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StudentTeachingWeeklyLog

Name:

TalbotHook

Week:12(August24September4)

1. Howdidyouspendyourtimethisweek?Whatresponsibilitiesdidyouhave?
Beingthefirsttwoweeksofstudentteaching,themajorityofmytimewasspentsoaking
inunfamiliarsurroundings,newstimuli,andinformation,anduponobservation,both
informalandformal.IparticipatedinunitplanningduringaPLCwiththeentireSocial
Studiesdepartment,touredthefacilitiesandmet,itseemed,nearlyeveryoneof
importance,lookedatmanyclassroomswiththeirdesignsanddecorations,andbegan
forgingagoodworkingrelationshipwithmymentorteacherandtheotherteachersofthis
department.TherearefourstudentteachersthissemesterworkingintheSocialStudies
department,andsomeofmytimewasspentwiththem,exchangingplansandideas,and
sharingourexperiences.Ihavetakenonmoreresponsibilitiesthanmostofmypeers,in
thatIamalreadyfulltimeteachingoneofmymentorteacherscourses.Mymentor
teachercreatedhisHistoryofthe60s,70s,and80scourseuponhishiringhereovera
decadeago,andwasgivenonesectionofintroductoryAmericanHistorythisyear.As
thisisaclasshehasnotyettaught,ithasfallentometodesignhowitwillprogress
(whichisbeautifulandterrifying).Thedepartmenthammeredoutafoundational
curriculumforit,andIamplanning,teaching,assessing,anddifferentiatingallonmy
owninthisclass,receivinglittletonohelpfrommymentorteacher(whichisntasbad
asitsounds).Myplanningperiods(andourcombinedschoolserviceperiod,whichisIn
SchoolSuspension)werethereforeconsumedbyplanningforthisclass,examining
curriculumandsupplementaryresources,gradingstudentjournals,andgathering
necessarymaterials.Thatsaid,Ienjoyallofthesethingsgreatly,andtheclassis,sofar,a
joytoteach,eventhoughstudentmotivationissomethingIwillperhapsnever
understand.Inreality,Iamtheteacherforthisclass,andIquitelikeit.Theotherclass,
colloquiallyreferredtoasHippieHistory,existsnotinanysyllabus,butintheheadof
mymentorteacher.Itisprimarilyexposition,withlittlestudentinvolvement,andit
revolvesaroundmusictoagreatdegree.Withthesefactsinmind,Iamnervousabout
assumingtheroleofteacherinthisclass,becausemyspecializationisnotinAmerican
History,andcertainlynotinAmericanHistoryofthisera,oritsmusic.But,asthisismy
placement,Iwillofcourseapplymyselftothebestofmyabilities,andworkwithwhat
hasbeengiventome.Atpresent,myteacherandIhaveyettohammeroutourplansfor
mytransitioningtoleadteacherofthisclass,andIamthereforeinthedark.Intotal,
however,ithasbeenaveryenjoyabletwoweeks,andIamlearningagreatdeal,and
hopefullyeffectivelyteachingacommensurateamount.
2. Whatwereyourmostsatisfyingexperiences?Whatwereyourmostchallenging
experiences?
Mymostsatisfyingexperienceshavebothtakenplaceintheclassroom.Ihavetaughttwo
lessonsthatIthoughtwerequitegood;mymentorteachercorroboratedthis(hewasquite
ecstatic),andIevenreceivedseveralcomplimentsfromstudents.(Asasidenote,this
meansthatwhenIhavelessonsthatarelessgood,IfeellikeIhavesubsequentlyfailed,
eventhoughIknowthatnoteverylessoncanbespectacular,andthatitislikelyonlyin
relationtoadequateclassesthatgoodclassesstandout.But,Idigress.)Ihavealsobeen
abletoeffectivelyshapemylessonplansaroundthecurriculum,yetstillcoverthingsthat

