First Week of Teaching

Observations:

My field experience is with Mrs. Angie Ecrement. A 7th Grade World History Teacher at Dutch Fork Middle School.  Mrs. Ecrement ‘s personality lights up the class.  She is assertive while being funny, keeps all of her students on task(which in the 7th grade seems like an impossibility), and likes to engage her students in the learning rather than just lecturing which can be difficult not to do in a history class.  Her teaching style, I believe, is one of dynamic adherence to the standards, by that I mean she never strays from the standards but she does so in a way that is fun and specific to each one of her students.  When explaining examples or problems her class becomes individual people that she addresses as such and I admire that.

This week I learned all of my students names.  In doing so I also picked up some on their personalities and attitudes.  My first day Mrs. Ecrement told me that her seating chart was very specific in order to limit distractions.  Once the class got into the swing of things I could see why.  The personalities in the class were spaced out along the perimeter while the quiet more “on-task” students were placed in the middle.  It seems that the class works well this way and it is easy to move around and observe the students which I like.  I learned how the class routine works.  The students come in take a quiz on what they learned last, work on some sort of DBQ or handout, then go through a Powerpoint made by Mrs. Ecrement.  It is simple and effective which I also made me understand the fact that with 7th Graders the simpler the routine is the easier it is for them to stay on task.

Learning Experiences:

On Thursday, Mrs. Ecrement told me that I could teach a lesson on the Cold War.  She handed me the “7th Grade Support Document” which was essentially the standards the students had to learn.  What was interesting is this outline also contained what the students have learned as well as what the students will learn.  At the beginning of each section the Blooms Taxonomy it falls under is listed.  It outlined what is essential and non-essential for students to know and has assessment guidelines for you.  This step by step walk-through of lessons is a great frame for teaching that I can fill in with fun things I want to teach.

I learned that the students have “Fox Cards” now which is the middle schools form of discipline.  If a student violates a rule/code their card gets punched.  They only have so many punches before they are required to serve some sort of detention.  On Tuesday Mrs. Ecrement suggested that one day I will have the power of the puncher.  Hopefully this will not change my kids view of me!

I feel my students learned that they can be comfortable around me.  Every time I addressed one of them on Thursday I used their name and they are beginning to use mine as well.

Reflections:

The last lesson we learned in Teacher Cadet can be seen in real world teaching all of the time.  In the two days I have been at my school I have dealt with disciple, types of students, Blooms Taxonomy, Standards, and teaching styles.  I think that every teaching cadet wont be able to “go by the book”.  That lesson was just suggestions on how to handle certain situations but it is the real test of the TC when they have to dynamically apply it to their situations.  For instance,  I’m teaching Honors 7th Grade World History, many of the styles and techniques we learned will not apply at this level simply because the kids are too old and it would be silly for me to try to apply it this way.  So I must make a judgement call on how I can apply my knowledge in the best way possible that will benefit my students.

Stories to Share:

This week the students had to do a project on the laptops in class. The project concerned the Nuremberg laws as well as Roosevelt’s address to America during our emergence into WWII.  While they were working, Mrs. Ecrement had me go around and assist the students who had questions.  One of the students, Kayla, is a personality.  In my opinion, every class needs a bit of spice and attitude in order to keep things interesting and Kayla brings this.  Kayla raised her hand and I went to go help her.  When I arrived at her desk I ask “Whats going on Kayla?” to which she replied “Oh shoot you know my name!”(this was accompanied with a big smile).  This response meant a great deal to me.  It showed her that I was not just in the class to aid the teacher and leave every other day.  I am there to get to know every single of of the students personally and help them find what they love about history.

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