Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Through the eyes of a student

Asbury Park High School, NJ, where my father used to teach.
I am excited about this article on Grant Wiggins’ blog entitled, A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned.

The first sentence is “I have made a terrible mistake.”

The reason the author made this statement is that shadowing students for a few days was an eye-opening experience. Her regret is that she didn’t do this early in her teaching career.

“...I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!”

This article is a heartbreaking read. Typical students at this high school sit passively in their classes for almost the entire day, an activity that left the author feeling “drained” and “icky”. Doing any kind of homework felt impossible.

“I was so tired by the end of the day, I wasn’t absorbing most of the content, so I am not sure my previous method of making kids sit through hour-long, sit-down discussions of the texts was all that effective.”

Gosh. More educators should shadow students for a few days.