Friday, November 7, 2014

Shadowing a Student for a Day

I was a student in high school again today.  Wow, what an experience.  Shadowing a student  has helped me to know better how to teach my current students.  I can know a little bit better what is going on in their world.  Here was the schedule for the day:  Algebra 2, Chemistry, Digital Art, US History, PE ( swing dancing), Lunch, Study Hall, and English.  


Here are some things that I got out of the day.

1.  I'm exhausted.
This was mentally and physically taxing today.  I was wiped out by 7th period.  I had one more period to go.  Our students really put in a lot of energy into the school day.  And most have some type of extra curricular activity after school.
How I might modify my teaching:  Empathize and adjust the outside of class workload.

2.  I sat in a chair a lot today.  I being a math teacher calculated how much time in minutes I was in my chair.  303 minutes in my chair.  Almost all of the chairs were swivel chairs which helped.  However, that is a lot of time just sitting.
How I might modify my teaching:  Create more activities that encourage movement.  Give more choices for students to be able to move around during class.

3.  Our students are learning a lot in one day.  I took notes in every class.  My notes turned out to be 7 pages long.  It was a ton of information.  It was engaging material.  I really loved learning these new things. I also wanted to create something instead of just learning about something.  
How I might modify my teaching:  Be efficient.  Be concise.  Don't  give busy work.  Have a purpose with everything I give my students. Have students CREATE more.

4. We have excellent students and staff at our school.  I really wish I could be back in school.  The teachers were engaging and passionate about what they do.  The students were respectful and were very cooperative.
How I might modify my teaching:  Tell my students how much I appreciate them.  Enjoy the moment and the journey.  I have a wonderful job.  Show how much I enjoy teaching.

5.  I got to know the teacher very well in one class period.  What it made me ponder was "do my students know if I know them?"
How I might modify my teaching:  I need to know my students.  I need to show them individual time.  Students deserve individual attention.


Kyle, You were the perfect host.  I can't thank you enough for letting me into your world.  It was eye opening.  I appreciate what you go through a lot better now that I was in your shoes for a day.  Thank you!


Random Thoughts

  • We did a Brain Break in the middle of one of the lessons.  That was FUN!
  • I'm pretty sure I was the only one in the cafeteria who had a hard boiled egg in their lunch.
  • Jessica helped me out in PE swing dancing.  Thank you for being very patient with my 2 left feet.  I really was nervous
    about this part of the day. 
  • MY EYES ARE BAD.  I realized right away that I couldn't see the board as clearly as I thought I could.  (must have something to do with being 50! haha)
  • THANK YOU for inventing Swivel Chairs.  
  • The lunch table talk was blunt but enlightening.  
  • I almost made Kyle late because I had to use the bathroom between classes.  It made me a lot more sensitive to allowing students to go to the bathroom during class. 
  • My mind wondered a lot.  There is a lot of dead time in the day to be able to do this.  I tried to stay focused but was a little tired.  
  • I really liked math class.  I guess it is a good thing I'm a math teacher.  
  • I never had an interest in the Great Gatsby until the class today.  Now I'm very intrigued. 
  • Hacky sack is a tough game.  To get someone else out you need to juggle at least 4 times.  I only did 2.  I was out pretty quick.  
  • I'm really humbled to be a teacher.  It is quite a responsibility.  I don't want to ever take for granted the charge I have.  
  • I took 7 pages of notes today.  An organization system is a must for students.  


Here is my journey on Twitter Storyify Journey 







Now, I challenge you to Shadow a Student for a Day!  Ask your principal today and DO IT.  You will be pushed out of your comfort zone, but you will never regret it.  Let me know how your journey goes.
My Very Best,
Dave



3 comments:

Jennifer Cole said...

Hey Dave!

I am a student at the University of South Alabama! I am taking a course that requires me to comment on teachers' blogs, and I was able to pick my own for this week! I am going to be a high school math teacher, so I wanted to find a HS math teacher's blog! That's how I found your blog!

I am really glad I stumbled upon your blog because I really enjoyed this post! I think it is an amazing thing when teachers are truly passionate about teaching. You went through this to better understand your students so that you can adapt your teaching style for them. There are not many teachers that do this so eagerly, and that is the reason I believe you must be an awesome teacher.

Whenever I become a teacher, I am definitely going to do this every few years to help me keep in touch with what my students will be going through in those times.

Jennifer Cole

Nicholas DiGiovanni said...

Dave -

I thought you were crazy for doing this. But I respect you more than you will know. You are the best!

Brenda Akers said...

Hi Dave,I have read this post and want to say you are the best. I'm just thinking you were really crazy for doing those activities.