Overall, I believe Mr. Green and I did well. We were able to divide the teaching demo up evenly; I covered the bellringer, he lead with voice, I covered tone, and we both discussed all three poems. I feel that we kept students engaged, particularly with the last poem (Inman’s) and having them relate back to Arnez’s poems, as well as their own lives.
In terms of covering the heavier topics, I believe that Mr. Green and myself covered the “n” word appropriately for tenth graders. It’s important enough to be talked about, due to it being said (quite possibly and literally) outside in the halls, in their homes, on the TV, etc. I felt that we both had control with the classroom.
Although we were both sick, I think we were able to be heard clearly enough. Unfortunately, with both of our voices hoarse, explaining tone by the original means did not come through clearly when I tried to use spoken sarcasm. Our humor wasn’t there as much as we both had previously engaged in, but I believe it was still there.
I believe I can be an effective co-teacher, as well as an independent teacher. I just need more practice in terms of body language and eye contact; I probably should have made more eye contact with the students during the teaching demo. I believe, however, that I called on each student at least once, so I know they remained engaged in discussion. Finally, I believe the bellringer was a bit rushed, but we could have slimmed down the bellringer assignment for a future teaching demo.
Before doing this teaching demo, I believe that I am on track to become a teacher. I have been tutoring since I was in high school, and I am currently tutoring now. I have always had a passion for teaching. I shine best in terms of an individual basis when helping students, as well as when I facilitate and direct discussions. I believe that I have leadership qualities: I know how to delegate, I know when to let other lead when they have good ideas, and I like to keep the focus in the discussion when leading back the topic with specific questions.
For this specific teaching demo, Mr. Green and I have agreed to co-teach. We have split it where I will teach tone, and he will teach voice. As such, we believe humor and seriousness are two sides of the same coin for our teaching. Hopefully, we split time down the middle. We also believe splitting the class up into two groups will help us connect with the students on an individual basis. I believe our teaching styles are compatible, as we lean on each other if we have more to add on; this is what we have learned from our practices together.
The hardest part in teaching for the future (at least what Mr. Green and I have both discussed) is keeping the classroom engaged with the text, even if it isn’t material they would normally read. Furthermore, this teaching demo works with large and small class sizes, but I’m concerned on how to control larger discussions.
As we dive into the Civil Rights Movement, some overall discussion questions you should think about could be the following:
- How does the author’s voice and/or tone reflect the ideas in their writing?
- Is this writing situational (i.e. only pertains to a certain event from the Civil Rights Movement, or the era in general), or is the writing universal (i.e. is it timeless, can it be pertained to today)?
- What does this writing reveal about the past and the present in terms of racism, discrimination, censorship, or freedom of speech?
Ms. Abney and Mr. Green
If the Civil Rights Movement sincerely interests you, then we highly recommend these books to check out and read:
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
- Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Words of Protest, Words of Freedom by Jeffery Lamar Coleman
Ms. Abney and Mr. Green
Listed below will be some handy websites for you to discover as we review, analyze, and evaluate the Civil Rights Movement. The first website is where we’ll be returning to for a project in the next few weeks:
^^^ A website containing poets before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement, all pertaining to themes of segregation and racism.
^^^ Rich with historical overview, poets, and analysis of the waves of civil rights movements since the mid-2oth century.
^^^ Even today, racism still persists. PBS offers an interview with sociologist Dr. W.J. Wilson on the standard of living, and how it’s changed over time between races.
^^^ Rich with historical figures, boycott histories, speeches, and more from the Civil Rights Movement.
^^^ The History Channel offers a video and explanation on the importance of the group called “Little Rock Nine”; this event started the push for the Civil Rights Movement.
For the next few weeks, we will be discussing an important historical era in class: the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968). Today, we can still see these repercussions from this movement in our politics, media, and our daily lives. As we shift from non-fiction and historical documents, we will also begin to analyze poetry in this unit, as well as speeches and other texts from the Civil Rights Movement.
Some themes to look for: racism, discrimination, freedom of speech, and censorship.
As always, we look forward to working with you in class!
Ms. Abney and Mr. Green
For the next few weeks, the class will be engaging with an important and critical time for American history: the Civil Rights Movement. This era, from 1954-1968, helped shape current politics, and we can still see the resonance of civil rights movements today, ranging from police officer cameras possibly put into place, to women’s rights in the workforce, to even the classroom. With these texts, the students will be facing themes of racism and discrimination; Mr. Green and myself believe that students need to read these historical speeches, poems, and texts in order to understand current issues. We will also discuss derogatory words that might appear in the text, such as the “n” word, and explain why these words are not appropriate today.
As always, if there is a problem with the texts, feel free to contact either of us.
And, as always, it is a pleasure working with your children.