The man had visited once in January to introduce himself and meet the students. He had not taught at this time, but just given a brief presentation or outline of the plan for the coming nine months. I was not present at this presentation, instead relying on feedback from our two teacher trainees.
The next morning lessons started bright and early at 10 am. Our trainee teacher who had been indisposed the previous day, leaving Van and I to observe and report back alone, bounced off to watch the teaching style of the weekend man and take notes. We were fairly sure that the weekend man himself would not want feedback on his teaching. As I have mentioned, I feel that watching others teach is crucial to contemplating your own teaching methodology as it is very difficult to see things objectively while teaching your own class as there is so much else to think about; especially for an inexperienced teacher.
Van and I arrived a little later after having given our trainee time to draw his own conclusions and watch unhindered by his mentors presence. His feedback and observations were very accurate; he was looking for the right things and was starting to be able to judge why something worked well or was a failure. When he observed me teach, his observations tend to be limited to a report of what I have actually done over the course of instruction, without the next stage of analyzing why it might or might not work within the classroom context. I am unclear whether this reluctance is due to inexperience or simply that he doesn’t wish to insult me as his teacher. I am hoping it is the former because I have no desire to stand on ceremony and have him assure me that everything I do is wonderful just because I am the teacher.
After the class we met with out teacher trainee to discuss the observations that each of us had made over the course of the three-hour lesson. We had each watched different parts and soon pieced together a run-through of everything that had happened over the lesson. We concluded that the scheduling on the board is a positive note; in fact the board was pretty well organized throughout. However, there needs to be more break times built in. One positive point was that the previous day the students had done presentations with no preparation time. However, the second day the groups of 4 were given large flip chart paper upon which to note their thoughts. This lead to better presentations which were more well-thought through.
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer