Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 2 Team-teaching experience

My second day included a visit from the local reporter and his photographer. They learned of my experience joining Mrs. Cotton's class and thought it would be an interesting story. What was remarkable to me was that the students did not pay any attention to the strangers in the room and were instead consumed with the material. We were having a literary discussion about the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The students - each and every single one of them - love this book. The depth of their story analysis was impressive.

During this class period, I felt as though the students accepted me as part of their community. I did my best to interject and participate in this literary analysis but truthfully, Mrs. Cotton is awesome and it is probably best if I just assist her. It is evident to me that she has a well thought out plan in her mind which includes all of the various details she knows AP English students need to master before the semester's end. After the round robin review of Chapter 23 of the Kite Runner we transitioned into Othello. There is a stark contrast between the two and this is not lost on the students. Many expressed their love for Hosseini's work and the style of Shakespeare is challenging in comparison. Despite their initial grumblings, once they are engaged in Othello, the same level of enthusiasm and insight surfaces immediately. The students dissected the various characters and identified that Shakespeare's Othello is a bit volger. I watched as they handled mature story elements with ease - they did not get lost in uncomfortableness but rather identified why Shakespeare would chose to shock his audience that way.

This group of students (and Mrs. Cotton) are truly impressive. I am glad to be along for the ride. I am diligently preparing for the next book we will discuss, A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. I will lead some of the chapter discussions (and take a more active teaching role) - and as I watch how Mrs. Cotton handles Kite Runner I know I have my work cut out for me. Therefore, I am preparing so that I don't disappoint the students (or worse yet, not meet Mrs. Cotton's expectations).

Stay tuned ...

For the story in the local newspaper see the link below
Daily Journal