16 October 2005

Grade Five Awaits

Monday will be a full of different items for me. There is a teacher from another school coming to observe my class and talk to me about instructional strategies first thing in the morning. From there, I head to a junior high to work with three teachers on their curriculum alignment for Grade 7 Science. I have a brief respite at Central Orifice, er, Office, before heading into completely uncharted (for me) territory: Fifth Grade.

Ten years ago, I did teach sixth grade science for a year. I enjoyed it very much, but I am certainly no expert when it comes to young minds.

A teacher I spoke with last week has invited me to come and co-teach a lesson with her tomorrow. She has thirty fifth-graders, awaiting a lesson on Inquiry. When I met with her last week, she was very excited about some materials I have for using the inquiry process with elementary students. I have presented this information to teachers, but I haven't used it with young 'uns yet. I do know that many districts in the state are successfully using this particular tool---so I'm not worried about the lesson bombing.

But this will be an entirely new experience for me---both as a teacher and as a Science Goddess. The regular classroom teacher will be there. Together, we will be a SuperTeacher: me with the content knowledge and she with the pedagogy appropriate for elementary kiddos. Tomorrow is all about emphasizing process with students. There is no content we're pushing. There will be no "right" and "wrong" answers. This removes some of the pressure for all of us.

Things aren't planned quite as nicely as I would like. I met with the teacher on Wednesday afternoon and she has been out of town ever since. We will just kinda have to fly by the seats of our pants. This will be the last lesson of the day for her class and I will spend time after school with her talking about how to extend this lesson and infuse different components with her other science work throughout the year.

It is likely that this will be the first of many lessons that I will co-teach or model for elementary teachers. I find that both daunting and energizing. We'll see how I feel at the end of the day tomorrow.

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