16 March 2005

The Joys of Tutoring

Today, two colleagues and I team taught. We had 70 sophomores who showed up for our tutoring sessions in planning a scientific investigation. Their feedback was fairly positive and I felt like the day was well spent.

The best part for me was getting to work the crowd with another teacher. Teaching is usually such a private endeavour. You shut the door to your room and work with 30 kids at a time. But it is so beneficial to be able to see what other people do and how kids react to it. And the ability to collaborate on and then deliver a lesson is a real rarity.

We have good people in my department. There are 5 men (two teach science part-time) and 2 women. We all have Master's Degrees. One has a PhD. Everyone enjoys working with teens and is also passionate about their subject. And in spite of our individual---and rather nerdy---idiosynchrasies, we get along very well. All these things make it a joy to work in such a place.

Will our work today make a difference for the kids we tutored? If we didn't think it would, we wouldn't have pursued it. Considering that not all of the identified kids chose to participate, we have an "experimental control group" more or less built into this process. Maybe the results of next month's test will give us some data to consider. I don't know that we'll do these particular tutoring sessions next year. This time around allowed us to "pilot" some curriculum that we would like to just roll in with our regular classroom stuff next year.

But next year will bring all new kids with all new needs. I'm hoping it gives me another chance to team teach.

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