As part of my requirements for my teaching license, I had to observe for 30 hours in a math classroom. I had the great privilege to serve a week at a local high school, spending time with every teacher in the departments, with every level of student.
It was eye-opening. Not in the way you might suspect, though.
First, I learned more about classroom management from observing how the teachers handled their classrooms. It was more instructive to see the variation in person than in classes. My main teacher took time to explain why she handled the classrooms differently. I saw many of my instructional theories in practice, and was able to recognize them.
Secondly, the more boisterous classes were not the ones that were the most difficult. The scariest class was the one that was dead silent, and refused to engage.
Thirdly, fights happen. It was an unusual week at this school, but there were three fights in three days. The male math teachers were involved in breaking up two of them because of proximity. I was shocked…this is a “good school”. But as one seasoned teacher put it, all things happen in all schools.
All in all, the teachers were supportive, helpful and agreed that one of the purposes of the practicum is to make sure the teachers aren’t rattled by the circumstances.
It didn’t rattle me. And I’m looking forward to teaching next year.
Photo by starmanseries