Ifindtrulyimportant.Forinstance,inourunitonProgressivismintheearly20thcentury,
Ihavebeentryingmyhardesttotietogetherhistoricaleventsandmovementswith
conceptsandhappeningsinmodernsocialjustice,inordertobettershowtheimportance
ofstudyingthisperiodofhistory.Anditisinthisthatmylessonshavetrulyconnectedto
students.Yet,hereiswheremymostchallengingmomentscomeintoexistence.My
mentorteacherandIhavedifferentideas,shallwesay,onwhatthingscountasbeing
importantpolitically,andIcantellthatsometimesheandIarenotinperfectagreeance
withoneanotherontopicsofequality,discrimination,orjustice.So,whileIamhappy
withmyfreedomtointroducetheseconceptsintomylessons,andstudentsseemtobe
mostengagedwiththeseconnections,IsometimesworrythatIshouldjustbetowingthe
line,andnotupsettingtherapportIhavecreatedwithmymentorteacher.Effectively,the
atmosphereisoneofsocialconservatism(especiallyintheteacherslounge),and
teaching(withmypersonalityandmyneedtopushforreform)seemsadelicatedance,at
times.Yet,mymentorteacherisahighlypleasantman,andtherelationshipseemsstable
andamiable.Aswithallthings,Iwilljusthavetowaitandseehowthingsdevelop.
3. Whataretheplansfortheupcomingweek?
Myplansfortheupcomingweekaretwofold.Firstly,Iwillcontinueplanningunitsand
lessonplans,aswellasteachingandassessingtheclassIamsolelyresponsiblefor
managing.Iaimtobemorecreativeinmyplanning,andimplementmoreuniqueand
differentinstructionalstrategiesthatIhaveyettoutilize;afterall,Ineedtokeepinmind
thatnoteverythingismeanttogoperfectlyduringstudentteaching(especiallynotatthe
beginning),andthatstudentteachingisatimeofbothlearningandexperimentation(and
perhapsevenfailure).So,asIgrowmorecomfortableinmyroleasteacher,Iwill
exploredifferentmethodsofinstruction,andIhopetoincreasemycapabilitytomanage
theclassroomeffectively.Secondly,Iwillbegintodiscusstakingonmore
responsibilitiesinHippieHistorywithmymentorteacher;thisfirstunitiscenteredon
storytellingandanextensivevideo,andsomyinteractionswiththeseclasses(except
whenIteachthemformymentorteacher,whichhashappenedthreetimestodate)is
somewhatlimited.Ineedtoaskhimforsomesemblanceofacurriculum,orplansforthe
class,andthenIneedtoacquaintmyselfwithhisresourcesandmaterials,andbeginto
developlessonplansthatIcanteachwithinthenextfewweeks.Inshort,Iwillcontinue
todevelopinbothoftheseclasses,eventhoughmyinteractionswithineachofthemare
incrediblydifferenttodate.Inevenmorebrevity,Iwanttobecomemorecomfortable,
capable,competent,andcreative.

StudentTeachingWeeklyLog
Name:TalbotHook

Week:3(September711)

1. Howdidyouspendyourtimethisweek?Whatresponsibilitiesdidyouhave?
Thisweeksawincreasingresponsibilityonmypart,whichisthenaturalcourseofstudent
teaching.WhileIhavebeenfulltimeteachingAmericanHistorysincethethirddayofschool,
twodaysthisweektheteacherwasgoneduetothebirthofhisgrandson(hisreactionwhenfirst
hesawhimwastrulytouching),andsoItookoverfullresponsibilityoftheclassroom.Granted,
thelessonsheleftwerenotcomplicated,butstill,itwasuptometomanagetheclassroom,and
implementtheteaching.Itwasaniceamountofresponsibility,Ifelt,evenifIhadnotdesigned

