some questions about the program
i was accepted for secondary school biology and am looking forward to the summer, but there are some things i'm concerned/would like more information about. i attended the reception, and it was helpful, but there wasn't enough time for all the questions everyone had. would there be anyone who would be able to answer the following, particularly relating to biology if possible? if the list is too long, i apologize, and i can put it under a cut if it's cluttering the screen.
-i understand people's concerns are more of where their school is going to be, but are the programs between schools more or less the same? if not, what determines if the quality of one is better than another? do people usually have preferences, and if so, why? i heard from some that the program is not very worthwhile, but haven't really heard from the other side. is this true?
-are you allowed to take classes outside of the courses required for the degree (for example, in addition to science education classes, i'm interested in just a science class)? if so, does the fellowship cover it? the website says they don't cover "outside core courses" but i'm not sure what that means.
-i understand experiences with professors and mentors vary, but overall, how was your experience with them? did you feel that their guidance improved your teaching presence?
the job search process (i'm pretty worried about this one)
-how many people found positions in the 2012 year? do you know under what circumstance some fellows were not able to secure a position? i've noticed there were much more special ed fellows than there were science fellows, and although it has been a few years, read that it was harder for biology teachers to get hired. is this still the situation?
-when should we send out our resumes? for people with severely limited experience, what can we do to maximize our desirability? what makes a resume highly marketable? i want to secure a position as soon as possible, but how can i when i haven't even done full practice lessons yet?
-this is very important to me: how do you find a school with a supportive administration? how would you know they are supportive? did you visit many schools over a period of time? visit websites? any pointers on how to find the school that fits for you? how did you find the school you wanted to work with?
-in the case that the administration doesn't feel supportive: how did you cope? where did you turn to for support?
classroom - i know we'll learn and apply the summer, but it's nice to hear firsthand accounts and approaches from current fellows
-what did you think made for effective classroom management? what were some of the hardest things you experienced in the classroom, and how did you go about working on it?
-how do you work with students who are overly aggressive? have you dealt with a student who was physically violent, or threatened you?
-how should one best present him/herself to the class? being true to oneself is important, but how do you do that while keeping the class in check?
-how do you plan your lessons? where do you get your ideas from? what do you use as resources? if you didn't have a general curriculum provided by the school, do you go online to get an idea of how the curriculum should go? what if you had a school with a curriculum that gives you no freedom, how did you handle that?
-supplies: is funding provided by the school? if not, how much do you spend, what do you spend it on? if it is provided by the school, same question: how much do you spend, and what do you spend it on?
-where do you keep your belongings?
- am i allowed to teach outside of my content area?
- do you feel stressed out in the beginning? does it feel less stressful as time goes on?
- how was the balance between teaching and schooling?
thank you in advance! i know this is a lot, and some of these may be very silly, but if anyone would be able to answer it, i would really appreciate it!