Monday, December 3, 2012

Othello, Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns

Imagine your superintendent arrives in your classroom one random day and asks, "Would you be interested in team-teaching a unit with me?". How do you think you would respond? This exact scenario took place when I asked our recent teacher of the year recipient, Mrs. Tara Cotton, that exact question. Without hesitation, she said "yes". I was thrilled that she was so willing but feared perhaps because I am the superintendent she felt she could not say no. I went on to explain my motives and assured her that my visit is strictly so that I can accomplish three things:

1. Selfishly, I flat out miss the classroom
2. I was anxious to learn from her, after all she is exceptional
3. I wanted to see my district through the students' eyes; I wanted to experience what the students experience

Friday, this experience began. We have set aside several dates in December where I will team up with Mrs. Cotton during her AP English 2nd Block. I would like to share my experience and hopefully get the students to share as well on my blog.

My initial thoughts following today's first class are as follows:
1. This group of students are truly impressive
2. I left the experience energized, teaching is the greatest career in the world.
3. I am definitely a little rusty; although I have observed hundreds of lessons over the years I was reminded today just how much effort goes into preparing an exceptional learning experience. Kudos to Mrs. Cotton, her plans for this Unit are awesome - she incorporates technology & media, forces the students to think critically, and her students are challenged by the level of rigor. After today's block ended, Mrs. Cotton shared with me that this was the first time she taught this particular unit on Othello! Can you imagine the feelings of trying out a new unit of study with your superintendent as your teaching partner? I can see why she was our district teacher of the year.

I will keep you posted...