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Teacher Interview with Kadhir Rajagopal

How did your teacher preparation program train you for teaching?

It motivates the teacher candidates to specifically go to urban schools to reach students who are at risk. But most of my classes though were about teaching and learning. You know, they were about the actual art of teaching and learning. I learned, yes I did learn a lot of things about the basics of teaching, you know, how to plan objective, how to plan a lesson, how to make relationships with students. I learned a few things definitely. Do I think it adequately prepares teachers for urban teaching in an inner-city classroom? I don’t think it adequately prepares teachers enough for that. I think most of the learning that happens, especially in an inner-city classroom, happens in the classroom, it happens on the job. There’s, you know, there’s students with so many problems, issues, challenges. They’re way below grade level, they got attitudes. There’s a lot of things that are left out in teacher credential programs, and maybe it’s hard to address in a teacher credential program. Maybe you really have to learn it on the job. There’s so many things…90% of what I’ve learned is on the job.

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