Saturday, September 10, 2011

Metaphoric students and moving balls

New school year- again. Here comes the Common Core Curriculum, new teacher evaluations and another year of trying to survive the anti-teacher education climate.

But our principal was a physical education teacher. So we began our professional development series with a team relay race that required us to move various-sized balls in tubes, across the gym.

On Tuesday, the new organization sheet had me as the high school special education teacher. On Thursday when classes began, I was told to teach sixth grade Social Studies, oh and maybe Technology ( but not in the tech room).

The old me would have had a fit. The new me---
Well it was kind of was like a treasure hunt game. First I had to figure out what periods I was supposed to teach those classes, remember my assignment was high school special ed, then I needed to figure out what room to teach them in and lastly (the most tricky part) I was supposed to find the students. (Just for the record, the students were, not even one time, in or on the way to the room where the secretary told me the class would meet)

But I am a good treasurer hunter, and a fair "winger" of unplanned lessons.
I read the Social Studies class the book Squids Will be Squids, by John Sciewska.

Then I asked: How can stories tell us about their author's culture?

And many kids gave good answers, but one said, good stories relate important information about culture through the use of metaphors and similes.
(Maybe I should wish that the principal doesn't actually figure out that I should be the high school special education teacher!)

So that is what the "moving the different balls through the tube relay race" was all about, it was a simile or maybe a metaphor, on how working as a team we can "move" children. (If you are a not a NYC teacher, you may not know that in any year the sole purpose of a teacher is to "move" a student from the category of proficiency s/he placed in the previous year to the next higher level)

BTW- I figured out early in the race to maneuver my body so my back was to the other contestants, place my finger securely on the open ends of the tube and pass it on before anyone noticed.
Hey - after thirty tears of teaching I was not about to crawl around the gym floor chasing metaphoric students or runaway balls.

And, Michele Rhee, Atlanta and Philadelphia administrators- I am not drawing any conclusions about the relationship between standardized tests and "moving" students progress and cheating!

But remember- that at least one very bright sixth grader thinks that an author's story relates information about culture through the use of similes and metaphors.

1 comment:

  1. Love working in NYC government. What a whirl! Nice to see you posting.