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Chelsea Poole Field Journals 11/26/13 2.

I have had the opportunity to eat lunch in the cafeteria with students several times in my time at Federal Hocking High School. There are some things I have noticed regarding popular food choices and the way students interact with one another. The middle school students have a garden behind the school that they use to grow vegetables, and sometimes watermelon, for cafeteria use. This is important because students have the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables for their lunches or snacks. Many of the students enjoy the fresh vegetables compared to other choices for lunch because many students grow their own vegetables at home as well. They day I paid special attention to the students diet for lunch, the cafeteria served chicken sandwiches with fries and applesauce. Many students bought this lunch, but many of them also purchased the fresh vegetables to supplement their meals. When I take notice of the interaction between students, I often use the experiences I had in high school to gauge my perspective. In the cafeteria there is not a lot of division amongst students. Students of various grade levels are integrated together and get along more than they argue or have problems with one another. I believe this is a result of the importance of a community-like environment at Federal Hocking, stated in their 10 Common Principles for Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). 3. I observed a mixed drama class. This class had a mixture of sophomores and juniors. The environment of this class was much different than an academic classroom because it was an elective class and many of the students are interested in various performing arts. The teacher in charge of the drama class also teaches 10th and 11th grade English. Her style in the drama class is

similar to her style in her English classes because she is a very interactive person. She loves to move around and use dramatic movements to communicate concepts to her students. In the drama class, her style is more accepted because frequent movement and dramatics are key elements in performing arts. On this specific day she used a strategy called a tableau. A tableau is creating still images with people and/or props to communicate a message to an audience. Students had been working very hard on a play they would be performing for a seniors final project and the students needed a break from the monotony of the routine. Students divided in small groups and each group created a tableau including a series of frames to communicate their message or story. The groups watching the tableau had to guess the story line after all the frames were presented. The students had a lot of fun with this because there were not many stipulations placed on them and they were able to have fun and be creative, which was a break from the routine of working on the play. 6. I accompanied my mentor teacher on gym duty during the lunch period. During lunch, students have the freedom to go to multiple areas in the school. Many students migrate to the gym to play basketball, football, or hang out with friends on the stage. The teacher really enjoys this duty because it gives him the opportunity to talk with many students that he has in class and get to know students he does not have in class. He is a football and basketball coach and also loves being able to play sports with his students. I think the challenges of this duty for the majority of teachers could be the amount of freedom students have in the gym and the fact that only one teacher at a time has control over the whole gym. With a lot of male students in the gym at one time, if a problem occurs, or a fight, a female teacher might have difficulty gaining control of the situation in such a large room with so many high school male athletes.

7. For several days I ate lunch with other teachers in the teachers lounge. This environment was completely different than anything I had expected, and there were times I felt uncomfortable with the discussions taking place. It seems as though most of the time it is a gathering place for teachers to vent and/or complain about their work load or their students. My cooperating teachers were very positive toward the other teachers that wanted to vent. Often they listen to their colleagues and offer encouragement and support. I was intrigued to see that many of the teachers know a lot about each other, including their families and interests. Many of the teachers have been working with one another for many years and know each other very well. The camaraderie between the teachers was very apparent to me. 10. I have discussed a few different IEPs with my cooperating teachers. I have seen how difficult it can be to keep students with IEPs engaged in the class, as well as to keep challenging them and helping them make sure they are getting their work done. One student in the English 10 class previously had a lot of trouble turning in assignments and keeping up with her peers in the class. However, this student is able to complete most of her work on time and seems to breeze through it with no complications. Although it is good to see her turning in her assignments on time, she is not being challenged enough and, therefore, not receiving a quality educative experience. This is something I think about when it comes to my teaching because my sister was a special needs student and also was not challenged enough in school. These students are smart and have distinguished qualities like anyone else, but they need to be challenged in a way that will work for and with them. I want to be an educator that is sensitive to the needs of students with IEPs in my classroom. 11. Every Friday of the semester I spend the entire day at the school. This opportunity has allowed me to see how a typical school day operates at Federal Hocking, and I am pretty

