Tuesday, September 23, 2008

je ne comprends pas

Yesterday I went to pay a little visit to my old stretch math class.  The one that when I think about it it hurts just a little bit that I don't get to teach it.  It was my baby.  Those kids, I miss them.  True I was super frustrated with them at times, but I love them.  Really wanting to understand their learning issues taught me so much about being a better teacher.  (gag, I'm sorry, I'll stop now.)

So I visited.  And observed a lesson by the teacher who is not me.  Typically the same resource teacher who was in with me would be in the class but she had meetings so I opted to fill in.  Since the beginning of the year we have been trying to support the teacher who took over for moi - securing planning time, bringing in experts who really helped me out in the beginning, etc.  I have been very pleasantly surprised with how easy my replacement has been to work with.  Considering all possibilities, we've had an excellent working relationship.

Now, I'm trying to wrap my brain around what I observed and how to best approach the issue, if I can address it at all.  Said teacher is going through notes with the students, but the vocabulary is way out of their league.  The examples and speed are excellent!  The notes, they are making little to no sense for the kids.  Teacher keeps bringing focus back to how they don't need to worry about the notes, about how the examples are what are important, but is still having them copy out the notes.  The ones that make no sense with the accompanying explanations, and will certainly make no sense later without an explanation.  

So after the lesson we are chatting, this that and the other thing.  I decide I should lightly give a little critisism (after of course complimenting the speed and clarity of examples) and point out how the notes were an obstacle for them - not understanding makes many students shut down before they even arrive at the examples.  Teacher replies with "Oh I know, that's why I kept putting emphasis on how they weren't really important."  I didn't know how to tactfully say that they should have been removed then but couldn't think of a way to approach this.  

Today, I am still annoyed.  Seriously, freaking cross them out with an overhead marker.  Tell them not to copy them.  WHATEVER.   I don't understand why you would have them do things that you know are useless, not just useless actually but counter productive.  Last time I checked one of the learning outcomes was not printing practice.

I know I make tons of mistakes in my teaching.  All the time really.  Likely at least once an hour if not more.  I don't understand purposefully doing things in a way that make your job more difficult in the long run though.  

1 comment:

Not So French Girl said...

And yet I know I do it all the time...

I'm glad that you liked most of what she was doing. How goes the learning leadership?