i have a question...

Friday, March 12, 2010

conversations with my teacher, vol. VI

As part of the program to get a teaching license, I will be observed in the classroom three times this semester. And it is incredibly lucky that I love and adore my program supervisor, who is one of the most gifted teachers I've ever met, observed, or been the student of.

She visited my special ed class yesterday afternoon, after a VERY intense week of teaching (and it was only Thursday). And by the end of the period, which was a bit like pulling teeth yesterday, as I struggled through trying to explain status to them, my supervisor had learned all the students names and diagnosed them all for me and my mentor teacher. It was astounding. Even my mentor teacher was like, I've learned more about these kids in three minutes with you than the eight years I've been here.

It's never really occurred to me how low-functioning they are. Because I just teach them the lesson, we get through the period, they do their best, and we all go home. It was incredibly eye-opening and moving to have the extent of their challenges pointed out and explained to me. We talked through ways I can amend my speaking style and reinforcement of information to help them understand and engage with the lessons better; she told me the many things I did well, including using touch and humor appropriately and well.

At one point, she mentioned how I'd admitted to them that I never give them enough time to get their behavior tickets in order at the beginning of each class and how I "really need to learn that."

Then she said, "The whole world is smarter than these kids. But you are A LOT smarter than them. You admitting that you still need to learn something is incredibly important to them."

And I almost burst into tears.

It's amazing how much we can learn we're taking for granted when we work with kids like this.


Meredith said...

God I love that woman.

Annie said...

how lucky are we?