Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Lesson Two

Andrea and I walked in to the classroom ready to give this teaching thing another try.  We were prepared, we were fairly confident, and we were ready to have some fun.  Our co-op arrived about five minutes after us and proceeded to tell us that it has not been a good week so far; it was only Wednesday how bad could it be.  The students were not cooperating, they were getting in trouble, doing things they have never done before, and being called to the principle’s office.  It had only been two days.  We continued on with our pre-conferences and were able to get finished before the students arrived in the classroom.  Because we were done our conferences our co-op thought that we would like to go with the students when they went to french class.  We were excited about this.  We could see the students in a different surrounding and see another teacher’s teaching style.  When we got to the french classroom the teacher said that we could not stay.  She did not feel comfortable with us observing the class.  At first it was no big deal to me; I do not liked to be watched and critiqued either so we went back to the classroom and corrected some math assignments.  Some of the questions I had to really think about, but I was able to figure them out so I did not feel too dumb.  Anyway back to the point.  The next day the more I thought about it and talked about it with my colleagues it bothers me that she would not let us observe.  These were our students just as much as they are hers or our co-op’s, why couldn’t we observe how they are reacting in a different environment.  The principle could come in at any point and observe her teaching.  What is the big deal?  She would have had to intern herself when she was a student so she knows where we are coming from and what we are there for.  I just do not understand why we could not observe our students in a different surrounding.

After recess Adrea taught her math lesson and it went excellent.  I am so happy for her that she had such a great lesson and the students were engaged and she managed the classroom so well.  After lunch it was my turn to teach my social lesson.  I had an introductory lesson on the Interior Plains region of Canada; tough to make that exciting.  I knew right from the start that things were not going to go very well.  The students came back in after lunch and were just crazy with energy and my lesson was going to be kind of dull and boring.  I tried my hardest to figure out how to make the lesson exciting but without the oportunity to use some technology I could not figure out how.  I taught my lesson and made some minor changes to the original plan but there was no hope.  The students just did not want to learn what I was trying to teach them.  I had two students that would not be quiet and knew all the answers to my questions, three students that were not wanting to talk at all, and one student that did not want anything to do with the lesson no matter how much I tried to reach him.  I felt like a failure once the lesson was done.  It really upset me.  Once our co-op and Andrea post-conferenced with me and I looked at the students sheets I felt better about the lesson.  I did not fail I just did the best I could with what I had to work with.  After the afternoon recess I had the opportunity to work with the one boy who wanted nothing to do with my lesson one on one.  He did not do anything on his sheet so we went out in the hall to work on it together.  I was able to teach him and he listened and understood.  We talked and I think that we connected a bit.  We then went to phys ed and I was joining in with the movement lesson that our co-op was teaching.  I was doing one of the movements wrong.  Out of the blue, he ran over beside me and showed me how to do it and took off again.  The time in the hall and him coming over to help me made up for how I felt after my lesson.  I know I connected a bit with him and now I hope I can continue that connection.



October 24, 2008 - Posted by | Pre-internship

1 Comment »

  1. The fact the teacher wouldn’t let you observe is indicative of the isolated nature of teaching. The shift to transparency and support is something you are already experiencing together with your partner and coop together not to mention the fact that you’re sharing your experiences, both good and bad here.

    The assumption that teaching is done in isolation would also infer that it’s easy enough to do on your own. You already know it’s not easy and having to go it alone doesn’t help.

    Even a veteran teacher should be not only willing to share but should be involved in making efforts to constantly improve. Even the best, especially the best will never relent at improvement, seeking advice, wanting to be better than they were yesterday. I think things are changing but there are still those who aren’t interested in collaboration or transparency. They will be the losers in the end.

    Comment by Dean Shareski | October 24, 2008

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