Friday, September 21, 2012

Student Teaching: Week 4 Log

*Note--names have been omitted or changed to protect privacy.

What was a positive highlight in your teaching week?
I enjoyed tutoring two students after school on Friday. Upon my advice, they made an “appointment” with me after school to get extra help in Unit 2 material. I showed them study tips and what topics to focus on for the upcoming test. It only took 30 minutes, but they seemed so appreciative!

What was your biggest challenge this week?
I decided to have serious talks with any student with a grade of “C” or lower. We are halfway through Unit 2 and Progress Reports are coming up in the next few weeks. I don’t want students to be surprised by their grades. I want them to have every opportunity to improve. It was difficult to deliver the bad news to students. Some were very upset. Others seemed resentful. I made it clear that it “wasn’t too late” to improve their grades, and that I was “trying to light a fire under them”. I said that I was sorry they were upset, but that they should use that feeling to drive them to do better. I said that they needed to do something different, whether that be to study harder, use better strategies (which I’d be happy to teach them, after school or at lunch), and/or make an appointment with me during lunch or after school, Tuesday-Friday. A few students have sought out extra help, but most have not changed their patterns. I don’t know how to motivate these students to work harder.

What aspect of teaching do you hope to work on or refine next week?
We are moving onto Unit 2 next week—Organic Chemistry (macromolecules, water, and enzymes). I want to try and design some fun activities to make the material more interesting. I would like to design a mystery game where each student in the lab group gets a clue. The other students have to identify which macromolecule the student is based on the clue.

Additional responsibilities required reflection.
Note: I attended the school's first pep rally of the year and opening home football game!
(I also attended “Back-to-School” Night).

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