This week was busy in both the lives of the students and the teachers. I noticed that everyone was rather stressed with the presentations of 8th grade’s work. However, I also noticed that within all this stress, there was a sort of ease that the students used to keep themselves focused on their work.On Wednesday, the big presentations would be given and the decision was to fit them all into one day. So, the 8th grade had only presentations for the whole day. Given my schedule, I was only able to attend an hour’s worth of presentations which ended up being four in total. I was an audience member with the teachers and was handed a sheet on grading each group. My task was to grade them based on actual performance of the presentation, topics covered and how clear they were, and then a comment box about what worked well and what things needed improvement. Finally, an overall grade out of five would be given to different categories.
All my life I have been watching presentations from my peers and taking them in as merely a presentation and asking a few questions here and there. With me playing the role of a teacher, I needed to be much more immersed in the process of evaluating a students presentation. Things I payed attention to were how much a script was used, how much a student relied on the presentation and/or others, and how well they truly understood what they were talking about. I knew my feedback would be important to them because they would see my comments as tools to help them in the future and I need to make sure that what I had to say was truly necessary and not just “great job!”
The next day, the class sat down and discussed with T. Megan how they thought the whole process was, including group forming, ideation, research and work on the actual project. It was interesting to see the students feedback and how they felt about it because it gave the teacher new things to think about for next year. The teacher can’t always know what’s going on with students because sometimes they will try to say everything is alright just so they can slip by without talking with the teacher to “waste time”.
Now that the projects are on hold for now, it’s time to be an English class again. The class is reading a graphic novel called Persepolis. It is in short about the Iranian Revolution. This introduces them to a new style of writing, and also important history. During this class, I was given access to the canvas page as a teacher, so I could see all the students progress and the different work along the way. While the book is being read, I will also be finding different chapters to lead discussions with the class to help their understanding of the reading be more concrete. This will continue after break.