integrated in that routine now as well. Every Friday, the entire school spends their advisory period, or homeroom period, participating in silent sustained reading. All students must participate in reading a leisure novel for the full 40 minute period. I love and appreciate that the school participates in this because it encourages students to read and to read something they can enjoy. When I first started at Federal Hocking I expected to hear a lot of grief from the students about having to read, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find that they participate willingly because it has been such a big part of their weekly routine. Federal Hocking is on a block schedule which means the periods are 60-70 minutes long. There are only four blocks in a day as opposed to 9 periods in a day. Students have fewer periods in a school day, but they have more time with their peers and teachers in a classroom. Teachers take this time to get a lot done in their classrooms. They have time to read, reflect, participate in group discussions and do group activities that require students to think critically. In one block students have time to also participate in the assessment for that day. Sometimes I find the block scheduling to be a downfall because it can be too much time for students to pay attention and stay engaged. Sometimes teachers do not take full advantage of the time they have in class, and then class time is a time for students to talk and goof around and not be productive. 15. Today I observed a Socratic seminar over the novel The Great Gatsby in an English 11 classroom. Students were arranged in a circle facing one another. Each student had to speak a certain number of times. The teacher did not participate in the discussion except to ask the discussion questions. Anyone could lead by being the first to answer the question, but everyone had to participate at some time during the discussion. I noticed that everyone in the class spoke at least once. There were a few students that only spoke to receive the credit and did not participate much further than that. One female student in particular was very active in the discussion and

was quick to offer her ideas and opinions about the novel. I thought the boys spoke about as much as the girls. I could tell many of the students enjoyed the novel and were captivated by its ending. 16. Most students have noticeably different attitudes walking in the halls during classes and between classes. I think it also depends on the student and what the student is doing when they are in the halls during class. I noticed two boys talking to each other in the halls during class in a way that communicated to me that they were not in the same class during that time. They were walking in opposite directions and kept turning to speak to each other in a secretive way. I could tell it was secretive because of the way they were searching their surroundings for authority figures. Their attitudes also changed when they noticed I had spotted them, and they immediately started on their opposite ways. However, in between classes, students are happy to see one another and are loud in the halls. I have not noticed much bullying in between classes. 17. There is not much use of technology at Federal Hocking. There are two computer labs, but the computers are old and the software is not up to date. Federal Hocking does not have access to much technology and so the teachers do not try to integrate the use of technology because of their lack of resources. Every paper written in the English 10 classroom I am in has been handwritten, never typed. Sometimes my cooperating teacher will allow students to use her computer to search for information if a certain activity allows for that, but most of the time the need to use a computer is not present in the classrooms. This is one aspect that has troubled me during my time at this school because the use of technology is so important in todays society. Students should be able to navigate how to type a 2-3 page paper, especially for college admission essays. One of my cooperating teachers, a teacher of English 12, participates in

practice of writing college admission essays. She assigns typed papers for homework, since the ability to use computers in the school is limited. 19. My mentor teacher in the English 10 classroom does not have rules posted in the classroom for his students. However, he has established a trust and respect policy with his students that are mutual. The school has a point system for behavioral management that he feels is ineffective because it just enables students to shut down or refuse to do any work. With the trust/respect system, students see that the teacher is not there to punish them or just to see them get in trouble, but the teacher wants to be on their team, helping them learn and succeed. Sometimes this strategy is not as effective as it should be because the students understand the freedom they have and sometimes take advantage of that freedom. When those days occur, time is wasted in the classroom trying to settle the students behavior. I find the mutual trust/respect element very beneficial because these adults in training want to feel that they are treated as adults. Students in high school want to be respected and want to be given responsibilities that communicates to them that someone believes in their capabilities. I think this is very important to their learning to be an adult, and helps create a community in the classroom. However, I think there needs to be consequences in place in case the trust/respect method fails. If a day is going badly, instead of wasting instructional time for the whole class, those policies can be in place to make sure the class moves smoothly and not ineffectively. I would implement a point system within my class that communicates a warning and then a phone call home if that does not work.