I must be one of those rare show off teachers that actually enjoys getting observed by my Administrators. At my school, we have a very visible principal who is constantly popping in classrooms, so it is part of our culture. I feel as if having visitors brings out the best in my teaching. I want my supervisors to know the good job that I am doing and I want our World Language program to be recognized for its excellence.
However, this year, we are rolling out a new plan where it is ALL about what the students are doing. We have gotten copies of the rubrics and there are multiple layers of how we will be getting graded. I am not really worried about it, but I do feel that there is more pressure not just to perform but to get the kids to perform. I know that as a performer I kick butt. But, now with this new system, I feel as if I am not 100% in control of my evaluation and that sort of bothers me.
This year, I have changed my teaching towards more student driven learning, not just because of the evaluation but because it is good for students. What I like about this new instructional practice is that it gives me a great excuse not to teach in a grammar/vocabulary driven way because that is very teacher directed. All the great tools that I have learned here are coming in very handy. For example, today, I did Movie Talk with this video http://youtu.be/YXnjy5YlDwk. Since I was showing it to my Spanish 3 Honors students, I had them do the talking. It was SO impressive! I asked them in L2 "What do you see?". They came up with rich vocabulary off the tops of their heads. As they came up with answers, I would ask follow up questions based on their answers and they would ellaborate with more detail. They also got a lot of new vocabulary from the silent movie. Then, I asked them what they thought would happen next and I got some predictions This went on for 20 minutes but the time flew by. The kids were SO engrossed by the silent movie clip and were eager to hear the actual sound. To my surprise, when I played the sound, they understood a lot of it because of the previous Movie Talk that they had done.
I plan to use this as an instructional strategy with my students again. It should also be something really cool for our new observation rubric.
P.S. I wish I could give credit to the person who blogged about Movie Talk. I have read so many blogs this week that I am afraid of mentioning the wrong person. So, thank you Movie Talk teacher peep.