Saturday, February 14, 2009

Watching and Applying

Often in teacher education programs the words of individualized instruction are thrown around to discuss how individual students learn. I have learned throughout my time at AHS all about individualized instruction and how it fits with students that it was about time I learned it for myself. So while I have been here I have discovered how I learn best: by watching other people teach.

A few weeks ago I blogged about a teacher who taught her English Literature class and then the ideas I took back to my classroom on how she deals with students and how she runs her classroom. This week I had the privilege of watching two other faculty members teach. One was a film class that was a co-taught environment. It was really neat to see how they ran the discussion – based on the students. They did not bring up their own ideas until the end; instead, they let the students run discussion. Also the staff were both facing different parts of the classroom so that each one was able to see different students so as to call on a variety of people from across the room. Overall, the content was polished and well presented to the students in a hard room to teach in. I also went and watching an AP Literature class. The teacher was introducing Oscar Wilde to the students and they had to read articles and poems by him. Then they were given note cards and put a line or two on there that they thought was important. From there they got into groups based on their article and formed a small group presentation / tableau presentation. It was really neat to see how the teacher tied the content to the students to them being really creative.

What amazes me the most is that I learn so much by watching other people teach, and then apply that to my own teaching. So I continue to set-up appointments and go see other people teach. The more I watch, the more I learn, the more I apply, the better I teach, the more I reflect, the more I change, and finally, the more I learn.