November 20, 2012
An observation can result in a very important learning lesson. The act of observing starts at a very young age and never stops. Maturation evolves from self-motivation and efforts to adapt to day-to-day experiences. Observation is how a toddler learns new things. They observe their mother and father doing “grown up” things and try to re-enact them. By doing this they learn new words, build their own personalities, as well as many other important traits. As people grow older the observation turns toward peers, teachers, and other people associated in their lives.
It was my job to observe and learn from a fifth grade inner city class. Growing up, I went to a Jewish day school. It was very strict and nothing like a regular elementary school. The curriculum was much stronger and better than that of a regular school system. My high school was the same deal. It was a magnet school and once again the education I received was much better than a regular public high school. The only reason I am referring to this is because I was beyond shocked when I walked into Martin Luther King Elementary.
My observations started when I stepped off the University of Hartford bus. The school was bigger than I had thought and very old. When I walked in everyone was polite and directed me to the correct room. When I entered the room, it was very chaotic. A couple kids were sitting down, but the majority of the class was shuffling in and out of the classroom. There were seventeen fifth graders, one main teacher, and a teacher’s aid.
The classroom itself was very colorful and full of learning techniques, classroom rules, and the student’s work. There were posters explaining common grammar mistakes and another for simple spelling errors. The desks were set up in groups of four and referred to as teams. The time that I had arrived which was after recess was what I believed routine. Two students, one boy, one girl would be sent to use...