Musings during an open class

Not mine, actually. I don’t have time to muse when I have open class. Today my evidently well-known co-teacher had an open class for other teachers in the area to attend, as well as the principal, VP, and all the teachers at my school.

Her class was scheduled for a special “7th period” (usually on Fridays we only have 6 periods), and because this was such a big deal for our area, all the teachers in my school had open classes during 5th and 6th period for parents to come and watch… but zero parents showed up to my classes. That’s totally cool with me.

Anyway, at the end of the day I slipped into the English room with a bunch of other teachers to observe the Big Important Open Class. It was with the 1st graders (the 13-year-olds), high level so they’re pretty good.

As I watched and occasionally strolled around to check out what the kids were working on, the following thoughts occurred to me:

— What a strange and unnatural presentation of the learning environment. The kids are working quietly and studiously in their groups, not making a peep; we all know that is just unrealistic. Meanwhile, hordes of teachers swarm around the desks, craning their necks to peer at the group work like watching monkeys in the zoo or some particularly fascinating flea circus performance. At one point it truly resembled birds of prey swooping in on a victim. Poor kids.

— My CT only betrayed her nerves by the twisting of her fingers as she gave directions and monitored the kids. I know she had been somewhat anxious about this class (and who wouldn’t be?), but everything went smoothly.

— Those are some mighty sparkly silver heels that that Important Educator Woman in her 50s-60s is wearing, especially with that matching mighty sparkly silver schoolgirl headband paired with a simple navy-blue-and-white-lace dress. Seriously, she was basically wearing Dorothy’s original silver slippers. Interesting fashion choices to be sure. (I gleaned she was an Important Educator because she hung out with my principal the whole time, but she doesn’t work at my school.)

— One group of kids was trying to make categories for the words that they had brainstormed earlier relating to the textbook lesson. They had come up with categories like “Feelings” and “Actions,” but I was puzzled when I saw one category that they had labeled “Leftings.” What is a lefting?

Then one of my co-teachers murmured in my ear that that category was for the words that they didn’t know how to categorize. Finally it dawned upon me that they were trying to say “Leftovers” (or, in more natural English, Miscellaneous/Uncategorized).

I like “leftings” better, though.

What’s for dinner tonight?

Oh, just leftings.

Hey, where’d you put that customer information?

I didn’t know where it goes, so I filed it under Leftings.

Happy Friday!

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