Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Old School Teacher

I've been reading some dynamic education blogs, and connecting with some people on Twitter.

Today, I observed a class at the local high school, my head spinning with code phrases like "standards based grading" and "student lead learning" and "differentiation" and "collaborative learning".

I was . . . disappointed to find that this teacher was . . . just a teacher. Not a bad teacher, but not a great one, either.

He's just a man, trying to do what he thinks is best. Using a whiteboard and an overhead.

One of the things that he does that I like is that he used Cornell Notes in the class. He has pre-made pages in the Cornell Notes format. He gives his notes in a format where the class can easily use the CN format, and collects the notes with their homework assignments. It's an easy way to gather points, and it teaches them how to take notes.

I think at this stage, Advanced Geometry, that's a little bit spoon-fed, but I've discovered that a lot of students don't know how to take notes. So, maybe it's a good thing.

I took so many notes where I was like, "why not do x?"

He tried to ask students questions, and this is a good class, so at least a couple answered, but the class was not engaged. One student finished the homework assignment by the time the lecture began. Another was openly reading a novel at the back of the class.

Basically, he lectured. In a very traditional way. His classroom is set up with him as the focus, and all the desks facing the whiteboard.

I really wanted to jump up and take over. From a veteran teacher.

Goodness, am I that arrogant?


  1. Enthusiastic, not arrogant! :)

  2. Thank you! Yes, I am enthusiastic. :) I want to change the world, one student at a time.