Friday, October 21, 2011

Observation Day 2

Today was my 2nd day in the school.  It was far different from my first.  It was slightly less overwhelming and yet more serious.

Let's see.  The things that were better today centered around feeling more comfortable in the building.  In the past, I've only ever been in large schools when using the gym and I've always felt a slight panic about being somewhere where I'm not supposed to be.  This morning I walked into the staff room (behind very non descript doors) and hung my jacket.  I had a chance to chat with a few teachers before easily finding my classroom.  My mentor teacher had an exam in Block 3 - so I went for a walk around the school.  I saw some amazing art hanging on the walls, I saw alot of kids late for class, and some who seemed like they weren't planning to get there.  But it felt good.  I'm not sure why, but I felt alot more like I belonged. 

The more serious things centered around again the idea that the students are really in the hands of their teachers.  If the teacher doesn't teach them something (either does so badly, or not at all) then the kids don't learn it.  I had a chance to talk with a new teacher who had a spare, and she was working through the issue of thinking that her tests might be too hard.  I think I still find that slightly overwhelming.  The prospect of in 2 or 3 years, I'll be the one making decisions about stuff like that.  And my mentor teacher had someone in to give him ideas about how to improve his class.  He asked for that because he feels that one of his classes is struggling.  I'm still thinking about why that's overwhelming.  I guess it's having the confidence in your own abilities to recognize that you've reached a point where you need help and that isn't a negative on you. 

But it was a good day.  A long day - 7:30 to 4:30.  But - I had fun.  I was even brave enough to get off my ass and walk around the classroom and lurk near the front to help with demos.  That was a big step.  I think I was getting too comfy at the back of the room.  I had to break out of that.  So I did. 

I'm sure I'll think of more later when my brain starts to dump what I saw and learned.  But this is enough for now. 

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