High School Observation

Posted by: yoyo52

High School Observation - 12/01/06 10:24 PM

Yesterday afternoon I went to observe one of our students, who's doing her student teaching at a pretty rural high school located more or less half way between Lancaster (his Sparky) and Reading. What I saw was pretty scary.<br><br>First off, it was a "regular" 12th grade English class, so no accelerated or advanced placement students in the group. These were "average," run of the mill kids.<br><br>First thing I noticed: they're barely under control--and it wasn't because the student teacher was in charge, cause the regular teacher was sitting in the room as well and seemed to think that things were going as well as they could. Kids were getting up all the time, going out to the toilet or for a drink of water, eating stuff, drinking iced tea--constant activity, in other words, very little of it focused on the class as such.<br><br>Second thing I noticed: the arrangement of the classroom made it almost impossible for the students to pay attention to the teacher--again, not because it was the student teacher, but simply because the students were arranged four or five to a table, facing each other rather than the front of the room. I don't think it takes a genius to realize that if I'm seated across from somenoe, that's the person I'm going to be looking at and attending to. The teacher? Whozzat, anyway?<br><br>Third thing I noticed: the students had absolutely no sense at all of why they were in school, or that being in school meant that there were some expectations that they were supposed to meet. I know that sound kind of abstract, but here are examples of what I mean: One girl who every few minutes would say to the kid across from her something like "I always need help doing things," whitout any sense at all that what she was saying meant that she was kinda dumb; one boy who responded to an assignment to have a two (that's 2, dos, zwei)-page handwritten paper for the next class period by saying that he didn't know why he should do it because he had no intention of being an English teacher; another girl who said about that same assignment that she wasn't going to do it because she didn't need to pass this quarter in order to pass the course. Again, it wasn't a response to the student teacher cause towards the end of the class, while the kids were supposed to be doing work on their papers for the next day, the regular teacher came around, and talking about the work to the kid who didn't want to be an English teacher, finally said, "You know, Justin, you have to meet us half-way."<br><br>Final observation: not a single one of those kids seemed to think that there was anything like a half way that they were obliged to step up to. I mean, no one in that class seemed to think that there was any purpose at all for their being in school other than to check out who was humping whm--I did hear a lot about that at the table where I was sitting.<br><br>____________________________________________________<br>Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,<br>But to be young was very heaven!
Posted by: sean

Re: High School Observation - 12/02/06 03:33 AM

that's pretty bad. i think the regular teacher is doing a disservice if that is acceptable behavior. on the other hand, i think those students are pretty typical. i had a long term sub situation in a 9th grade health class and i spent far too much time on classroom management issues. i always chalked it up to me being a sub, but i only had 3 weeks and by the time i could really get into the swing of management, my time was up.<br><br>sadly, many of the preservice educators i am teaching have this glorified notion that they will arrive in a classroom and get to teach the their major (e.g., English, social studies, math) and life will be swell. very few realize how much energy they'll have to expend on management and how much more time they'll spend trying to reach all 30 students and not just the few who will truly be interested in the content . . . and they have no idea that some students have disabilities and some have emotional impairments, etc. <br><br>it's no wonder that the dropout rate is so high in the first few years of teaching.<br><br>--<br>"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country" --president bush on 9/27/05
Posted by: carp

Re: High School Observation - 12/02/06 04:11 AM

Your Final observation is spot on .<br><br>I myself is a victim of sorts who has to deal with todays products of education . I have had some very costly mistakes done by young adults who don't seem to even care about what they have done . I can hear it now "I wasn't planing to make a career in construction" type of excuse. <br><br>Still I don't blame the educator 100% , I blame the parents first for not providing the best modeling clay that a teacher can mold into the future .<br><br>
Posted by: Mississauga

Re: High School Observation - 12/02/06 04:32 PM

"I blame the parents first for not providing the best modeling clay that a teacher can mold into the future ."<br><br>BINGO!<br><br>- alec -
Posted by: MrB

Re: High School Observation - 12/02/06 09:24 PM

Yep, that's pretty sad. I remember my last school just befor i quit in 2000, It was an isolated rural school. When the kids addressed their teachers It was "sir" or "mam". Still i had studenst as you mentioned. <br><br>dave<br><br><br>