theactivitiesforthosetwodays.Monday,ofcourse,wehadnoschool,duetoLaborDay,and
therestoftheweekseemedflavoredbythat;thestudents,whenTuesdayrolledaround,were
uniformlytiredandunwillingtobecomeengagedinanything,itseemedafactwhichwas
corroboratedbyeveryteacherItalkedtothatday.So,forwhatitisworth,Ilearnedsomething
aboutthefirstdaybackfromholidays.
Therewerelongperiodsofobservation,still,andalotoflessonswereplannedbyme,uptothe
pointwhereIfoundoutIwouldlikelynotbecontinuinginthisschool,forreasonsoflicensure
previouslyunknowntobothmyselfandmymentorteacher.But,oncethatwasresolved(more
orless),thingswereonceagainunderway,andschoolcontinued.Imadegoodprogressin
gainingrapportwithseveralclasses,thoughIsometimesthinkmyageandyouthfulappearance
(somestudentsthoughtIwas20yearsold,whichwasflattering,butquiteuntrue),aswellasmy
generaldemeanor,makesomestudentsseemeasmoreofapeertheycanwrestlewiththanthe
teachertheyfeeltheyshouldlistento.But,Icandolittleaboutmyappearanceinthismanner,so
myclassroommanagementwillneedtostemfromsomeothersource,providedIcanfindthat
source.Overall,Ifeltmyresponsibilitiesgrow,thoughthegrowthwasnothuge.Yet,even
modestgrowthisstillgrowth,andsoIconsideritaweekwellspent.
2. Whatwereyourmostsatisfyingexperiences?Whatwereyourmostchallenging
experiences?
Mymostsatisfyingexperience,byfar,wasassessingthelearningofthestudentsinmy
AmericanHistoryclass.Iwasincrediblyinterested,withcommensurateanxiety,inhowmy
studentswoulddoonathirteenquestionquizIproducedforFriday(whichblendedcurricular
itemsfromtheirunittest,aswellasthingsthatIsimplyfoundmoreimportant);afterall,toan
extent,studentperformanceissomewhatbaseduponthesuccessofaneducatorsteaching.That
said,moreresponsibilityisuponthestudenttotakechargeofhis/herownlearning,andifthey
aregivenopportunity,theyshouldsucceed,providedtheystriveforit.Ofcourse,theresultsof
anygivenassessmentaremoreoptimisticthehigherthegrades,butgradesgenerallyfallupona
standardbellcurve,withsomestudentsdoingpoorly,moststudentsdoingdecently,andafew
studentsexceeding.And,thisishowitendedupplayingout.Theclassaveragewas73.3%(after
somequickcalculations)onthetest,withafewfailures,andafewperfectscores.WhileI,asa
teacherintraining(Imalwayshesitanttocallmyselfateacher,asIamnotone,yet),was
hopingforaboveaveragescores(reflectingwelluponbothmyteachingandstudentlearning
habits),theresultsweretypical.WhenIreflecteduponthetest,Irealizedthat,evenwhenI
simplifiedlanguage,Icouldstillmakeityetsimpler.And,thenIrealizedthat,toanextent,
studentsshouldalsobechallengedonthecontentoftheirEnglishabilities(EnglishLanguage
Learnerspresentamorenuancedcase,ofcourse);ifeverycontentteacherisalsoareading
teacher,aswearetaught,thenitismyjobtonotonlyteachreading,buttopushthelimitsof
studentEnglish.So,whilemyEnglishwassimplified,IamnotyetsurewhereIshouldhave
fallenonthescaleoflinguisticcomplexity.Aswithallthingsinlife,IfallupontheMiddlePath,
inthatIdonotwanttomakethingsimpossiblyhard,butIalsodonotwanttocoddlestudents,
becausewherethereisnochallenge,therecanbelittlegrowth.Asyoucansee,Ihavenotfound
adefinitiveansweronthispoint;nordoIknowwhetheroneexists.
ThemostfrustratingthingIveyetexperiencedistheclassroommanagementoffreshmen.The
upperclassmenarealreadyjaded,tired,andlaidback,sotheproblemthatresultsisoneof
motivation.Onthefarendofthatscalearefreshmen,who,whiletheydonotlackfortheenergy
lostasoneages,arethesquirreliestorganismsimaginable.AndwhileIcangetthemtoquiet

downeventually(thoughmymethodsarepushed,occasionally,totheirlimits),itdoesloseclass
time,whichisratherbothersometome.They,quiteliterally,talkateverygivenopportunity,and
transitionsareprotractedsiegesofconversationwhichareneverasefficientasIwouldlike.I
havebeendoingsomereadingsonthispoint,however,andIamgettingnewideas.Thatsaid,the
biggestfrustrationofthisweekhasbeenthatofclassroommanagement.Isthisnormal?
Probably.Doesthatmakeitanylessfrustrating?Heavensno.
3. Whataretheplansfortheupcomingweek?
Myplansfortheupcomingweekaresimple,andyetcomplicated.AsIwillbeforcedto
transitionintomysecondplacementforreasonsoflicensureandaccreditation(thoughIdonot
harborillwilltowardanyone,asthatisnotinmycharacter),Iwillspendthelasttwodays
handingallreinsbacktomymentorteacher,patchingupanyfinalholesinmyexperienceat
SoutheastPolk,andgainingsomeamountofclosurewiththestudents,myfellowstudent
teachers,andthosewithwhomIwork.Iwillalsoextendgratitudetothefacultythathavehelped
me,andreassurethemthatthisisoutofallofourhands.Fromthere,IwilltransfertoEast,and
assumedlyobserve,askmorequestionsthanIeverhave(forIamintenselyawareofmy
ignoranceofwhatbeingateacherofEnglishLanguageLearnersactuallyentails),andfilloutall
thepaperworkthattakesplaceatthestartofanewplacement.Iwillhopefullybecomefamiliar
withEast,andquicklytransitionintoacomfortableroleasstudentteacherthere.Heresto
hopingeverythinggoeswell.

