Today’s practicum summed up in pictures:
Today’s new learning that arose from my visit was understanding the difference between “hovering” and “helping”. When students were given the remainder of the class period to individually conduct research on their explorer, I was asked by my cooperating teacher to walk around and check on how students were doing. I did this a few times, and learned a little bit about how to improve my “walk” as I went; instead of asking “yes” or “no” questions, it was more effective for me to ask specific questions, such as, “What is one interesting thing you have found so far?” By asking a more open-ended question, I could get a more in-depth response and thus better gauge where the students were at in their research. Also, I had a good conversation with my cooperating teacher about offering services to an extent; in other words, you can’t “hover” over students, or constantly be checking up on them. While being overly available intends to support students, it might have the opposite effect – it might drive students away. In my second class, I was less apt to make as many trips around the classroom and instead sat near the front. When I saw a student who looked like they were struggling, I made my way over to them and they were receptive of my offer to help. Especially when working with adolescents, it is essential to let them have ownership and responsibility over their learning.