Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rock and roll high school

Just finished the first week of my high school student teaching placement, and after 11 hours of sleep, I'm finally well-rested enough to post about it.

My cooperating teacher teaches three sections of mixed ninth and tenth grade Global Studies. I've never heard of doing it that way before, and it's too early for me to have any opinion on it, but it's certainly interesting: This year's ninth and tenth graders will take Global 3 and 4, and next year when they're sophomores the ninth graders will take Global 1 and 2 with the younger kids.

After Regents are over, I'll be taking over one section, team-teaching the second, and helping out with the third. This is a portfolio school, so the kids just have to take the English Regents and have vacation the rest of the time while the teachers have meetings, PD and parent-teacher conferences.

It's pretty good timing for a vacation -- apparently there has been a rash of fights recently between kids from one part of town and kids from another. Obviously that's not good news, but the way the school handled it is: they completely rescheduled classes on Friday, making room for a 45-minute advisory period at the beginning of the day during which each class talked about how they can contribute to a better school environment. It sounds hokey, but at least the way my cooperating teacher did it, it had a really positive, democratic vibe.

I think I'm going to learn a lot this semester, both from having my own class and from observing my cooperating teacher, a transplant from L.A. who has a great rapport with students.

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