Mr. McGurn Reflects on Teacher Training

TJ Janiak, Staff Writer

Mr. McGurn, an English teacher at Pinkerton Academy, is most passionate about teaching and the Cincinnati Bengals. In his free time, he likes to play pick-up basketball and listen to music. 

In addition to these hobbies, he also likes to read. His interests mainly include books that focus on the bigger picture. In other words, books that explore existential questions such as “What’s the point?” or books that explore more out-of-the-box,  abstract topics. 

What prepared McGurn to become a teacher was his partnership with a public school when he attended Ohio University.

“All the classes I had were led by teachers who taught at the school, so I learned stuff that I would put into practice,” said McGurn. “I think that combination of classroom learning was really effective.”

 After finishing his undergraduate  degree at Ohio University, he “had around 500 hours of experience” and expressed that “most students in traditional education programs only get around 100. So I was able to see what a classroom was like,” said McGurn.

This experience gave him the benefit of seeing a lot and mentally preparing myself for what teaching was.

When comparing the numbers from 500 hours of experience to 100 hours of experience in a traditional teacher prep system, there is a huge difference in someone’s preparedness entering the workforce. McGurn believes extensive experience translates into overall effectiveness of a teacher. 

Most educators would agree that experience in the classroom early on allows future teachers to get a better understanding of teaching as a career. 

“Nothing’s better than a crash course,” said McGurn. “Learning all of the hoops that we have to jump through and all the requirements: junior essay, senior essay, for example. Nothing could have prepared me for that except doing it.”