8 months ago

Two teachers strategies

Anna began reading,

Anna began reading, slowly at first, then a little more quickly. She wasn’t slowing down or stopping this time. Two students began walking around the class, chatting with classmates. Anna bit her lip to prevent her usual comments from coming out. She continued reading aloud. The students finally found a place to sit and read along in their books. One girl at the front, turned around to a classmate and began a conversation. Anna pursed her lips and, with an effort that could be heard in the strain in her voice, she continued reading. The girl found the right place in the book; and read along, silently mouthing the words that Anna was saying. Anna’s reading voice eased as the class rad along with her, without interruptions until she got to the bottom of page 66. When it was Belle’s turn to speak, she used Anna's strategy. "OK, so we continue from the top of page 67. Belle began reading the first lines, then she saw that one student was standing up; "Jon, sit down!" she commanded. Belle started on page 67, and read those lines again and noticed two students needed to share a book. "Talaal, would you share your book with Amed," Belle asked politely. Belle read the same lines again and noticed one student had turned around and was chatting with a classmate behind her. "Haseena, face this way please," Belle cajoled. With a small cough to cover up an unwanted smile, Belle started reading the first lines again. Several students glanced at each other and laughed at their newfound power over Belle, enjoyed it for a couple of minutes, then resumed their normal behaviour with her, that of helping one another to keep up with the reading. 86

Belle grew tired of catching all the interruptions and continued reading her part of the text as she usually did. Riccardo was greatly satisfied with the outcome of this observation and coaching. The outcome was a testament to the teachers’ willingness to be observed, to uncover and share their strategies in an atmosphere of collaboration and curiosity. What pleased Riccardo most was the simplicity of the process. The teachers’ key questions had initially sounded vague, difficult to observe and measure in any specific way; yet it was those vague questions that opened the door to their classroom so that he, Riccardo, could see how they were communicating with the students and what they were getting across to them. Perhaps the teachers had not expected to reveal their teaching strategies in this way, but they were glad that they had done so. Riccardo suspected that these two teachers, in the near future despite the limitations of their timetables, were going to find time to discuss and share even more of their strategies. That would further benefit the students. Riccardo had plenty of reasons to feel gratified. 87

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