My co-teacher was out today. The woman who was her substitute is a certified elementary teacher. She was in my room for one section each of Math 7 and Pre-Algebra at the end of the day and was able to observe me teaching two VERY different groups.
After class, she commented on how I focused on question asking instead of question answering. I was more concerned with getting the students to use the proper vocabulary and express their thinking that I was about them getting the correct answer.
She spoke about the rapport that I had built with the students and how they seemed to know what to expect from me. While they were talkative and energetic, they were engaged and participating (sometimes a bit too much.)
After class, she expressed concerns as a mother and teacher about how many students are used to worksheets and not having to think critically. She told me about the differences between her own children and how their needs are so amazingly different.
She also observed the interesting phenomenon that was my students having difficulty following a chain of questions.
**spend 20 minutes talking about indirect measurement to measure a flagpole**
Me: "How might we measure how high the school is?"
Them: "Take a tape measure up to the roof? Ask the principal? Look up the blueprints? Google it?"
It was incredibly fascinating to hear this perspective from someone coming in, knowing the community but not knowing me or my teaching. She expressed her appreciation for my questions to my students and my lesson.
She said she thought I would be a good elementary school teacher.
In addition to her, one of my senior students spent her study hall in my Math 7 class. She also spoke about how she loved how passionate I was about my content and about engaging my students. She took a video and sent it to her cousin with the tag "Best teacher ever!"
She and I have been talking about pedagogy since she plans to become a teacher.
She left me a little note before she went back to class.
I started this blog because I wasn't getting external feedback on my teaching. I think the nature of where I'm working now is starting to make the blog itself superfluous.
I'm not sad about that.