Thursday, September 30, 2010

Knee Jerk Reaction

It shouldn't matter, but I can't help the way it makes me feel.  It is that involuntary reaction, kind of like when your knee jumps when the doctor hits it with his little hammer.

I was going over homework, turned and saw Principal and AP standing outside my door, ready to make an entrance.  I told my class, an enthusiastic calculus group, to be good, as we were getting company.  They responded immediately.

In past years, that alone would have relaxed me.  Supervisors looked for kids who were quiet and  working but now a days that is not enough.  I know the kids are supposed to do most of the talking and I am supposed to ask the questions that will elicit their answers rather than giving them myself.  Normally, I do teach this way but not always and not at that time.

As I said, I was in the middle of going over homework when they entered.  The assignment was on an overhead, done by a student, but I was doing the explaining.  Many of my students do not speak English well and some barely speak it at all.  It is more efficient time wise to do all the talking.  (We went to single period this term and I am worried about time.)  I could have switched gears when I saw them about to enter, but I am what I am and putting on a show is not something I am comfortable with so I kept doing what I do, teach the way I think is best.

Surprisingly, I haven't heard a negative word.  Mr. AP, who usually never misses a chance to have a go at me didn't say anything when I saw him later on in the day.  Maybe there is something to say about all these mini visits.  It gives the admins a chance to see what we are all about all the time and it does take the pressure off when a bad lesson has been taught.

My reaction is not a fear of an unsatisfactory less but a matter of pride.  A friend told me she never goes to the supermarket in sweats and no make up because she wants to look her best for anyone she happens meet.  I'm not into makeup or clothes but I do want to be at my best whenever anyone is in my room.  Being good and looking good there is something that matters to me.


Anonymous said...

I hope they liked what they saw. But a letter does not come that same day.

A little talking from ELLs is not a bad thing. I always had my students do the explaining and always asked the class if they agreed or had them speak within their own groups. (This was much easier to do before TESTING CRAZY MADNESS and constant assessments using the DoE's CRAZY TIME FRAME.) Once my principal came to my room and the kids weren't understanding a fraction concepts which I thought they understood. I said one word, "huddle" and she saw the class tables discussing the problem, going through their notebooks and raising their hands. One person from each table gave an explanation. One table got it wrong and another kid yelled, "I told you so!" Needless to say I had to go over the rules for reaching a consensus after the principal left.
She never said a word to me nor did I get any feedback. So you can't win either way.

Pissedoffteacher said...

No letters, even it was only a drive by! I let kids do the talking but not with hw--it just takes too long.