Thursday, December 11, 2014

CTE Review

Clinical Teaching Experience Review
December 11, 2014

I really enjoyed this teaching experience. Our group was supportive of one another and came in well prepared for the class to discuss and teach chapters 14 and 15 on Rubrics and Grading. It was challenging at first to figure out what we were going to do for an activity but when we thought of the two chapters as playing off one another it was much easier. Everyone came in prepared to teach which was wonderful and we helped out one another during our presentation portion of the lesson, which took pressure off everyone as individuals and really helped create a sense of support and community with our group that is important especially with this kind of assignment. 

Like any experience this one had positives and negatives based on the result our discussion had on the class. To start we came up with several questions to interact with the class and came up with some that played off of the answers we heard. This was effective because we had several people participating with our questions and voicing their opinions but those answering tended to be the same five or so people. This might have been because of the earliness of the class or that others covered what they were planning on saying. Even though we didn't get the majority of the class talking, those who did participate in the discussion had some very interesting and innovative interpretations and thoughts. I think the best thing we did was the two activities that played off of one another a little. In the first activity, we had the class create their own rubric with categories and requirements they thought were important. In the second we focused on grading with a remade rubric and based on the rubric level they had to give the student feedback of some kind either a grade (level 1) a check or minus (level 2) or just plain feedback on how to improve as well as the things the student did well. This gave the class a chance to see the good parts of these different rubrics and the flaws in them. 

Everything in our teaching experience seemed to mesh well together and created an involved discussion with the class. The students felt comfortable asking questions when they weren't sure about something and as the teachers it was our job to elaborate. I think overall we did a good job and covered the information effectively and used some innovative ideas to help the students understand the double-edged sword that rubrics can be. Getting the class involved with the different activities was key to them understanding what we were teaching and they all willingly participated. This was a really great and not to stressful way (thanks to the group setting) to get us to start thinking about how to plan a class that keeps the students attention and teaches a concept effectively.    

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 10

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
December 10, 2014

These ten hours of observation I've done in Mr. Morse's Art History classroom have really been an amazing experience. I am appreciative of the fact that he and his students invited me into their classroom with open arms. This gave me an chance to really watch a phenomenal person in a profession similar to what I plan on doing teach in a way similar to how I believe teaching should be done. Mr. Morse believes that he, as the teacher gives his students the tools and is there if they need help or support but it is their responsibility to use these tools and take the next step. He also understands the importance of talking to students and not above them because if you talk to you students, they feel that you are being attentive to their needs as individual learners.
The only thing I can say that would've improved this experience was if I'd also had the chance to observe an actual HISTORY classroom and not just an Art History class since they are similar but share some distinct and important differences.
But besides that, this experience was fantastic and this school was so welcoming (both faculty and students) and wanted to make sure I got the most out of each Individual Field Experience.  I would definitely recommend others to observe Mr. Morse's class because he really has a strong understanding of the key ideas that every good teacher should know and practice to create a good learning environment. This is clearly visible to all that watch him teach and through the respect his students show him. I am thrilled I got the opportunity to observe this Fantastic teacher for these observations. 

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 9

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
December 5, 2014
Focus: Style

Mr. Morse understands the importance of speaking to students not above them. He understands that if a student feels that you actually hear them and give them the respect they are more willing to listen and learn in the classroom. Students want to feel that their opinion is being respected and Mr. Morse had created this feeling in his classroom.

 He uses his hands throughout discussions in order to emphasize his points. I'm the same way; I can't talk without using my hands and they help me further my focus. This can be tricky as a teacher because you don't want the talking with the hands to become a distraction to your class and luckily Mr. Morse's don't, instead they emphasize his points. He uses his hands to tick of points with his fingers, to point out key parts of the paintings, and uses his hands to enhance key ideas and their importance to the lecture.

Mr. Morse clearly loves what he teaches and this helps him keep his students engaged. He creates a continuous discussion during the class that includes him offering up certain questions to get his students thinking and come up with new and different ideas than if the entire class was only lecture. Key to teaching effectively, is the important idea that Mr. Morse covers very well. He understands the balance of storytelling and teaching and he also realizes the balance between student and teacher learning. 

