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Uninhibited's picture

This post is about my cross-visitation experience at the English School.

Before the class started, the teacher, Linda and I talked about the nature of the class, the students in it, her approach to teaching the classroom, and my own interests in education.


The girls walk in and sit around 3 tables. They immediately take out their lunch, but three girls get up to ask their teachers if they can get spoons. They seem to like standing up a lot

Then as the students eat, the teacher come up to us to explain the lesson for the day, she tells us that the girls are learning algebra and that she's a little anxious about it being too difficult for them.

two girls walk in late

The teacher then goes up to a table where a group of girls are having a conversation and she starts engaging with them, asking them questions etc.

Then she claps and sings (seems to be a class song) to get the student's attention, but she forgets how to do the clap and the students quickly show her how to do it. The teacher tells students that they have two minutes to finish their lunch.

One of the students begins passing out pencils after the teacher prompts her, and two other girls begin passing out a paper with a math problem. Students seem to be a big part of the classroom, not just as students but as helpers.

The teacher begins by talking about the last Math Olympia test that the girls took, reminds them that they had appealed an answer to get credit but says that unfortunately the board did not take their appeal. A couple of students raise their hands to say that in fact they know that there are multiple answers because they worked on the problem with their friends. The teacher commends them for being so interested in math but reminds them that sometimes someone else is in charge of making the rules. (I was impressed by how early on these girls where challenging authority, confidently).

Then the teacher introduces me to the class and asks for volunteers to tell me what Math Olympia and to go through the methods they've learned to solve math problems. When a student raises their hand to give an answer, she asks them to give examples and probes them to think about when it is most effective to use that method (overall, huge autonomy for the students, they feel smart and show it).

Then she begins her lesson by writing on the smart board, but soon three students go up to her to show them that they already have the answer. The teacher commends them "wow you're very good" and continues her lesson (I was surprised that she didn't reprimand them for interrupting her). The teacher continues her lesson, and as more students want to show her their answers she reminds them that math is a process not just an answer. Then another student tells her that she's found another way to solve the problem. The teacher encourages her to go up and teach the class. The student confidently walks up and begins using the smart board. The teacher praises this student and asks the other students in the class to solve the equation using the method that their classmate described.