We had an expert in the field of observation and evaluation from the
neighboring state of Minnesota whose specialty is helping teachers
understand and use better methods for improving kids reading, and knowledge
of prefixes and suffixes come and spend a few days with us.
For one...the administrator wanted him to get around and just sit and
observe each teacher. I had already finished my "talk" and attention
gatherers to get my ninth grade class going when he walked into my room. He
had already missed the blackboard opportunity to see how I'd do....and I let
him aware of that, but invited him to sit where I thought he'd be well clear
of the action.
I have 22 ninth graders in a decent sized room, but certainly not large.
About 1/3rd of the kids are finishing up printing of plastic dry point
etching prints. Another percentage are getting into 2pt perspective
drawing...(the day before I took the whole period to introduce that); so I
was more or less like a traffic cop and caterer at the same time. "Mr
Seiler....Mr Seiler....Mr Seiler"....the cadence goes from kids. You
know.....(especially starting out the 2pt!).
I couldn't help chuckle with a corner of the eye on this guy. A nice
gentleman, but I'm sure he wasn't used to this kind of hub of activity.
Kids wanted music on...and to top it off it is our homecoming week! It was
"hippy day" so...I put on some 60's music. A fun, offbeat yet very
In the end...I was surprised that the gentleman was able to glean a respect
for all that was going on. He wasn't put off by the low level of chit chat
from the kids, occasional laughter...or the constant vying for my attention.
In fact, one boy (who considers himself kinda tough and perhaps the future
full line of our football team) asked him who he was and what he was doing?
He told him something like he was here working for the federal government
observing those that might one day be residents in institutions for the
criminally and mentally insane!
hahaha....we ended up having a good time, and I got a great evaluation out
of it too. Here I had based past experience with evaluators on skepticism,
and just report here that it was nice to see someone for a change able to
put all the oft' high brow improvement-for-education talk on the shelf and
see something for what it was- very positive and beneficial for the kids.