This semester, I'm taking a class where I go into classrooms of varying grade levels to observe classrooms and teachers in action. My classmates and I have been encouraged by our professors and our mentor teachers to walk around the room, interact with the students and assist when necessary. Right now, I'm observing a fifth grade class.
During the time I was there, the class was working in their TAKS workbook. They were to read a passage in their books about the English settlers, and answer the questions using reading strategies to find what the question was asking. These included context clues, finding the main idea, etc. While the class was working independently, I decided that I would be more comfortable circulating around the room so I could see what the students were doing and figure out how the strategies were being used. This is when I get to know the students as well. Time to practice my teacher look.
As I was doing this, I noticed that there was one boy who was making noises and distracting everyone at his table. Remembering that the closer a teacher is to a student, the more likely the student will get back on task, I moseyed over to his desk. When he saw me, he immediately raised his hand. I asked him if he had a question.
He said, “Can I slap myself in the face?” Bewildered, I asked why he would want to do that. He responded, “I'm really tired, and I need to wake myself up.” I told him that slapping himself would not be a good idea, and reminded him that he needed to get back to work.
A few minutes pass, and I decide to check on him. I notice that his workbook is closed and he's giggling with the boy next to him. The teacher wrote the student's name on each TAKS workbook. I glance down, figure out the boy's name and decide to make a move. The two girls at their table looked at me with that look of desperation, the one that said, “Please shut him up, I'm really trying to do my work!” I smiled at them and decided to check on a few more students before coming back.
After talking to a girl across the room about the book she was secretly trying to read, it was time to make my move. He was talking to his neighbor about Lord knows what. “Willy*,” I said, “Have you finished answering all of your questions already? Wow, that was fast” Willy whipped around with a look of absolute shock on his face. “H...how did you know my name?” his voice wavered.
“I'm a teacher...I'm magic,” I replied with a coy smile as I walked over to the other side of the room to help another student.