Liveblogging Student Teaching #3

Tag-team. So Dana just passed the baton to Sarah. She's student teaching now. She's leading the independent practice. That's when kids try questions by themselves. There are 8 total kids. We do student teaching with small class sizes at first. That way it's easier to find your way. Starting with the normal 25 at a time can be overwhelming. Although there's probably a Rodgers versus Sanchez aspect to class size, too.

I don't know if this is an "easy" room. Every kid is working with some reasonable amount of work. Hard for Sarah to get practice working with kids who shut down easily.

She's interacting with a kid in front. I think I just saw her authentic smile. He "got it." That is one of the great satisfactions of math teaching -- crystalized moments of "got it." Doesn't happen to the same degree in any other subject.

When she started the class, I saw the slightly forced smile. That's the smile many of us do before public speaking.

Sarah checks the clock. It's 10:26pm. She's using her Navigational Lobe. "How much time do I have to get through this stuff?"

She gives directions on how they will review. A few kids don't follow, though. Giving clear directions is actually a remarkably hard task. Say too little, kids don't follow. Say too much, kids die of boredom.

Sarah: Read the question aloud, Romeo.

He does. Romeo likes the class. You can tell he likes math.

But his reading style is a bit flat and a bit slurred, and he's in the front row facing the board. So it's hard to hear him as well as, say, Calvin.

Calvin was not following along. Sarah handles it fine. She circulates and gets him in the right place.

Sarah is like me in the early years of dating Pru. Sarah totally buys into our teaching moves. She's willing to do them. She's just not ready to commit, to go at it a full 100%, to "own it": to be projecting to every kid, I friggin' WILL make sure you get it, 1 by 1 by 1 by 1.

Sarah wants the "right answers" to get said for the sort of cloud effect of the group. An individual kid doesn't fully feel Sarah's desire that you NEED (not you want but you need), you need ME (not us but me) to REALLY "get" this stuff.

It's so hard to pin down precisely, that I'm afraid I won't be giving Sarah precise coaching feedback 10 minutes from now. We shall see.