Reflect on classroom observation
The teacher I observe is so good that I wish I had been in her class from day one. It is very obvious that she has earned the respect of the students. I have never observed a discipline problem that could not be be tempered with simply saying the student’s name. She teaches Government and therefor has grades 9-12, and seems to manage them all with ease.
She stands at the door and greets the students as they enter the class. While taking role, instead of asking for “here” or “present” she has them respond to a question. Each day is different, ranging from “What is your favorite song?” to “Who would you vote for?” or What place would you like to visit?” This personal touch allows her some insight, lets the students communicate and hopefully feel their teacher is interested on a personal level, and breaks up a necessary but mundane activity. She smoothly transitions from role call to the bulk of her lesson plans by asking questions to refresh their memories of where they left off the previous class.
During her class I have observed many styles but they all center around her approachable nature and her command of the subject matter. She uses discussion, collaboration and will take the students to the computer lab to do research. It is never boring. During lessons, she often has a movie clip or quick reference on the computer. She make the smooth transition from discussion or lecture to this because she already has the item queued; she merely has to make one click of the mouse to start the clip.
For closing she often wraps up with a quick review and reminders of what events or assignments are coming up in the next week. She has a nice way of summarizing the major points and reminding them of how or why it is important information for their upcoming projects.
I will definitely apply the technique of role call with questions. I think connecting with students is important and this is a quick and effective way to glean insight into students lives. Perhaps this will open doors and give me insight to help make that connection.