So, without further ado, here are some highlights of the past few weeks.
- Had my first observation with my university supervisor. My lack of nervousness surprised me. The more time I spend in the classroom, the more I know that is where I am supposed to be. He gave me some useful feedback about what I was doing well at and what I should start trying to focus more on. Our follow-up conference was interesting because my professor has no experience with teaching in high school. All of his teaching and research has been done at the elementary level.
- Survived my first SURPRISE observation by the school's principal. My cooperating teacher had left me in charge of the class for a few minutes while she walked a student to the office. Several minutes later she had not returned. I had started pondering whether or not I should begin going over the bellwork when the principal walked in the door and sat down to observe. So, I just started teaching. The principal only stayed for a minute or two, but I hope I made a good impression.
- I'm finally getting the students' names down. I've discovered that knowing a student's name is the first step in building a relationship with that student. This morning a student called out to me in the hall. I was able to say good morning and call them by name. The student was pleasantly pleased that I knew his name. There are still a few quiet students in each class that I don't know their names yet, but I'm getting there!
- I gave my first detention this week. The school just adopted a new tardy policy. One tardy = One afternoon of detention. I learned my lesson, however. I need to wait until the end of the class period to actually give the detention slip to the students. After I gave one student his detention slip, he literally shut down for the rest of the class period. It was a real struggle to get him to do anything.
- Made my first foldable today. It was a three flap foldable over the three ways to determine slope. I don't think my students have ever been taught how to take notes. It's always an adventure when I sit down next to a student to help them, and I ask to look at their notes. There are the students who copy down ever mark I made on the board. And, at the other end of the spectrum, there are those students who write down nothing. Though we had already gone over the different equations for finding slope, I wanted the students to review these equations and be able to look them up if they forgot them. So, this morning as I showered I had the epiphany that we had covered three ways to find slope. And, the other day I saw a template for making a tri-fold foldable. We made them in class today, and the students seemed to really enjoy them. Since we were writing with markers on foldables, the students didn't realize that they were basically rewriting the same things they had already (hopefully) written in their notes. My favorite part of the experience was teaching the students how to use their foldable to help them with their homework assignment. When students told me that they didn't know what to do, I would ask them which flap of their foldable matched the problem (finding the slope from the equation, graph, or two points). Once they decided which flap to use, all they had to do was open the flap and write the equation down on their paper. Usually this was enough to get them started and working on their own. Yay foldables!