Saturday, February 19, 2005

Observations III

Yesterday I had my third observation session with Ms Doherty's sophomores. In her 10A class, she gave them a worksheet and read them the first chapter of Of Mice and Men to them and in the 10B class, they were watching To Kill a Mockingbird. I was able to see yet again the sad financial state public schools are in. We have over thirty students per class, and there aren't enough books for the students to take one home. Instead, they have to read out of tattered paperbacks that appear as if they are going to crumble to dust (some are missing pages and front covers and such) in class. She has chapters photocopied in folders for the students to take home, if they need to.

I got a few things done off the "to do" list (or rather, Amy got the ball rolling for those things for me). I now officially have a school email and am listed on the school's staff directory. She emailed tech and requested I get a tutorial--everything is pretty much done with computers, so I have to learn how to access email, how to do attendance, how to post grades (they're even posted on the web so parents can track the progress--how awful!!!). I spoke with Vicki Ryan (the woman she team teaches with and works with the special ed department) about tutoring some ESL students; I will most likely be matched with recent Hmong refugees. I plan to stick with the tutoring throughout my student teaching, even though I am only required to do five hours for one of my classes. I think it will be a good experience for me to understand where the students are coming from--what sorts of work they have to put in to get where they are once they are "mainstreamed" into my classroom. I also was able to meet with the newspaper advisor; I hope to sit in on meetings and help out when I am needed. This will help me see what is put into a school newspaper (and aid my Journalism class) and it will also help if I ever want to advise any kind of organization when I get hired. I was incredibly involved (English Academic team, Forensics (speech competition), swim team, pit for the musical, chamber orchestra, Solo & Ensemble, etc.) when I was in high school, but that's a completely different perspective.

I also got to work with some of her students for the first time, which was great! I was pretty anxious to get started, in a way... anyway, today was advising-day, which meant students were called out in groups to register, so there were tons of interruptions. The kids really seem to enjoy being read to, so when some returned, Amy had me take them into a "breakout" room (small study rooms throughout the building) to read the first chapter of Of Mice and Men out loud to them. One will be my student next trimester, and he was very polite.

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