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JD Tarbet


The school I observed was the Meridian High School on Pine and Linder. The

teacher was Mr. Bob Rois, and he taught high school mathematics. The way the

curriculum was set up, it wasnt quite like math was when I went to high school.

They were following a more integrated format where each category of math rolled

together. Instead of dividing the curriculum up into Geometry, Algebra, Trig, etc. it

all worked off each other and worked in unison. From my observation, I could see

where this is beneficial as it allows the students to make connections and work to

solve problems in more ways than just one. The downside though was that it was a

lot of material that the classes went over in the few short weeks during my


During my observation, Mr. Rois kept the class well maintained. There were

two primary classes I witnessed during my observations. One was a more remedial

level math, focusing on lower grade mathematics that dealt with introductory

algebra and geometry, while the other was a junior/senior level math, going into

more pre-calculus and trig type classes. The higher level class was better-behaved,

with Mr. Rois giving them more freedom and alone time to work on their homework,

while the remedial class had to be led in a more structured manner. The remedial

class required more lecture time, as well as the whole class being led on the

assignments with Mr. Rois leading them up on the board, and myself and his

assistant floating around the room and helping on a personal level. The students

desks were set up in tables, so the students sat in pairs. This was beneficial as most

students would first converse and try to help each other out first before calling for
assistance. With that layout, whenever we would have to help a student, more than

likely we were also assisting the student next to them as well.

The students themselves were very mixed towards me as an assistant

teacher/observer. Some were more accepting of my insight and assistance, while

others fought my presence to the point of resentment. One student in particular

would bad mouth me behind my back for not being useful when I didnt help her

the exact way she wanted, by just giving her the answer, I slowly guided her

towards it, trying to get her to think it through on her own. Another student,

however, I really liked and she seemed to appreciate my help, as well as my humor.

She was a sweet little thing whose mobility was limited and had to use a

wheelchair, and had trouble writing on her papers perfectly. Im not sure what her

ailment was as I didnt think it was necessary to ask, but she seemed to appreciate

my help. To me, it felt as though the students who were accepting of me

appreciated the extra help, while those who seemed to resent me felt as though I

were an outsider, with many being hesitant to ask or accept my help.

As far as professionalism goes, I do believe that the teacher needs to have a

certain degree of well-maintained composure, such as cleanliness and proper attire,

but Ive been one that believes too much will be alienating from the students. Mr.

Rois tended to wear a button-up long sleeve shirt, as well as slacks, but the other

teacher next-door, whom I observed on days that Mr. Rois didnt have classes,

typically was in a pollo and jeans. As far as the students seemed to be concerned,

none really seemed to care what the teachers were wearing. As a peer-to-peer level

though, I can see the importance of being well dressed.

I didnt exactly feel overwhelmed while in the classroom, but I could see it

being too much when alone, but all the students seemed to need help all at once.

When one raised their hands, three more raised theirs. I can only imagine how that

would be in a classroom all by yourself, with each student wanting assistance, but

not only that, in some classes, each student wanted the full run through of the

problem, which is why I think Mr. Rois went more in depth with his lectures in the

remedial class.

Aside from observing lectures and assisting the students, Mr. Rois had me

grade a few tests and assignments, as well as input them into his gradebook on the

computer. He also had me running and sorting copies of assignments he needed for

his classes. This was very helpful as it gave me experience with the online

gradebook system they used, as well as gave me experience with a more industrial

business copier, which I had never dealt with before.

Observing the class was a very helpful thing, as it gave me plenty of

experience, as well as more insight of what to expect when I actually make it to a

teaching job. Im glad I got the experience, and Im hoping in the future to be able

to work with Mr. Rois and the Meridian High staff again.