Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update on 8th Grade

Things in 8th grade have been progressively getting better. My CT actually speaks to me now in words other than 'hello' and 'goodbye'!! She takes initiative to explain to my why she does things in the classroom in a particular way. I was able to teach in the Language Arts class all day last Tuesday. It was a lesson on immigration and it went very well. The students responded positively to me and even knew my name!!! It was great for the students to actually see me in front of the classroom, rather than just hanging out at the table in the back of the classroom. I did a spur of the moment activity with the class in which they all shared 1 sentimental item they would bring with them if they emigrated to another country. The students LOVED it and I got to learn quite a bit about them in the process....including the fact that one of the 8th grade girls has a baby!!! She said that she would bring her son with her to the new was a very awkward moment....I guess it was a good thing she wanted to bring her child??!!?? Anyway, this experience was fantastic! I was a little nervous at first, but it all felt natural after a while. Unfortunately, that was probably my only and final day of teaching in Language Arts...the students are doing a novel unit and they spend ALL of their class time reading because she does not assign reading for homework. Take a second and think about how awful it is to sit through 4 hours of either the teacher or the audio recording of the book, each and every day that I am in the classroom.....SNORE!!!

I have been teaching often in Spanish. My CT and I have been alternating days; she teaches the first lesson to class A and I teach the same lesson to class B. She has been gone all week for jury duty (from which I thought teachers were exempt) so I have been teaching all week!!! Clearly, this has pleased the substitute teachers to no end!! I try to speak as much Spanish as possible, as immersion is the only true way to learn and understand a foreign language. Contrary to what my CT in this class thinks, the students catch on quickly. I think they feel a huge sense of accomplishment when they can figure out what I'm saying without me translating for them....LOVE IT!

Word on the street is that both my Spanish and L.A. CT's have expressed to my coordinator how great of a job I am doing in the classroom and how impressed they are with my ability to deliver instruction and connect with the students....YAY ME!!! Even though they don't show it all the's good to know they're thinking it!

I only have 6 more days left in 8th grade (even though those 6 days stretch all the way until the week after thanksgiving). Even though most days I am not involved in any of the instruction in the classroom, I sit in the back and take notes on what I observe, would or wouldn't use in my own classroom. As miserable as I was the first few weeks, I decided that I would still try to take away as much as possible from this experience. As tough as this placement has been, I am still totally open to teaching in a middle school so I have to be proactive in learning as much as possible while I'm there!!

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