26 Oct A System is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole (Merriam-Webster). Example: digestive system, automotive system, plumbing system, etc. Think a
A System is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole (Merriam-Webster). Example: digestive system, automotive system, plumbing system, etc.
Think about your classroom as a system. Define the system: the parts, the function of each part, and the purpose. Write a paragraph that explains how the parts affect one another. For example, you might think about how your students interact, how you affect your students, and how an interruption affects the classroom system.
The system to which I would compare my classroom would be that of an offensive football team. Such an offensive system would have myself as the coordinator and the students as players within the system. An offensive team has a particular mission; that is, to score points. As a coordinator or coach, I prepare my students to do exactly that in academic terms. Scoring points means reaching a high level of academic achievement particularly with respect to the grading scale. Victory should be thought of as successful completion of the course and matriculation towards high school graduation.
Whereas I analogize my role as a teacher to that of the offensive coordinator, it is my job to install the proverbial game plan. Game planning is a metaphor for utilizing effective instructional strategies. Within the system of the offense, these strategies such as cooperative learning, student directed learning, and the practice of creating and testing hypothesis enable students; i.e., the team to reach the goal line and eventual victory.
As a coach/coordinator I am responsible for the individual success of players on the team. It is the student’s job to prepare, participate, and practice—diligently! It is the student’s responsibility to accept the coaching and to strive to achieve the standards set forth by the coach/teacher. The students executes the game plan. The student executes the instructional strategies and uses such to achieve growth and advancement individually and collectively. As any team, coaches and athletes succeed and fail as a unit because the nature of teams is interdependency.
In actuality, there is pedagogy in coaching for sure. Sports and competition are universally popular because they encapsulate the human condition, so thoroughly. This example, provides evidence of the powerful consistencies existing between sports teams and learning communities. Therefore both students (athletes) and teachers (coaches) should obsess about the objective of victory as a common collaborative pursuit.
The hypothetical asks the candidate to imagine a teacher’s assistant working with students for half a day. In terms of the offensive system described above, such an occurrence may be a blessing and a curse. Think of the analogy of an assistant to the primary coach. Such a person may have a different approach to coaching altogether. They might have their own ideas about how to plan and how to succeed. Moreover, such an assistant might have their own game plan/instructional strategies to which they are accustomed. On the other hand, an assistant may prove to be a great enhancement to the program and lead to tremendous success. There’s always a benefit of having a different messenger to deliver the message. Athletes may relate positively to new coaching strategies. You never know what might happen in such cases until you try it out. My guess would be that effective methods could be developed to ensure that such an assistant would become an asset.
Test of Hypothesis
Testing the hypothesis would include planning collaboratively with the assistant teacher/coach. Common goals and objectives and common approaches should be agreed upon between the two individuals. Teaching strategies should be discussed, moreover plan to correctly utilize such strategies should be developed. I would test my hypothesis by using the assistant both in small group instruction and as a facilitator to whole group and collaborative instruction. The students should understand the role of the co-teacher and should rely upon the co-teacher whenever possible. The co-teacher and the coordinator should maintain a functional and effective working relationship. I believe the test of my hypothesis would prove successful with respect to these results.
I would compare the classroom to a car. The teacher would the motor. The purpose of a car engine is to convert gasoline into motion so that your car can move. The purpose of a teacher is to feed information to students so that they can process information to make their brain move toward solutions to said info. The students are the various parts of the car: the steering wheel (your higher level learners/alpha personalities). They drive the classroom with their energy. The lower level learners are the gauges (gas, tire pressure etc) because you have to make sure they are in line and not lacking or else your car will have problems. All of the parts of a car are interacting with each other and working together for the purpose of making the car "go," Ultimately if the car engine isn't working or lacking, it will in turn affect the whole car. The car doesn't move without the engine. The student's won't move unless they are being challenged. We recently had a discussion on governments and why some countries operate the way that they do. Most students had the impression that a dictatorship was bad and that all dictators ruled with an iron fist. Through research and discussion, I was able to show them that sometimes these types of governments are not always ruthless and heartless. Yes those people may have less freedoms than we do, but they can still enjoy certain freedoms.
In keeping with the same comparison, an assistant teacher joining would be like adding a hemi to your car. The hemi gives your car a boost which makes it achieve maximum speed in a short amount of time. The assistant can help the teacher in areas that he/she are lacking. We could split the class into groups (high and low learners) to devote more individual time to students. We could also differentiate instruction to those groups to improve quality of work and understanding. If the two teachers have a clear plan on how to achieve predetermined results, they will be able to maximize the student's potential. All (both teachers and students) working together to make the "car" go.
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