This week was a lot of learning for me, Karen is still injured and so I did quite a bit of co-teaching (me at the front of the classroom, her from her desk.) It was really great to have you come in and observe me. I thought that it was great for you to be able to see me teach a lesson, where I was co-teaching with not only Karen, but with the students as well. Clearly it had been quite a long time for me since I had taught reading stations. I felt that it went well; the kids had a good time and so did I. They are definitely used to jumping right in to lessons/activities. Hardly ever do I see Karen do an anticipatory set. It’s crazy how self-sustaining they really are, I feel like overall Karen and I hardly do any teaching throughout the day, a math lesson here, and a quick writing/art lesson there… Really though, the kids know what to do and they pretty much do most of their work/learning on their own.
Friday I taught my first real math lesson. I got to learn how to do the math first right alongside the kids on Thursday. Having to get up and teach the concept with confidence was a little nerve racking. Karen provided me with some great feedback however, and I was really grateful for this as I feel she is always telling me how great I am doing etc. Constructive feedback from Karen was: Getting better at scanning the room to see who is paying attention, and who I need to draw back in to the conversation/lesson. I am really great at doing this when I am not teaching, for some reason however, when I get up in front of the classroom I was unable to spot my daydreamers.
One thing Karen and I continue to clash on is how to teach the English language learners within her classroom. I was trying to give one of our students time to figure out a math problem, and Karen was quick to move on. I talked with her about it after the lesson, and she said that one on one is better for struggles this student was having vs. in front of the rest of the class – problem is that it takes away from the other kids, and then they tend to stop paying attention or get antsy. I agree and disagree with her on this, and just wonder if there is a better way to reach our ELL students where they are struggling, whether it is in front of the class or one on one.
I am looking forward to the challenge of creating an environment within my classroom that embraces more diversity. I think that when I teach my 10 lessons I will be sure to use techniques I have been learning about within my ELL class to incorporate those students, as well as find ways to support their diversity and cultural backgrounds. I’m not yet sure how I am going to go about doing this, but I am excited to see what I can come up with.
I’m looking forward to this coming week, as I do every week, plus it means that I am that much closer to being in the classroom again full time, as well as done with my own personal classes. (Well, all accept AR…) Karen is very excited for me to teach, and for her to just sit back and observe. (Though she is such a control freak I know she will never be able to just sit back and observe, which is fine by me cause it’s her class). I decided that this coming week I am going to ask Karen what projects the students are working on and requirements for those projects – I dislike having to tell students to “Ask Karen” whether or not their projects/work meets approval. I feel like in a way, students think that I don’t really know anything about what is going on within the classroom (which isn’t true) and that I’m not that knowledgeable (which is also not true.) Also this upcoming week I am going to run my first reading group, I am pretty excited about that… I love reading, and am interested to see how I do with answering and grading students reading questions.