Observation 4 (Winter)
I have to remember that I am my worst critic, with the exception of my CT of course, whose thought provoking questions have really helped me grow. I spent a few hours last night perfecting a lesson plan in which I would put students in groups of four. Each student would have a task: to find a quote that shows either thought/feeling, action, appearance or dialogue of Melinda. I had planned on placing students with varying abilities within groups and felt that letting students interact with the text in a group setting would be a great change of pace for them. I want them to enjoy what we are reading and I feel that if I spend too much more time on guided reading activities, that they will loose their interest in what is going on with the novel and also in the class in general.Upon my arrival at the school, I asked my CT a few questions and after we got to talking, ended up throwing out the original plan entirely and going more toward a more traditional approach. I spent my prep. period typing up the procedure portion of the new lesson plan and perfected some things that he and I had discussed in an earlier meeting about an observation he did on me yesterday. We discussed that my transitions are taking a considerable amount of time during class and because of that, I am not using the time allotted to have students learn the maximum amount of time possible. We also discussed classroom management. We discussed that I have no problems getting students to be quiet but that he is not always convinced that they are engaged.
I took this news to heart and immediately started thinking about how I could engage all 33 students in my class. A weakness that I have discussed with my CT previously is that I am used to being able to have one on one interactions with students and there just is not time for this during class. I really just need to take a deep breath and know that I will not have all students engaged at all times. However, I’m not really a fan of this. I think about things like class size and wonder if I would be able to keep 20 students engaged or 10. I wonder if I had been at the school since September if my presence would be more powerful and the learning community that I had built would enforce a better learning community.
Because I value personal relationships I have a hard time not knowing how each student is doing at every moment during class. This causes me to be easily distracted because I go student by student asking if they understand and how they are doing. I also get caught up in trying to herd 33 students through an activity and I’m unable to read their facial expressions or stop and feel their energy.
I want my students to get a balance of both academic success and personal growth within my classroom. It’s hard when I don’t feel like I am giving them this opportunity.