Aug 2, 2007

Thoughts on Teaching

Well, good people, I completed another summer teaching at Cross High School. As you may recall from a previous blog, this year the program was bigger, we had over 60 students participating. The grade range also expanded to include freshmen and sophomores.

I went in determined to put to use some of the lessons I’ve learned from last summer and from the classroom field-placement I did in the October. Some of the key insights I gained from these two experiences are:

o Don’t take it personal when a student gives you attitude. While you don’t tolerate it, and nip that in the bud, I feel it’s important to allow them to be human and have a bad day or even not like me. At the end of the day I have to find some common ground where we can work together.
o Be careful what you assume about a student’s capabilities. Sometimes they know less than you think, or more than you are aware of. It’s really important to take some time to really figure out where they are in terms of knowing the fundamentals, maturity, and skills.
o Be conscious of the energy you are putting out. At the core of the classroom dynamics is human relationships. You have to go in the classroom full of love, hope and commitment to these young people, in order for it to work.

I have to say these lessons served me well. I had a great experience with the students at Cross. While there is still room for improvement, my overall impression is I was able to connect with many of them.

I’ll post other thoughts on the experience in increments, because there is a lot to say.

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