Monday, February 9, 2009

On teaching...

I find this blog is such a combination of things-book reviews(trade and professional), reflections, hopefully a source of information. Currently I am reading about three professional books on teaching and literacy as well as spending a fair amount of time in classrooms. And last night I spent two hours (a school year) in a Parisien middle school mainly in the French class of one teacher, François Bégaudeau, with a challenging mix of kids when I watched the movie, The Class. This is based on a book by the main character, the teacher, and the students are played by students at the school. I totally recommend looking at the press kit which you can access on the website. I also would be fascinated to see what our students would think of this class.
I am reading Never Work Harder than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching
the latest ASCD book club selection. The first advice is to start where your class is. Excellent advice. This book deals with how to become a master teacher. Always an interesting term. Occasionally I have been called a master teacher but if I am (which is extremely doubtful and definitely not always) it has only come from hard work not from natural ability. As I observe in classrooms, I see many teachers achieving so much and notice how much we can all learn from each other.
In my other blog, I commented on an evening with master teacher, Donald Leu, and I referred to tap dancing to work. Today my next step is making mango milkshakes for Aaron's class at Cavell. We have finished the novel,Yeny and the Children for Peace and the class is about to meet Irma, who is from Columbia, where the novel based on true events takes place. They are ready with questions and are already planning their own peace carnival to fund raise for UNICEF and some yet to be decided endangered animal. I think tap dancing with a jug of mango milkshakes may be risky but...

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