You might remember me mentioning that I had an observer a few days ago. A teacher-to-be was out watching some classrooms as part of her very first course in education. She got bounced around among the biology teachers. Because I was busy working with kids, I didn't have a lot of time to chat with her, although I wanted to. There are few things more fun than working with newbies. I did, however, find time to share my syllabus...talk a bit about grading...a few things I've learned about working with teens...and so on.
She sent me a note afterwards:
"I found it a valuable experience and learned a lot about your teaching style and the varying student levels that you work with on a daily basis. All of this is important information I will carry with me as I continue my pursuit for my degree. I am also grateful for the extra time you took to explain to me some of your education philosophy, classroom management, and experiences you've had as a successful and influential teacher. There is an evaluation form that is supposed to be filled out about me that is typically done by an 'assigned' teacher, though none of you in particular were assigned as my lead observation classroom. I did feel I had some of the most valuable and integrated conversations with you, and was wondering if you wouldn't mind taking just a few minutes to fill it out for me."
I told her I'd be delighted. I felt it a compliment that in our short chats that she felt like we made a bit of a connection. My hope is simply that by planting a few ideas about working with teens and standards-based grading, that she can start from a better informed place than I was afforded. It would be interesting to see how she turns out in a couple of years.