I have finished my first week of my second practicum, which is with a teacher who has three high school math classes (two grade 9s and one grade 12).
I’ve only been observing this week, but my associate teacher (AT) has a very different teaching philosophy than the teachers I worked with last time, so I’m learning a lot by just watching her! She is very active with technology in the classroom, and is involved with a couple pilot projects involving Google for Education and Pear Deck. She also encourages her students to subscribe to a growth mindset state of mind, and often reminds them to remain positive, that if work is hard it means you’re learning, and to support their peers.
Another method that’s new to me is that the department work collaboratively. As a group, they design and lay out the semester, and also create lessons and assessments.
I already see positives and negatives about this method. One obvious positive is that it reduces the workload for each teacher! More plusses include: all the students are on the same page (and can study/work together cross-classes), teachers can work together throughout the semester, and it is easy for one teacher to cover for another if necessary. On the negative side, it could be tough to give up the reigns if you’re teaching style is different from the other teachers.
As the next few weeks go by, it will be interesting to see what other positives and negatives become more evident.
Another thing I was able to do this week was attend a PD session about using Chrome Books, and their associated apps, in the classroom. It is pretty cool how a teacher can set up virtual classrooms, post assignments, mark them, give feedback, and a ton more. It would definitely be something I’d be interested in doing in my future classroom(s).
Next week we actually have off for March break, so I’ll be home with my older son. Then, I’ll start teaching the two grade 9 classes about graphing and scatter plots. Looking forward to it!