Someone asked me that the other day – “how’s school going?” I replied, “Which school?” Each of my four children are at a different school, I’m attending courses at IU and twice a week I ‘observe’ at a Middle School. My life is full of homework, lesson plans, parent teacher meetings, and extracurricular activities! So school is BUSY!
He meant how was my experience as a classroom observer/student teacher, of course and it occurred to me that some of you might be wondering the same thing. On Mondays and Wednesdays I spend the entire school day hanging out in a 7th grade science classroom with Mr. Johnson and a whole lot of kids. There are nine 50-minute sessions in the day, six of which are classroom instruction. The other three are lunch, prep session and a team meeting session. It makes for a long day, most of which is spent on your feet. Despite all the warnings about middle school I am finding it an enjoyable experience and almost wish I didn’t have to switch over to the high school observation in a few weeks.
The classroom observation schedule is supposed to be 6 weeks in a middle school and 6 weeks in a high school but due to a 2 week fall break I will end up spending just 4 weeks in my current posting. We are finishing the break now and when we resume on Monday I will have the chance to do some teaching. Ironically enough my first day of teaching will not be in the science class and I will not be teaching science! Instead I will be in a language arts classroom teaching a session on current Chinese culture. I am planning to discuss it in the context of Chinese teenagers and a friend who has been living in China with her children for the past few years is helping out. I’m hoping to highlight both the differences in our two cultures and the similarities. We will start with a music video!
On Wednesday I will be back in the science classroom teaching 3 classroom sessions on the properties of waves. I have a nice video of big surf on the beach back home that I’ll start with before we get into the nitty gritty of wave types, and how to measure amplitude and wave length. I think I’ll dub some surfer music over it!
When I’m not working on lesson plans for middle school I’m busy with papers and other homework assignments of my own. I’m also studying for the Praxis II exam in Biology so that I’ll be certified to teach both Earth/Space science and Biology. I’m afraid I’m not as available to help my children with their homework these days. This year school has been tougher for all of them and I attribute that to a combination of the classes they are taking, a busy mommy, and the 10 hour day and long bus ride. We are all looking forward to moving into our house where I hope we can be more organized as well as hooking up to the internet for some homework help. In fact, just having the house finished will be a big load off my mind and time!