It’s been 16 days since classes have ended. 10 days since my last final for my degree. And 8 days since I started solo teaching. That’s right you read that correctly, 2 days after I wrote my final exam I started teaching. Thankfully I didn’t jump head first in by myself right away and got to shadow the sub for a couple days. That was a relief.
I adore the school I am working with! It is one of neighbouring towns around where I went to school and I even played basketball with them during my grade 12. They were like my school away from school. My mom went to this school and I still have cousins growing up there. I only teach one of them and it is only a tiny bit awkward (ha!).
I teach predominately grade 5 and 6 with a little grade 7 and 8 ELA and some RTI. I honestly love teaching middle years. I know I specialized in high school mathematics and physical education, but the more I work with the middle years grade the more I think they are a right fit for me.
So here it is a quick update from the adventures of Ms. Nyhus. I wish I could promise that I would blog regularly but we all know that won’t happen because I have way to much work to be doing. I am procrastinating at the moment. This does make me rethink my plans for the future, but I am more than happy to take this challenge head on! I hope you enjoyed my short post and cheers to the weekend!
This week in our EMTH 351 class we were discussing chapter 8 from Becoming a Reflective Mathematics Teacher by Alice F. Artzt. What really caught my attention was the Case of Maria, which was interesting because she had her class chorus respond to her questions. Right away I knew that this wouldn’t be beneficial in a classroom, most of the students would be off task and either not respond or only pretend to respond. As well Maria was only able to hear the “right” answer. When you ask questions and expect only a chorus response you lose a lot of your students attention. Personally, i would never want to use this strategy in my classroom, it is just pulling the wool over the teachers eyes. You “think” that all the students are understanding what is going on but that’s not the case. Especially in a math class where it is sometimes crucial for students to understand the basics before carrying on. If they don’t understand the base knowledge than it can almost impossible to build on.
Another thing that I thought was interesting during this case was how influential the Coop teacher can be. As a new teacher (especially one who isn’t finished school yet) it can be extremely frightening to disagree with them. When going into a classroom that is not yours, you are not going to disrupt what they have going on unless they give you full support. I think in Maria’s case that the chorus response was greatly influenced by the Coop, Maria thought she saw her Coop was getting great responses so she thought it would work well in her class. As a new teacher she was excited to have some students answering her questions even though there wasn’t any benefits from it. I hope as a new teacher that I don’t fall into routine that doesn’t work with my students.
Another really interesting thing that came up during this class was questioning in the classroom. I think that it really important to be able to create “good” questions for students, but it is something that teachers need to work on. As an inexperienced teacher I know it will take sometime to come up with “good” questions and that I will have to come prepared to my class with the questions that I want to ask. As I gain more experience I will hopefully not have to be as detailed as I have to be now.