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.
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.
Prompt: Describe a “good learning day”. What do you do? How is the time period organized? How is the material presented by the teacher? What do you experience and when?
A good learning day is when both the students and the teacher walk away with new, reliable, and meaningful knowledge to use in and outside of the classroom. The teacher, during class, stays engaged with her students and tries to maintain a positive and safe learning environment. The students need to have focus, but the material needs humor and relatablility. An ice-breaker, bell-ringer, or grammar exercise should have students prepared for the topic, whether it’s diagramming a paragraph form the article, or a journal entry. This gives time for the teacher to become mentally prepared.
Initial discussion should start with that bell-ringer. Deeper concepts should be considered and encouraged, so long as it remain on topic; the teacher is the reference. The material can come from notes on the board, to a news interview, or a Sci Show video from the Vlog Brothers. It can even be students having a debate. The teacher should also ask students to relate these ideas to their own lives. Overall, this would be a facilitator-delegator environment.
“Which of these three “traditions” best describes your beliefs about your role as an English teacher? Discuss where your position comes from and how it shapes your thinking about what and how you teach” (Burke 13).
The three traditions described in Burke’s text is the following: the cultural heritage model; the utilitarian model on language skills; and the student engagement model. Between these three, I would say that my teaching emphasizes mostly on student engagement. This does require more work, because it focuses on the students, not the subject. It also incorporates the other two models.
I may choose classic literature (Shakespeare, Greek mythology, etc.), but I may choose contemporary nonfiction and poetry to teach as well. I would definitely try to incorporate current YA novels that students might be reading, or at least have heard of from their peers. With a diverse set of reading, I can apply language skills and reading comprehension within the lessons.