Classroom Observation Essay

Total Length: 3178 words ( 11 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 11

Introduction



It is easy to assume that a comprehensive decision making theory gives a reliable basis for an observation scheme for a classroom. However, it is apparent that even though the practical and theoretical ventures overlap in many respects the core of the theoretical tenets are fundamentally variant. They are broader in some respects and narrow in others. The deterrents of real time implementation are significant and thus the scheme of analysis is fundamentally different from the theory frames that led to (Schoenfeld, 2013.



At the onset, I believed that teaching was about spending 8 hours teaching and having a great time with children. Indeed, teaching seemed the easiest career choice for me. However, having interacted with many a student from across the age spectrum and educational levels, there is a side of the world that can only be viewed from the inside of a class. I changed my mind and view of the teaching career. I realized that teaching comes with its own host of difficulties and challenges.



1.  the materials, the room, the resources, the rules of the classroom and the physical attributes of the room



The teaching staff established friendly environment that is ideal for learning to take place. In this case, he placed plants, pillows and posters in the learning space to make it more comfortable. The learners appeared to have been excited at the state of affairs; they loved the room and their teacher too. The intermediate school sported classrooms that were only cosmetically different from eh elementary rooms. The teacher organized her classroom in groups and felt safe about it (Doe,2010)



The only distinguishing feature was that the teachers differed in the information they have based on college training. Both of them had several posters and memorabilia from college in their classrooms. I had the feeling that the teacher was communicating a message regarding the expansion of her learner's information base. In the middle school on the other hand, a table was shared among two learners. The classroom did not exude much life without the posters. Indeed, the classroom was devoid of excitement and exuberance that was felt in the intermediate school. The room in high school was just as uninviting as the one in middle school. Learners seemed lonely and sat alone at a table. The learners were arranged in rows. Thus, it was not easy for them to talk to each other. The room was devoid of any decorations. It was as bland as it gets. I realized that as the classrooms changed with the age of the learners, so did the physical outlook (Doe, 2010).



2. Differences in the development of Learners in the same classroom



The teacher makes use of all available resources and employs carefully thought out procedures to create a conducive learning environment. She organizes the classroom with an aim to enhance learning even as she ensures that such an environment is safe for the learner. The teacher also makes sure that classroom expectations are clearly spelt out for ever classroom member at the beginning of every year. The teacher also makes sure that such rules are enforced throughout the school year in a fair way. The teacher is focused in exploiting instruction time as much as possible even as she reduces disruptions to the minimum (Doe, 2010). The teacher plays the trusted referee and advisor in which she makes sure that there is always fair play among the classroom members. It is the responsibility of the teacher to cultivate a sense of cultural sensitivity among the learners. The diversity of the learners is respected and their specific elements such as language, gender, race, and special needs are given their due space. The instructional time is maximized by the teacher through engaging with individual learners and organizing them in small or larger groups.



I didn't see any inappropriate behavior worth highlighting. Any behavior that is not focused on the current task is put out through a blunt stare or simple redirecting that led the learners to focus back on their task. The classroom rules and expectations are clearly displayed for everyone and are notably well observed by all classroom members. There were few instances when the teacher had to remind any member of the classroom about the rules. The teacher is a model and an advocate for fairness, learning enthusiasm, care, teamwork, trust and compassion. She takes time to listen to each classroom members concerns and acknowledges each classroom member's contribution.
The teacher develops a supportive classroom environment that is also attractive and warm for the learners. While the teacher extends her support and nurturing to all learners, she also has high expectation of every learner in her class. She properly organizes learning materials for group work and individual learning. She establishes a station for each learning area for enhanced instruction race.



3. Performing and learning styles of the learners with regard to their reaction to activities and lessons



Apart from mastering their learner's behavior patterns, the need for a teacher to master content can never be overemphasized. According to Shulman (1986, 1987), teacher's specific knowledge of subject matter which is pedagogical in nature that gives them the passion to share it with learners and helps them pass on such knowledge in-depth. In effect, pedagogical understanding of subject matter emanates from persistent practice. It is possible to learn some instructional skills and ideas outside of practice. However, the larger percentage of teachers learns their instructional skill through the practice of teaching. This kind of learning is continuous throughout one's life. Thus, while teachers with years of experience might have some significant amount of knowledge about learners in the second grade, there is still a lot to learn about a specific group of second grade students every time such a teacher meets them for the first time. Further, such teachers still encounter new aspects of pedagogy and content that they need to facilitate learners to interact with and internalize (Wilson & Peterson, 2006).



The teacher varied her teaching strategies so as to provide each student with content based on their learning needs. She managed to engage and disengage learners while retaining their attention to the subject matter in the course of the learning session. The teacher utilizes the existing knowledge and skills that a learner already possesses to develop new areas of content understanding. The teacher identifies and differentiates instructional material for the purpose of meeting the individual learning needs of each member of the classroom. The teacher also consistently and persistently reinforces important points of learning even as she proceeds with the instructional session. She employs a variety of teaching strategies in order to keep the learner interested. Instructional technology also comes in handy in an effort to enhance communication while she checks the level of content absorption (Doe, 2010). The teacher consistently makes sure that the learning goals are remembered by each classroom member. The teacher lets the class know the lesson objectives and persistently draws the learners' attention to what the lesson aims to achieve. Nevertheless, the learners took a significant amount of time to understand. It was noted that even in the final stages of the lesson; some learners were still grappling with understanding the content. The teacher presents material in a clear manner. However, if there is a significant number of learners manifest difficulties in understanding the crux of the lesson, it helps to identify such learners and put them in a learning group for further instruction. That is what the teacher did in the end.



4. Theories and principles of human development; motivation and learning as shown by learners and teachers

Teaching as an Intellectual Engagement




It is apparent that the most conspicuous and significant points about these ideas is that influence knowledge acquisition and the learning process is that teachers are thoughtful professionals who have both the learner and the content matter on their mind. The teacher seeks to construct a formidable link between content and the learner. It was observed many years back by reformers that curriculum is not immune to manipulation by the teacher. Teachers shape and choose the materials they use to teach. These choices are informed by, among other factors, the teacher's knowledge of the subject area, their assumptions culture and beliefs. That fact notwithstanding, there is still a widespread notion that teaching is quite straight forward. It is assumed that teachers make use of textbooks to direct learners on what they should read and when they should read it. It is also held that if everyone in the learning group behaves well, the logic will follow and learning will take place (Wilson & Peterson, 2006).



The above assumptions are clearly misplaced. It is the teachers and learners that mediate the available resources. Such resources are only situated in the relevant….....

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Bibliography


Doe. (2010). Formal Classroom Observation Form. Virginia.gov.

Schoenfeld, A. H. (2013). Classroom observations in theory and practice. ZDM Mathematics Education.

Schoenfeld, A. H. (2010). How we think: A theory of goal-oriented decision making and its educational applications (p. 2010). New York: Routledge.

Shulman, L. S. 1986. "Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching." Educational Researcher 15(2): 4 -- 14.

Shulman, L. S. 1987. "Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reform." Harvard Educational Review 57: 1 -- 22.

Slavin, R. E. 1990. "Research on Cooperative Learning: Consensus and Controversy." Educational Leadership 47(4): 52 -- 54.

Swan, M. (2006). Collaborative learning in mathematics: A challenge to our beliefs and practices. London, England: National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, and Leicester, England: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

Wilson, S., & Peterson, P. (2006). Theories of Learning and Teaching: What Do They Mean for Educators? National Educational Association.
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