Friday, February 04, 2005

First Observation

I was called "Ms Sutton" for the first time today, and it was so strange! I slipped up and wrote "Molly" on my guest nametag. (I did get called "Ms Sutton" during my observations at Preble for the initial 100 hours, though it wasn't so odd because I observed my former teachers, so it felt... somehow familiar... I don't think that makes a lot of sense. Ah well.) Ms Doherty called me Ms Sutton, so it's not like a student has done it (yet). I did get a guest parking pass; on Monday, I will observe again and I will have my very own permanent parking pass (for the 2004-2005 school year) and my very own name badge with my picture on it (oy, let it be a good picture day). It's very surreal!! I was used to going into the staff lot at Preble because I carpooled with my mother, who taught at my high school, but this is very different--I don't belong in the staff lot anywhere. (Or, if I am in an "employee" lot, then it's the crappy parking because I'm in retail and that's where we go.) And I get an ID tag! (I remember being so mad that they were making teachers were ID badges--I thought it seemed like it was kind of unprofessional, like making them bookstore clerks. Ha.)

I was able to watch her teach English 10A (they watched The Mighty, which is a movie to introduce her Of Mice and Men unit) and 10B (she read chapters fifteen and sixteen out loud from To Kill a Mockingbird). She warned me before I came that neither were interesting plans, but it was important for me to get the ball rolling. I was able to plan some stuff when looking over some of the Journalism textbooks:


1. reviews (short, but a fun way to start)
2. editorial
3. features
4. in-depth/hard news (longest unit)
5. advertising (superfun unit)
6. photojournalism
7. layout & production

There are 33 kids in the class, so I thought I would have them divide into groups of three (for, that's right, kids, eleven groups). They would create their own newsmagazine (on a topic of their choice, though they have to have it cleared with me--I'll be laid back). They'll have elements from all of those units to put together... Some topics that will be covered throughout those lessons: news story leads, headlines, interviewing techniques, research methods, handling of quotes. I will give them little tidbits about the history of journalism most days and we'll make a little timeline and have quizzes on it... We'll also discuss the ethics of journalism (from the very first day) for the first two units (and continually bring it up). I will also have them bring in a news article (two per day? one student per day?) to summarize and explain why they were interested in it (emphasis on what techniques are used and not the content, of course). There are some other things to add--for example, working with the school newspaper (I will meet with the advisor for that this month, I hope, to see what he might want me to have the students contribute--maybe I can even work with him in the afterschool deal so I can also have that under my belt as well) and I might have them make a video as a public service announcement while studying ads (we can delve into film journalism once in a while, though I'm way out of my league with this whole journalism-in-general thing).

In other news, I have been working on updating my webpage, and have divided into two parts: personal and teaching. Check back for added lesson plans (I'll put up some poetry / creative writing suggestions) and pictures and such!

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