Top Navigation Bar

Quote About Dandelions

"You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."

-- Hal Borland

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Adventures in Student Observing

There have been so many little adventures over the past few weeks that I've been observing at a local high school. I am required to write a journal-type report after each visit and I thought it would be fun to share my latest writings.

*All names have been changed in order to protect students' privacy
In order to accomplish the necessary planning for the lesson I am to teach in Vet Science, I am keeping track of where my CT is with her lessons and I have spent time with her going over the objectives. The lesson I will be teaching is on animal nutrition and reading feed labels. My CT employs several strong teaching techniques into all of her lessons and I will be sure to do the same. She has a portion where she introduces the new vocabulary and has students come up with definitions in their own words and then she teaches them mnemonics to help them remember the meanings. I plan on using some of her strategies and then combining them with some of my own. I am also consulting another agriculture teacher who is a recent graduate and using his ideas to inspire my lesson.
I enjoy the time before classes start and in-between classes because the teachers take time to talk with me about what works and what doesn’t in their classes, and how they deal with different situations in the school system. The CTs offer opinions on everything you could think of and I am enjoying being in their company. On the other hand, I have noticed that they enjoy the classes they teach because there is not too much pressure on them to have fantastic test scores on standardized tests, and because of this they don’t teach material as well as they might otherwise. This influences a n increasing concern I have - that I will fall into the mindset that agriculture classes don’t really matter and I’ll become too lax in my approach to teaching. The best way I can see to avoid this is to stay current in both global agricultural news and educational news. I will need to constantly remind myself and my students the real-world impact of what they are learning.  
I’ve discovered over the past five visits how careful I need to be with the words I speak to teachers and students. If I am too approachable for the students, I lose authority and have to backtrack to regain it. If I am not careful, my willingness to participate in instructing the class can be misinterpreted as overstepping my bounds and I have to work to regain the teacher’s acceptance of my help.
I have been on the lookout, so to speak, for the effects of the “No Bully” program. Today I witnessed a scene in my third-block class that both warmed my heart and made me angry. The turf class is composed of junior and senior guys who are fairly well behaved. There is one boy (I’ll call him, “Ian”) who is usually in special-education classes due to mental development issues, but because he helps his father with his landscaping business he requested to take the turf class. Today another classmate - “George” - swiped Ian’s hat in-between classes and hid it from him in the classroom – I didn’t realize what was going on until later or I would have stepped in at this point. Ian came into the class red-faced and upset because he couldn't find his hat. George sat and watched Ian get more and more upset, until yet another classmate - “Phillip” - noticed what was going on and demanded that George return Ian’s hat to him post haste and dared him to even think about picking on Ian again. The hat was returned, albeit some eye-rolling, and no more was mentioned of the matter by the boys. I was more than a little upset that someone would pick on a special-needs student – or any student for that matter – but I was excited to see that there were students willing to stop the bullying head-on. Now, as to whether or not that student stepped up because of the program, I am not sure. I will ask around next week to get the teacher’s input.    

            Something else that has been very encouraging to me is the principal’s encouragement for me to continue coming even after I am finished with my ten visits. Ms. C would like for me to stay involved with the agriculture program at her school. I talked with the teachers and we’ve agreed that I will start attending their FFA meetings so that I can both learn about how that club works and stay involved in the school. 

No comments:

Post a Comment