Tuesday, June 28, 2005

teaching notes

I've survived the first two (and hardest) days of teaching the workshop. The interpersonal issues have all but melted away and everybody is busy scrambling to to stay on top of things. It's really physically demanding to be teaching from 8 to 4 and pre- and post- assessing for an hour on either end. It's 8 o'clock now and my big plan for the evening is going to be bed. But all told, I think things are going well. I still have some deep reservations about how the workshop is structured, and the heavy emphasis on inquiry teaching to the exclusion of giving content, but that said, I am actually quite happy with how today went. I'm definitely learning a lot about a teaching, and having the science education experts there is actually great -- they can coach me from the sidelines -- of course, it must be frustated when they spell out for me how I should lead a discussion, etc., and then I can't quite make it work. But hey, I'm trying really had and this is all new stuff for me.

So one of my emphases this summer is teaching (obviously): both learning how to do it and figuring out whether it is something I really want to do. With the vast experience of two days now behind me :), I am reminded of a few things I already knew about myself. I don't enjoy constantly interacting with people all day long. Not to say that I am a trench-coat wearing loner lurking in the shadows, but I need time to process information that I am taking in, and I find it really hard to do while having a conversation with some one. I guess I don't learn well from talking. And I'm finding that being around people for 10+ hours a day is disrupting my internal dialogue/thought processes. I miss the normal voices inside my head! Also, when the teachers were doing their inquiry projects today, I really wanted to be doing the experiments too, not overseeing logistics and wandering between groups making sure things were going well for everyone. I wanted to be making the measurements and seeing the results. And that's exactly what I get to do in research.

I'd like post more on my headlong plunge into inquiry education some other time. But for now, I'm going to enter some field data and read a very technical journal article. In other words, it's time to do what I know I am comfortable with and to relax for the evening.

P.S. Congratulations to the new parents! I'm glad everyone is doing well, and I'm tickled that your little girl is a redhead. I can't wait to meet her.

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