Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unusual Teaching Moment

If you read my previous post then you would understand why this is so humorous:

Today over 5 of my 12 high school students were unavailable to come to school because the weather was nice and they needed to go out and shoot musk ox. While I support this whole heartedly and our school was very accepting and accommodating of the cultural need, I'm sure glad I didn't "PLAN" something really important out for today, otherwise they would have missed it or wouldn't have been able to do it.

In fact I'm happy that they are out providing for their families, my point is that improvisational teaching is a real thing with a real place in schools like ours. Here is just one example of how a "planned" lesson would have failed the needs of the students. Thank goodness I'm an improvising bad ass and I was able to think of something.

Last note, at no point in my $44,000 private school master in teaching program did they cover how deal with loss of 50% student population to musk ox hunting.

Hope the week is going well, peace my homies!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Two amazing teaching moments from the past two days:

1. I was talking to the students about the history of education in Alaska. At one point I stopped and looked at the kids and said, "You folks know that the kids from the villages used to have to go into Bethel for high school, right?" Some of the kids shook their heads yes and some no and I then started explaining that the DO used to be the dorms and all that. Finally I was like...what am I doing? I ran to the other classroom and grabbed the teacher from there and this teacher spent the next 20 minutes or so talking about her experiences at BRHS and what it was like living in the dorms and how she felt about it. It fit perfectly with what we had just read in our book. My students asked her thoughtful and insightful questions and were much more engaged in this lesson than in most that I plan.

2. Today in reading I had the students create a digital tableau of an important scene from each chapter. My writing plans went completely out the window when I decided to have them take it a step further and create a podcast of their final project! The students were enthusiastic and totally engaged as we finished our podcasts. The most important teaching moment came when I yelled above the music and noise, "Hey can someone help me out with my podcast? I'm having trouble!" and a 15 year old girl came over and showed me what to do.

You just cannot plan for stuff like that.

I'm so going to work at your school when it is built.

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