|Bienvenidos al aula del Sr. Noble|
I wholeheartedly agree with her. In the past 6 years I have had 5 Practicum students from Central College, 2 from UNI, and 1 from Northwestern. I have also had a researcher from the University of Iowa, School Board members, Grandparents, Pastors (PCHS has a Grandparents Day and Pastors Day in which they are invited to come and visit classrooms), and several other colleagues from other schools come and observe my classes.
Yesterday I was reminded of that advice. A teacher from another HS, close by, came in to observe and share and it was great! It had been a little while since I have had anyone in my class. Her visit reminded me of why I try to open my classroom as often as I possibly can. In no particular order, here are some of the benefits.
I don't know what it is, but having someone observing my class always seems to bring a new energy to the classroom. I was reminded of that yesterday. My classes had begun to feel a bit drab and routine. It's probably a mix of the cold and being this close to Christmas. Just having someone else in the classroom seemed to provide a spark of energy to get me to the Holidays.
I love the fresh ideas that, especially preservice, teachers bring. I think we sometimes don't look for new ideas when we already have a lesson that works well. Practicum teachers have given me a welcome push out of my comfort zone. One of my first years at Pella Christian I had a Central College practicum student who wanted to do a flash mob to Shakira's "Waka Waka." I would have never come up with that or even tried to attempt that on my own. (Fast forward to the 1:20 mark)
Keeps You Sharp
Confession: I am not naturally the most organized teacher. When I know I will have another teacher in my classroom, my organizational capacity increases greatly. Confession: I don't always do a good job of maintaining ACTFL's recommended 90% TL. When I have observers, my TL usage tends to increase.
I have also found that it's really helpful for my own practice to discuss why I do what I do with my observers.
What are your thoughts?