Although I have sat in on his class before while working with one of my students, I couldn’t help but spoil myself last week and sit in on his class again. I am referring to Greg Kahoe, an amazing science teacher at WVHS. Kahoe has some serious withitness in his classroom and is, in general, an all-around quirky and nice guy. He and his wife have goats (his wife makes/sells beauty products at the TVFM made from their goat’s milk) and sometimes, Kahoe will bring in some of the milk for the purpose of his teaching.
Kahoe runs his classroom smoothly and effortlessly although he doesn’t always employ the classroom management techniques that we have learned so far. (As a side note, for anyone looking for a visual of Kahoe…yeah, he looks like Bill Nye the Science Guy – only with shorter hair. And yes…he wears bow ties). I believe that Kahoe has such smooth operations in his classroom because the students simply adore him – he is fun and strict, goofy and informative, sloppy and organized…he has a way with the students that not everyone can really grasp.
His class starts off with him walking about the room checking off homework (he assigns homework every night) while the students talk quietly amongst themselves. Some take this time to rush and finish their work, but for the most part, everyone has it completed ahead of time. After checking the work with his initials and a point value, he goes to his computer, calls each student out by their name, and has them recite what score they got on the homework. The whole process takes about 6-7 minutes and is surprisingly controlled and quiet. His lessons vary, but usually involve him giving a short lecture based on a well-organized PowerPoint (students are required to take notes), followed by directions for the assignment, then students begin the assignment. Class wraps up about a minute before the bell and in the end, it feels as though no time is wasted.
Kahoe has no need for disciplinary action nor does he ever get rudely interrupted during any course of the class. He has complete control of his classroom, although he never makes any motion to instill rules or discipline, even during periods of time when students are “free” from his control or sight. His transitions were smooth, although it is relatively difficult to pinpoint exactly when they took place. It seemed as though just when students were finishing one thing, he was ready with another. I think that this eased the processes of the classroom very efficiently; so efficiently that I never really noticed a gap in-between activities.
Watching Kahoe, and other great teachers, is completely helpful for the development of my future career. I like to think that one day I will have a routine set with my students and that when prospective teachers come into my room for classroom observations, they will admire and learn from me as much as I am from the wonderful teachers that I have observed so far. I hope that they will see my lessons and demonstrations and try to mimic them in their own future classrooms.