As a freshman at SVC, I’m a bit of a newbie to the education program and wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from the classes I’ve encountered so far. I knew that because I want to be a high school English and/or Spanish teacher that I was going to start observing middle school and high school classrooms during my field classes, but I never expected how amazing it was going to be!
For those who want to teach, classroom observations can be so unexpectedly awesome. It’s exciting to actually get into the classroom and study the techniques and energies of many different teachers; it’s like you’re collecting little gems of ideas for your future classroom based on what you like and don’t like in the teachers you meet.
Before observations, many people I knew (and maybe even myself) had fooled themselves into thinking they already knew what kind of teaching methods they liked or didn’t like because, hey, we’ve already been watching teachers for the past 12+ years of our lives, right? Nope! It’s surprising how different it is in a high school or middle school classroom when you’re no longer the student.
When I’m in a classroom, I’m not focused on what the teacher is trying to get the students to learn but rather how they’re teaching and how the students respond to their unique methods. It can be a completely eye-opening experience if you allow yourself to be excited by the task of creating yourself as a teacher. I love it! I love seeing passionate teachers and excited students, and I love interacting with both of them.
Now I’m going to be just a little bit cheesy and quote the man behind the Muppets, Jim Henson: “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” Right now that’s what I’m doing. I’m finding in those classrooms the skills that I want to be a part of me as a teacher; I am building myself. You first have to know what kind of teacher you are before you step into a classroom to teach, and that’s why every class you observe is essential to your growth as a teacher. Right now, I’m not completely sure what kind of teacher I am, but the good news is that I have three more years here to figure it out.
(Photo Credit: http://www.takepart.com/photos/teaching-quotes-about-best/jim-henson)