Friday, January 16, 2009

I am really hoping this weekend I get some downtime to explore the tutorials so I can start developing my questions for the selected interviews at the end of the first six weeks of the second semester. I want to pull a sampling of kids that have done really well with having the No D policy, some that it helps somewhat , and others who haven’t taken advantage. I am not sure with all I have been learning about regarding qualitative analysis how I would code or decipher their responses. This is why I think I need to maybe complete two kinds of feedback surveys for this second cycle. One that is more clinical in terms of specific numbers, and would give me detailed facts about their thoughts and feelings. And another that is more objective for me to try and interpret.

I almost wish I had more physical access to MR throughout this process. It would be great to have her guidance on a daily basis, but I love the freedom that she has given me to make mistakes, to learn form them and try again all the while focusing on the process. And this is the same strategy I am trying to implement with my student teacher. Although I am here on a daily basis, watching guiding and giving feedback, I really want the classroom and the policies to be his. I want the students and Randon to have the same success with the No D policy and make up work that I did. I wonder if I need to get some more reflections from him on the policies as well as suggestions for improvement or cycles?

I feel like my project is more out of my hands and in someone else’s. It is challenging to keep it going when I am neither the one grading, nor assessing the work but instead my role has changed to helping someone else implement these projects. It is so much more challenging being a mentor than I ever thought. I am learning so much about me as well as what it would be like to be a teacher of teachers which is something I have thought of doing in the future. I am catching glimpses of myself in this light and now unsure if that is what I would like to do. I don’t know if it is more challenging because this was my classroom and my students and now it is someone else’s from day one of this semester. I do know that I need to be open and honest with my student teacher about what I am seeing and observing as well suggestions for improvement all the while trying to be an encourager, motivator, and example of his future career.

The nice thing is that I am not doing this alone. Randon, my student teacher, is blogging about everything he is doing so it is all very open to everyone. I love this because this is how I run my classroom. You can read his blog here . Also, my friend and colleague Kristin Leclaire is sharing Randon’s student teaching with me. What is so great is that we are all learning from one another. Randon is combining elements from both of us into one another’s classrooms. He is taking the best (at least I think it is the best) and putting them into himself and his teaching tool box. With having both Kristin and I he is exposed to a 21st century classrooms, but we wanted him to really expand his exposure to all teaching so that his toolbox is incredibly full when he has completed his student teaching. We have asked for him to go and observe a ton of teachers in all different disciplines because of this. We have math, science, history, team teachers, and even counselors. He is starting on this journey with us, and we want him to be the best. No pressure here, but we are not letting him get away with anything but his best. We do not want this to be student teaching as usual (tee-hee Karl) but to be student teaching that changes the world. No pressure Randon- we wouldn’t ask you to do it, if we didn’t think you could. Just as much as you believe in your students, we believe in you.

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