MAT students' midyear reflections

After “If” by Rudyard Kipling

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Students are chatting and ignoring you

If you can trust yourself when principals doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting, too

If you can wait…and wait…and wait….and not be tired by waiting

Or be mocked but keep your cool

Or be baited but refrain from escalating

And yet not appear superior, nor play the fool

 

If you can dream – but not make dreams your master

If you can plan – but know that plans aren’t set in stone

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And either way find reason to go on

If you can bear to hear your thoughtful lesson

Ridiculed by sophomoric teens

Or see all of your careful planning messed up

And reteach the next day by other means

 

If you can work all Sunday making posters

Only to find your gallery walk bombs

And vow that tomorrow you’ll make the most of

All those tips from Doug Lemov

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To embrace waking each day before dawn

And resist the urge that rises up in you

To shout at the buzzing alarm clock, “Hold on!”

 

If you can talk with teens and be a grown up

Or meet with parents and advocate for kids

If, when you are at fault, you own up

But don’t blame yourself for every miss

If you can fill an unforgiving hour

With sixty minutes of educational fun

Yours is the chalk and yours, the power

And—which is more—you’ll be a Teacher, son!

 

---Sophie Gorlin

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Sarah Kent

Midyear Reflections

Sarah Kent

Secondary History

Interning at Arlington High School

 

To start I have realized how interesting it is to exist in the role of both teacher and student at the same time.  I have enjoyed seeing how this shapes our discussion in class, and how, at least for me it changes how I think about the other classes that I am taking.  For instance, in my content courses I often find myself considering how the professor teaches, and what is or is not great about their style.  When I’m at Arlington I feel that I in some ways relate better to my students because although we are in different places as students it is something that I have in common with them.  This experience of being both a teacher and a student has been useful to me because it has allowed me to think with both brains.  In the long run I believe that this will help me to create better and more interesting lessons and units for my classes that both student and teacher enjoy.  


Tommy Goldman

Midyear Reflections

Tommy Goldman

Secondary English

Interning at Boston Arts Academy

 

I have learned that modeling for students both verbally, on the board, and with as many individual cues is a crucial best practice for a teacher.  I have also learned that good modeling is extremely hard and takes lots of practice and attention to detail.  One of the most important, and challenging things that I have learned about teaching is that there are always as many ways to teach something as there are teachers in the room.  And because there are so many ways to go about teaching effectively, I have learned that teaching is an excitingly fluid and ever changing practice.


Adam Miller

Midyear Reflections

Adam Miller

Secondary History/Delet

Interning at Gann Academy

 

Coming into the program, I pictured teaching as either roundtable discussions or lecture, even as I knew it could take other forms. I know others have struggled with this as well. I’ll never forget making worksheets for group work and asking if I needed any actual teaching in the class lesson plan, and was told, “The group work is the teaching.” From my own experiences getting up in front of the room, I have learned the importance of letting the lesson get beyond rigid parameters if necessary. I have learned that a PowerPoint should provide a reliable framework for what I want to teach, and that it becomes a hindrance if it is too narrow and specific. I  have learned that I have absorbed classroom management techniques better than I thought I did. I have learned that students will respect you more if you say “Hi” to them in the hallways and wish them luck on student council elections. I have not taken for granted that I will never have as much support and as many great resources as I do now. I am grateful to all my mentors at Brandeis and Gann Academy.

Bei Zhou

Midyear Reflections

Bei Zhou

Secondary Chinese

Interning at Weston Middle and High Schools

I understand that language is a tool to understand the culture. The content teachers teach will fade away, but the questions teachers arise should let the students to ponder on again and again, which will motivate the students to learn, to explore by themselves outside the classroom.