StudentTeachingWeeklyLog
Name:TalbotHook

Week:4(September1418)

1. Howdidyouspendyourtimethisweek?Whatresponsibilitiesdidyouhave?
Thefirsttwodaysthisweekwentbyfartooquickly,asIattemptedclosureatmySoutheastPolk
placement.Duringthesetwodays,IreleasedanyresponsibilityIhadintheHistoryofthe60s,
70s,and80s,andonlytaughthalfperiodsfortheAmericanHistorycoursewhichIhadbeen
teachingonmyownsincethebeginning.Itwasstrangeinaway,tohaveonlyhalfaperiod
wherebeforeIhadthewholething.Withmydayscutshort,IknewIhadalimitedtimetoease
thestudentsbackintothenormsoftheirmainteacher.OnMonday,Iinvitedstudentstoreview
myperformanceafternearlyfourweeks,andprintedoutareviewformaskingthemwhatIdid
well,whatIneededtoimproveupon,howtheirlearningwent,andothergeneralcomments.I
gavethemoptionalanonymity,butItoldthemthatregardlessIwishedforthemtotakeit
seriously,asitisoneoftheprimarywaysIcangrowasaneducator.Onmylastdaythere,Ico
taughtwithmymentorteacher,reviewedthestudentquizzesfromlastFriday,andthentooka
classselfiebeforethebellrang.Allinall,itwasquitetouching;thestudentswrotemeasweet
message,andIhadmyfirststudentcry,whichwasimmeasurablyhumbling.
MytransfertoEastHighSchoolforthebeginningofmyESLplacementwasevenmore
humbling.Theevidenceoftheeconomic,ethnic,andlinguisticdiversitybetweenthetwo
schoolsisunmissable.WhileIknewmyexperiencewouldbedifferent,Iwasntquitereadyfor
suchasuddenandprodigiousshiftinstudentbackgrounds.Thatsaid,evenafterthreedays,I
alreadyhavehugeappreciationandrespectforthestudentsinMr.Hawkinssclassroom;theyall
seemdelightful,andappearmorefocusedthanmostmainstreamclassrooms.Largely,Iobserved
forthepastthreedays,thoughIalsoworkedwithsmallgroups,readtotheclass,helpedwith

classroommanagement(keepingstudentsalignedwiththeirclassroomexpectations),
participatedintwoPLCs,metatleasttwentypeople,touredtheschool,andbeganlookingat
curriculum.Thetone,pacing,andatmosphereofMr.HawkinssroomascomparedwithMr.
Knippsareallincrediblydifferent,andMr.Hawkinsdefinitelyleadsamorehurriedlifestyle,
andismoreinvolvedinstudentlives.Icanalreadytellthatthisfourweekswillbeincredibly
differentthanmyfirstfour,andforthatIamquiteexcited.
2. Whatwereyourmostsatisfyingexperiences?Whatwereyourmostchallenging
experiences?
Mymostsatisfyingexperiencewasreadingthereviewsmystudentshandedinconcerningmy
teaching.Theconsensuswas,overall,humblingduetoitspositivity.Ireceivedmorepraisethan
Ilookedfor(evenifnotallstudentstookitasseriouslyastheirmoreassiduousclassmates),and
thecriticismsweremorethanvalid,astheyarethesamecritiquesIhavepointedoutmyself
especiallyconcerningassertivenessandputtingmyfootdown.TheseareboththingsIneedto
workon.But,Igotagreatdealoutofmystudentsthoughtsandcomments,anditwasan
excellentwaytofinishoutmytimethere.
ThemosttryingexperienceofmyweekhappenedafterschoolonFridaywhentwoteachersin
theESLdepartmentgotintoapassionatediscussionwithoneanotheroveranincrediblytrivial
matter.Thereissome,shallwesay,Drama,inEastsESLdepartment,andthingscanbecome
ratherheatedwithoutmuchwarning.Ihavenotbeenprivytothedisagreementsofthepastyears,
ofcourse,somybackgroundinthisareaisnegligible.Yet,Ihavepickeduponafewthingsin
myshorttimethere,andinternecineconflictseemsparforthecourse.Ihavewitnessedwaytoo
muchgossip,toomanyidlewords,andmoredisrespectthanIamusedto,orthatIpermit,andit
isparticularlytryingformetofunctioninsuchanatmosphere.Speakingfactually,Iamavery
happyperson,andIdonotallowmyselftoputothersdown,soIwilleitherneedtorectifythings
atEast,ignorethem,orinternalizenegativitynoneofwhichseemspossibleorprobable.
Humansaresilly.
3. Whataretheplansfortheupcomingweek?
AsmyfourweeksatEastwillgobyquickly,Ineedtobeginthrowingmyselfintothe
curriculum,continuehelpingmymentorteacherimplementhislessons,familiarizemyselfwith
hismethods,units,andthelargerplanningscene,andeventuallybegintocoplanandcoteach.
Asyouknow,myobservationswillbebacktoback,andIneedtohaveagoodfoundationupon
whichtobeginmyteaching.WhileIamexcitedtotakemoreinitiativeintheclassroom,Iam
alsonervous,asmytheoreticalknowledgeofteachingELLsfarsurpassesmypractical
knowledge.Ihavealreadyaskedforthepatienceofmymentorteacher,soIhopemyteaching
goessmoothly.