer a few questions and relate my experience with ScEd 276R.

ScEd 276R is a sort of rite of passage for future teachers since it is an introduction to the field of education. The class broadly covers educational topics such as classroom management, methods of instruction, and even educational legislation. While the class is required for all secondary education majors, not all 276R classes are labeled as ‘ScEd’. English Teaching majors, for example, the class is labeled as ENGL 276R. Despite the different name, the class is the same. This leads to an important point: you must sign up for the class that matches with your area of specialty. A Mathematics Education major must sign up for a 276R class dedicated to math education, not to any other specialty like Social Science Teaching. You will need to check which class sections go to which teaching specialty.

Then there is the matter of assigning credits to the class. Most students freak out when given the option to choose how many credits the class will be worth—three credits or four. From my experience, there is no difference between in the number of credits the class is worth. Contrary to popular belief on college credits, 276R will not be ‘easier’ because you assigned the class fewer credits.  Then why do you get the option to chose? This ensures that no one taking 276R will exceed their credit limit for one semester. If you are taking a heavy course load with 276R, you might want to consider only assigning three credits to the class.  If you are taking the class during a light semester, you should assign the class four credits.

It is also important to know that, with a few exceptions, most 276R classes are block classes that meet every day for four hours. Be prepared for a lot of work in a short amount of time! Many students register for their Adolescent Development class and Multicultural class in their second block. These classes are required for most secondary education majors and are also block classes designed to fit in your schedule after your 276R block is over.

I found 276R to be extremely helpful. Of course each program will have different objectives for the course, and each professor will teach the course differently. When I took 276R I observed teaching in actual classrooms in Utah County, taught occasional lessons, and worked one-on-one with students. As mentioned above, each week we taught an additional lesson to our fellow classmates and had our professor give us feedback on our teaching.

As with most classes, I am sure each professor does things differently. I’d love to hear about any of your experiences with ScEd 276R. Please comment below to share your thoughts on the class or add details that I may have missed.

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