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Hello Observers!

May 7, 2010

Every once and awhile, there’s some reason for people to sit in and watch me teach a class. Once, it was for other teachers in my school – it was uneventful. Another time, it was for parents’ day – about a dozen moms watched me play the Telephone Relay Game with their kids and rooted for teams and laughed at follies. Today, I had a class for another Native English Speaker in my area who heard (from my head teacher) that I ran a decent class and wanted to see.

It was arranged so that she and a Korean teacher could watch me teach a first grade class.

All the reasons that this is a good idea:
– The first graders have lots of energy and are eager to do everything from drawing, the writing, to playing games, to just sitting and listening.
-First graders pay attention to everything I say.
-First graders have class in the brand spanking new English Zone complete with Smartboard and student projects.

Reasons this is a bad idea:
-I had never taught this class before. I just started teaching first grade and needed to take time to introduce myself and put them into groups and discuss the rules of the room. This part of a lesson is rarely useful to other teachers.
– The first graders are divided by level. The third graders, the visiting teacher’s problem students, are not. Mine aren’t either. In mixed classes, smart kids are bored and dumb kids are scared and everyone in between is shy. In leveled classes, students are motivated and rarely distracted or neglected. Guess which class is easier to manage?
– The English Zone makes teaching infinitely easier. For third grade, I teach in the homeroom classroom…students play with books, draw on desks, mess with personal items. There are 40 of em and the rooms are tiny and stuffy. The English Zone is clean, roomy, and covered with English projects to set a standard. Students can’t bring more than a textbook and a pen.

So, the class went really well but I’m not sure if it really helped teach anything about classroom management except that I make it look easy.

The bottom line is I ❤ the English Zone.

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