On observing middle school misfits
November 26, 2012 1:30 AM Subscribe
How to be a thoughtful observer during a friend's teaching of middle schoolers?
posted by wallawallasweet to Education (2 answers total)
My friend is currently engaged in teaching a foreign language (for which I am a native speaker of) at a middle school as a temporary post.
She talked to me recently about the challenges she has been having there (disruptive behavior, a class that has a pretty intact collective identity that she hasn't really picked up on, their homeroom teacher that seems to know her difficulties but is somewhat proud of her class). It seems to have given her some stress as of late, but over a beer last week she asked if I was interested in observing her class one day. I'm not a teacher, but I've volunteered at schools before (after school reading, language tutoring, etc) and find the prospect of learning how the education system in a foreign country works--and I responded enthusiastically.
So my friend also hinted that I do some observation/critique for her (later this week...perhaps even tomorrow). We discussed possibly doing some kind of activity together for the class (still don't know exactly what at this point).
My question/s is/are therefore: what can I keep my eyes out for/take note of? Is there a way of observation (besides sitting in the corner taking notes furiously on a notepad) that will not disrupt the way things run normally during class?
Thanks a bunch for your suggestions and comments!