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 8

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
December 3, 2014

One thing that Mr. Morse has don't throughout my observations that I really admire is he makes sure to fully explain the importance of everything he teaches and why. This just helps create a feeling of understanding with his students that I think is so important in a teacher. If the students are confused but don't attempt to let the teacher know they are confused makes it very hard for them to fully grasp the material. If the teacher takes the time to elaborate this problem can easily be eliminated. 
As a double major in History and Education, I also really appreciate that Mr. Morse focuses of the historical importance of the art he is teaching. To an extent this is necessary because it is an Art  History class, but he goes further. I really believed in the concept of history being bound to repeat itself if we are ignorant of the past and I think that this is clear from certain historical events. History is created through the past and that includes culture which  art makes up hugely effected by this character. Art gives us an opportunity to see the different styles, beliefs, and ideals of a time and from their take the next steps of learning about the artist or the time period it is created in. All of this is centered around the historical aspect of art that I think is so important and Mr. Morse covers fully. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 7

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
November 21, 2014
Focus: Storytelling

Teaching, especially in a class like art history is about being able to keep the students engaged and interested in class. Mr. Morse does this by telling stories about this different art and artists the students are learning about. As an art history teacher, he is unable to go ask deceased artists about their work, and instead must use historical information and different cultures that may have effected the art and creates a storyline. 
One story he used was about Stewart's (the artist) Portrait of George Washington. George Washington and his wife wanted paintings of himself and his wife to have in their house. Stewart finished Martha's but because Washington was such an important figure and loved by everyone, Stewart kept his and slowed down the process in order for him to make duplicates to sell to other clients. Stewart never finished the painting and and George never got his portrait. 
Mr. Morse used this example and story in class when talking about the Artist, because it was funny and engaging to the students. It's also of a well-know historical figure. Stewart's unfinished drawing is also well known by everyone because it's what was used as a template for the picture of the one dollar bill. 
Storytelling is key to teaching, especially in a classroom like Mr. Morse's art history class. 

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 6

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
November 17, 2014
Focus: Teaching Style

Mr. Morse has a lecture based classroom, but uses discussion to further learning and create student participation. He talks with his hands, but not in a way that distracts from the class and instead helps him emphasize key ideas. He also walks around the class which makes it easy for him to see if everyone is using the class productively or not. It also makes the students focus on the art they are learning about and less on the teacher, explaining/ describing the art. 
He makes sure to use examples of 'modern day' ideas in order to make the topics more relevant to the students. He is able to keep his class engaged by haven an open dialect or conversation throughout the class. Mr. Morse acknowledges his own bias and "humanity" because he doesn't always know the answer to a student's question. This doesn't make a bad teacher though, because it makes him more approachable because he is willing to help find answers to their questions when he doesn't know them, and doesn't feel the need to always be right. 
When a teacher doesn't know the answer to a question proposed, two personalities can be revealed. One is the teacher okay with not knowing because learning happens continuously and they acknowledge this and make sure to either help the student find the information or they get back to the student at a later date with the solution to their question. The other option is the so called "all knowing" teacher who feels the need to be always right and instead of acknowledging that they are unsure of the correct response attempt to blunder their way through a probable answer. This only leads to further questions and the student learning incorrect information that will eventually be found out as wrong. If a teacher really wants to help a student take the next step in learning, it is better to acknowledge their unsureness about the proposed question and attempt to help the student find the answers they seek. 
Mr. Morse is also aware of the line between joking and embarrassing students in front of their peers. He is able to tease his students without embarrassing them which creates a comfortableness in his classroom that can be lacking when a teacher forgets about this invisible barrier. 
Mr. Morse also understands the importance of background information and never wants his students to feel lost or confused. He tries to clarify information to the best of his ability but then relies on his students to ask further questions if they are still unsure about something he is teaching. His passion for teaching is clear and the students are able to visibly see this in how he teaches each class. His excitement is practically tangible and his students are able to feed off of this and get sucked into his interest about art history.  

Individual Field Requirement Hathaway-Brown High School 5

Mr. Mose’s Art History Class
November 12, 2014
Focus: Diversity in the Classroom

Out of 16 students, only 3 to 5 students aren't "white" but this doesn't seem to be an effect anything in the classroom. Everyone is intermingled and no one is clumped by ethnicity or other "labels". Hathaway-Brown is an all girls school and all the girls in Mr. Morse's class seem to know one another and easily chat and joke with each other. Everyone participates in discussions and they seem to feel comfortable asking questions or suggesting new ideas in the classroom. Students are welcoming to one another and are respectful of each other's education and ability to learn to their fullest. This can be directed back at both Mr. Morse's environment he created in the classroom as well as the school's mission.
According to their website, "Hathaway-Brown is a dynamic and compassionate community dedicated to excellence in the education of girls. For us, educational excellence includes, but reaches well beyond, superb preparation for college. The true mission of the school, as reflected in our motto, "Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus," is preparation for life. At this moment in history, there is great need for women of vision and courage who are empowered for leadership in a multicultural and globalized society. We seek to answer that need by inspiring our students to achieve their utmost potential, and to rise boldly to the challenges of our times." At Hathaway-Brown, education is of utmost importance which is key in students reaching their full potential. The school has, with the help of the teachers, built an environment where all students are able to learn to their fullest.