Thursday, May 27

I caught one of my students teaching today!

Today I had my students doing seatwork.  While my students do at times work independently, I prefer when they work together.  I want to develop their communication skills, problem solving skills and their ability to be leaders!  It is something that I emphasize constantly.

Some of my students are powerful people and they are often the ones who take the leadership positions.  They are the first ones finished and the first to help others.  I watch this carefully and will distract or provide other learning opportunities so that they don’t dominate the others.  It is a balancing act that keeps everyone safe.

Throughout the year we discussed the various ways to help a classmate.  I've shown them the teaching strategies that I've learned.  I modeled for them proper questioning techniques to help someone discover an answer rather than simply telling someone.  We learned the difference between “thick “ and “thin” questions. 

Today I discovered one of my typically struggling students working with another student.  He was explaining how to try different strategies to figure out an unfamiliar word.  He did not tell the other student the answer, but appropriately asked her questions and encouraged her.  What made this even more impressive was that this student is usually the student that needs reminders to slow down – in every area, especially talking!  I was overjoyed by the way he spoke slowly and purposefully. 
I watched unobtrusively, and while I don’t like to interrupt the flow of learning in the classroom, I made a special announcement recognizing the excellent teacher in the room.  His smile filled the room with light.


Suzanne Whitlow said...

What a great post, and what a lucky student to have you as their teacher! Trying to change teachers to this pedagogy is difficult to define. I wish I had a movie of your classroom!!!

Parent and Child Reading Assistance said...

This story gave me happy tears this morning. Give yourself a big pat on the back from me! I'm overjoyed to know you are a person making a difference in the lives of the children of our future.

I read an article yesterday about how children who have at least one adult who makes them feel good about themselves in their lives can succeed in life even if there are "road blocks".

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for your comment and praise. I try to make a difference each day. I try to keep the momentum going even though the school year is drawing to a close. I have so many projects planned for the summer to make sure next year is successful.

I read the article you provided and tweeted it! Thanks for the link.

Thanks again for taking the time to encourage me!

Parent and Child Reading Assistance said...

You are very welcome Nancy! Thank you for sharing your teaching experiences.

BookChook said...

Such a lovely story! It sounds like you have a sharing community of learners there.