22 March, 2009

"I got you Miss"

So Dominic James came back today and almost (almost) helped his team win, even though he didn't really play that much. Dominic James is just that good. 

My coworkers are also that good and because one of my grad classes this semester is about collaboration I've really been appreciating that lately. 

A few weeks ago I co-taught a class with the French teacher. I did a lot of co-teaching this summer because the teacher I was student-teaching with and I worked really well in that mode. Even though it was at the end of a non-stop day the class went really well. We started off with a dialogue in which we needed a cup of orange juice. While the other teacher was shaking the carton of juice, the lid flew off and waves of orange juice covered half off the classroom. But after we cleaned that up everything was great. I wish that my schedule and curriculum made it possible to co-teach more often. In a language classroom especially, the opportunity to hear more than one teacher speak the language can be so helpful. By bringing in one other teacher you can improve listening and speaking skills, vocabulary, and cultural awareness in so many ways. 
I've also gotten to observe a few other teachers recently and wish I had more time for that. But I have decided that after fighting it for several months, I should really let the textbook do some things for me, like come up with vocab lists and write the countless example sentences I need to go over a complicated concept with my advanced classes.

Then there's the other type of collaboration that doesn't really add anything to my practice but makes so many weeks without a break 100% more tolerable than I think it would be anywhere else. The emails about the staff basketball pool are truly masterpieces of modern literature. A bad day or a problem with a class seems much better after 20 minutes in the teachers lounge.In fact, it's one of the best ways I've found to stop yourself from bringing a bad mood or bad experience with you to the next class. There is a fine line here between things that happen at work and things that happen after work, but despite many leaps (or stumbles) across that line I still feel like some of my coworkers are my best resource. And I really think that when teachers and staff work well together, students notice and it changes the environment in the school. 

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