Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Class Observation

I’m sure many people remember a time when their teacher told the class that a visitor was coming to the classroom (and therefore everyone should be on their best behavior).

At Kishi on Wednesday, my class with the 5th graders was rescheduled for later that day because of an exhibition that was happening during their regular English class time. It was during 2nd period that I was told to visit one of the two 4th grade classes, whose teacher was doing a math activity with the students.

When I was in school, having someone observe the class meant that one person was going to observe, and it was usually not a teacher but a person from outside of school.

I was expecting to be one of perhaps two or three teachers visiting this 4th grade class, but it turned out that ALL of the teachers were there. The class activity was to figure out and explain multiple ways to find the area of an abnormal shape, similar to this:

The measurements of all sides were given, so it was possible to find the area using several methods. The students had 20 minutes to figure out as many ways as possible to find the area.

A number of things crossed my mind while I was observing the class. First, I was wondering if any of the students felt pressured that nearly the entire school staff was watching over their shoulders while they worked. I also noticed that the students’ progress varied. One student had practically breezed through 4 different worksheets and was working on a 5th way to calculate the polygon’s area. Meanwhile, some students were still struggling with the first method. I actually don’t even remember what grade I learned how to do the work they were doing, but I’m sure there are probably people my age who probably wouldn’t be able to figure out anything like that. It’s amazing to see what you’ve forgotten after having not seen it for a long time.

In other news, I will have some pictures of some recent items I bought coming this weekend. Lately I’ve been really busy so I haven’t had time to blog a lot.


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