Saturday, March 28, 2009

There's Education and Then.....

.....There's Education

Muriel's comment on my last post made me think a bit about how to explain my philosophy of teaching. When my class is in session, as far as I am concerned, for every single person in the room, there is nothing in the world more important. I have very little tolerance for any student who thinks otherwise.

I don't mind if students talk, as long as they are discussing the course work. I do mind cell phones, text messaging, fooling around, doing work for other classes, sleeping, any type of behavior that suggests something other than whatever topic has been chosen for the day. I am personally insulted by students who do not pay attention.

Friday, my 4th period class were presenting the songs they wrote to childrens's melodies--"Row Your Boat," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," etc.--with their own lyrics based on A Midsummer Night's Dream. I am trying to teach them to hear the rhythm of the language, something they have a hard time doing. Each student was expected to get up in front of the class and sing.

Scary? You bet. The rules were that no one was to start performing until the class was absolutely quiet and the class was to be supportive. Well, these kids took a while to settle down each time, but they did and once the singer started, if he/she seemed pretty confident, it didn't take long for the class to join in either by clapping in time, or adding little additions, etc. The class was pretty raucous, noisy and definitely not disciplined. But, the fact is, from the looks of it, every single student in the room was totally involved in the whole event. To see it from the outside, it might have looked like total chaos, and yet, there was learning going on. It was pretty evident that the students were finally getting a feel for the rhythm and recognized which songs really worked and which didn't. And, they were supporting each other enough that even the shy kids managed to get up in front of the whole group and sing!

Once we are finished with Midsummer, I will give them some written music, show them how the measures work and then get them to write some lyrics to fit perfectly. By the way, when I suggested this as a lesson idea to my first period class, they thought it was great. I'll let you know how that works out.

Obligatory horse notes: Rain in the morning cleared off to a chilly, a bit windy afternoon. Since I went to the chiropractor and got a good adjustment, I opted out of riding. And I am still kind of tired. Instead I went to the tack store for the 20% off sale. Bought some alfalfa cubes, pasture seed, horse treats, very on sale breeches, and a bridle at a really good price to replace the one Tucker broke. I acutally did not spend a fortune considering the bargains and the discount.

The Boys are back in their sheets. Chill wind and more rain coming later. Tomorrow we may have some thunderstorms so I will close off the pasture until the threat passes.


  1. Anonymous2:09 PM

    There's teaching - and then there's creative, effective teaching!

  2. You're a great teacher who makes things interesting to say the least.
    Sounds like some great buys at the tack store too.

  3. Us too we have bad weather. After temp reaching the 20 degrees centigrades, we are back to under 10C, and rain, strong wind etc...
    It is March ^-^

    I like your idea of teaching I guess it transpires in your horse-training, you need their attention before asking anything!