By: Valerie Strauss
Published: October 24, Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/24/teacher-spends-two-days-as-a-student-and-is-shocked-at-what-she-learned/
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
· How comfortably were you able to communicate with your teachers?
· Did you ever feel that they just did not understand you?
· If you had the opportunity, what would you like to tell your teachers about the life of a student?
1. Alexis Wiggins implies that her findings have altered / have altered radically / have not affected her views on teaching
2. What gave Wiggins the opportunity to shadow students for two days was…………………….
3. Why was she given this opportunity?
KEY TAKEAWAY 1
4. What surprising discovery did Wiggins make on the first day?
· She sat at her desk the whole day
· The students were focused
· Sitting is tiring for students
· Teachers are more active than students
5. After sitting without moving the whole day, Wiggins found it easy to concentrate/ found it hard to concentrate. This proves that too much passivity is productive/ counterproductive.
6. The three suggestions would be worth the time because students would be able to……………..
KEY TAKEAWAY 2
7. How active were students in a typical class?........................................Why? Because they hardly ever had the opportunity to………………………………………………………………………………….
8. Why do you think Cindy laughed at Wiggins’ question? Use your own words.
9. What conclusion did Wiggins draw from her o9bservations up to this point?
10. Read the solutions Wiggins decides on. What would such solutions achieve?
11. Read the first paragraph of this section. It is implied in this section that more …………………is needed. Select from the list; there is more than one correct answer.
12. What conclusion does Wiggins reach concerning sarcasm and snark directed at students?
13. Read the three changes A. Wiggins comes up with. Which sentence best expresses her goal?
14. In what way did Wiggins’ views change after the two days she spent shadowing?
15. She feels more teachers should try shadowing because it could lead to …………………………….
THE FOLLOW UP PIECE BY GRANT WIGGINS
1. The subtitle “Not News” implies that the problems described by Alexis Wiggins are well known/ not well known.
2. Does Dale Doucette agree with Alexis or not? How do you know?
3. What does the phrase “That really hit me refer to? In other words, what hit him?
4. Read the story of the best teacher in Jefferson County and Grant Wiggins’ taping of himself. Which of the sentences below best expresses the conclusion we can draw:
· Classroom activities are not as interesting as people think
· Teachers are more sarcastic than they imagine
· A lot of teachers have bad peripheral vision
· Even the best teachers can benefit from a blameless critique
5. Note taking exercise: read this last short section of the text and take notes for the writing task
Write an essay in which you describe the everyday problems students face in class during lessons and then suggest solutions. Remember to justify each solution you propose and state clearly what will be gained. Draw on the text and your personal experience.
TEACHER SPENDS TWO DAYS AS A STUDENT AND IS SHOCKED KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This is a very straight forward text indeed but its structure and style make some serious comprehension questions that test all the reading skills in the students’ arsenal possible. It could, therefore, be used to showcase such questions. It is not often that one can find a text which is simple enough to do this with.
1. Have altered radically
2. Her principal’s suggestion
3. Because she was the high school learning coach
4. Number 3 : it is the only one which is surprising
5. Hard to concentrate; counterproductive
6. Absorb most of the content
7. Not very; speak
8. Because the idea that she made valuable contributions to the lesson seemed funny.
9. Students have little autonomy; they direct or choose little of their learning.
10. Engagement, enthusiasm, collaboration skills, autonomy
11. Sympathy, empathy, leniency and flexibility
12. Sarcasm, impatience and annoyance are a way of creating a barrier between students and teachers
13. In this way, I have both helped create a closer bond with them and shared a very real and personal example of goal setting for them to use as a model in their own thinking about goals.
14. She has a lot more respect and empathy for them..
15. Better backwards design (…)
1. Well known
2. Yes; he cried to his wife that he had no idea how boring his beloved school was.
3. The fact the best teachers are remarkably good at describing in fine detail what happens in their classroom even as they teach and move an agenda forward.
4. Number 4