Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 15 2011

Learning to teach…with me?

I am getting observed by someone studying to be a teacher. She’s a junior in college, so not yet doing her student teaching, but she needs to log a significant chunk of hours observing in a classroom this year. Somehow, the poor girl got stuck in my classroom.

I’m not sure how it happened, except that someone who runs things in my charter network emailed me to ask if I would take someone. I said sure, and next thing I knew I had an email from this girl ready to show up and start. I knew she was envisioning this middle-aged Teacher Stereotype emailing her back, and part of me felt guilty for not informing her that I’m actually barely older than she is.

She showed up today to see the class, meet with me, and decide if she wanted the placement. She got to see two classes that were extremely standard, and she got to sit with me while I worked one-on-one in some free time with a girl who has the LEAST fraction understanding I have EVER seen. (No amount of explanation, manipulatives, drawings, examples, anything seem to get her to understand that “fourths” means the whole was cut into four pieces, and “3-fourths” means I took 3 of them. This absolutely blows her mind and she cannot get two questions about it right in a row. It’s actually fascinating.) We talked over lunch about teaching, why she wants to do it, why I love it, and how she can help out around the classroom. I thought my age would be an issue, but maybe it actually ended up making her more comfortable. She decided to stay, which means she’ll be in my classroom all day for one day per week. Honestly, I’m pretty excited… and amazingly, I think she is too.

2 Responses

  1. egordon

    As someone who studied Ed. in college and was forced into an obscene amount of observation hours, I can say it definitely helps to be observing a younger teacher. They seem to have more energy and are much more relate-able…. even if they don’t think they know what they’re doing yet

    • mathinaz

      It actually makes me feel MUCH better to hear that. Thank you!

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