Assistant Teaching- Alec B

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.

Grading work


3 thoughts on “Assistant Teaching- Alec B

  1. kevinwang11

    Hi Alec,

    It is interesting to learn about your new found experience as an evaluator. I, too, feel that students listening to their peers’ presentations tend not to able to pay attention, whereas when they are given the option to grade the presentations, they become more attentive than ever.

    Hope you enjoy your senior project and have a wonderful spring break,

  2. tonychenwesttown

    Hi Alec,

    It’s great to hear about your new experience and thoughts about being a teacher. In addition to teaching the content, an important aspect of teaching is to give feedback to the students, and I really love your reflection on this aspect.

  3. aliviathompson

    It’s so interesting to hear from another student how different it is to be in the opposite role as teacher/evaluator. I bet that was an eye-opening experience for you as well to get insight into the thought that goes into grading. Ever since your presentation to the student body a couple months ago I have been thinking about how interesting and fun it must be to be able to teach the middle school. Keep up the great work, and good luck for the future!


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