Today I had my final, formal observation for the school year. I’m always nervous when these happen; I’m normally a pretty confident person, but I turn into a prepubescent girl preparing for the school dance; I overthink my hair, my clothes, how I look, how I smell, how I walk, how I talk, what I say, what I don’t say, how I say it, ect.
Our class is a bit behind the others because of Algebra End of Course exams that take about a third of my students from each of my morning classes, and I am playing the roll of a teacher who has 18 different classes to prepare for because everything is topsy-turvy. The one thing I knew was that of all the days to be observed, this morning at 8am, first period, would be the least chaotic.
One of the questions we are asked on our observation worksheet is what aspect of the lesson would we like the administrator to pay particular attention to. I chose to have my admin look for my classroom management and ESOL accommodations. I chose this because I have the most…difficult children, behavior-wise, in my first period, as well as the most ESOL students. It’s easier to accommodate one or two, but I have seven in this class.
Monday, we finished Act III, scene i from Romeo and Juliet, which is incredibly important because this is when Mercutio is killed by Tybalt who is then slain by Romeo resulting in his banishment from Verona. In preparation for next year’s Common Core Standard implementation, I am having my students work more with evidence-based answers to their guided reading questions.
Here was my lesson plan:
1. As an introduction, we looked at how the character Romeo has changed from Act I to Act III. Students were to choose 3 to 5 terms that would characterize Romeo in Act I, Act II, the beginning of Act III, scene i and then the end of the scene. Students will share their answers as a whole class.
2. In small collaborative groups, the students were given the following three topics to analyze in regards to Act I to Act III:
- Romeo’s romantic love life
- Juliet as a daughter
- Mercutio’s opinion of Romeo
The students were given Venn Diagrams to write out their findings, and then we shared as a whole class.
3. After all three topics were completed, I asked for the groups to choose one of the three topics to write a brief response/summary. They must have included at least one quote to support their generalization of how the character changed from Act I to Act III.
I thought that the lesson went over quite well. With having all of my ESOL students AND the behaviorally challenged students leftover after the Algebra testers left, I had a total of twelve students to work with. I was kicking myself that I chose this particular day to be observed because how could I possibly come out smelling like roses with this hodge podge of a class??? Every single student stepped up to their games. I could not have been happier. Students who have stayed silent and meek the entire year leapt out of their seats to answer my questions. When my administrator left, I had a few moments with my students before the bell rang. They all huddled around me, and I told them how incredibly impressed I was with them. One of my ESOL students, one whom I rarely hear from unless it’s to tell me why he didn’t complete an assignment or to ask me if I have upgraded to a new cell phone, said to me, “You see this? We do good for you; we raise you up.” My heart melts.