I had the opportunity to observe a teacher who is a legend at our school. He has been teaching here for 45 years and has the wisdom to prove it. After observing his high school technical drawing class, I admired his consistent energy and enthusiasm. His attitude was contagious! I feel that a lot of teachers can easily get worn out after years and years of teaching, but this was not true in his case. The teacher is not only passionate about the student’s academic education; he is also concerned with their personal growth as a follower of Christ. As I watched the lesson, I constantly saw him referring to this question, “What is God communicating to you through this class?”
The teacher was extremely skilled in the art of multi-tasking. It almost seemed like he had eyes in the back of his head. I was impressed by how he weaved in and out of the rows of desks observing student progress and giving instructional input. Like me, this teacher also moves from room to room because of the diverse range of classes that he teaches. I feel that it is a challenge to not have a homeroom and this teacher overcomes this challenge by using all the resources that each room has to offer. Throughout this hands-on lesson, the teacher was constantly present with the students and supported them in their learning.
Today I observed an SAS special learning session for one of my students who has an IEP plan. It was very interesting to see the teaching techniques that are used for these students. The student that I was observing has specific difficulties in connecting meaning to words. I noticed that he can easily grasp patterns and sometimes big ideas, however, he has a difficult time with specific details. The challenge here is that I teach technology classes and the information is full of specific details.
In my observation, I noticed how well the teacher spoke to the student. She used short sentences and carefully chose each word to create a sentence that he would understand. When the teacher spoke, it was quite respectful to the student and did not belittle him at all. She complemented him when he made progress and encouraged him when he made a mistake. I was also impressed by how the teacher held the student to higher standards. When he made a very small mistake in a sentence, she always kindly corrected him. I think that this is very important in special education because if teachers overlook small mistakes, then students will not know that there is a problem. This observation gave me an important look through the eyes of my student. I got to see his perspective on education and personal challenges first hand. This experience is something that I can directly apply to my teaching because I have a number of students with 504 plans and IEPs in my classes, and it takes extra time and effort to ensure their understanding of the subject matter.