Friday, August 14, 2009


Still no interview...or job.

Wednesday I observed a few classrooms and that was very interesting. The first was at a prep school--a 1st grade class taught by a second year corps member. Because it's the first days of school teachers are still teaching procedures. On the day I visited the students were learning how to be "silent knights." The teacher was showing the students how to get her attention--raising their hand. She asked the students to all raise their hands. One girl did not, and was looking the other way. The teacher marched over to the girl's desk, raised her hand for her by jerking it up into the air, and physically turned the girl's head toward the front of the room. *gasp*

Then the principal (a 30 something African American man) came in to observe. He walked around the room and moved students' hands so that they were folded on the desk in front of them in "silent knight position." I had never seen anything like this before. The teacher was so firm with the students it kind of intimidated me and was a bit of a wake-up call on what I might be expected to do in the classroom. Then the curriculum director came in to observe. She picked out students one by one who were misbehaving (like not paying attention or not sitting in crisscross applesauce) and took them into the hall. I was sitting near the back so I could hear the conversation. She got about 2 inches from the student's face and firmly said "You need to pay attention to Ms. __________ right now. Do you understand?" Student: "Yes" Curriculum Director: "YES MA'AM." eek!

Aside from me being totally frightened of these teachers and administrators and realizing I have to be a not-nice teacher, I went to visit another classroom and saw the opposite going on. This second year corps member was not firm at all, nor did he address minor misbehavior. His students were not paying attention at all, and he did not make as much progress in the time that I was in there as the other teacher did. Shoot.

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