I had the opportunity to be a part of, and experience, the greatest lesson ever. And those immature little middle schoolers don’t even realize what gold they are being handed!
I am currently in EDUC 340 and I have my lab and recitation at Wellington Middle School. Though it takes about 30 minutes to drive out of Fort Collins and make it to the school, the drive is well worth it. This small school is a “school to watch” as they are one of the best, in my opinion. But really. They have been awarded a “school to watch” award because of their great student-output.
I was sitting in on Mrs. Jordan’s class in room 112. Mrs. Jordan is an older woman who has gained rockstar status in my eyes. I got to help out in her 7th grade science class and her 6th grade current events class – a 30 minute mini-class, or flex period.
I am not the biggest fan of science, but the very first words that came out of Mrs. Jordan’s mouth had me locked down. I was all ears. She said,
“So who here knew that plants could have sex…?”
Boom. Immediate attention grabber. She proceded to describe to her class how this really happens, and she showed them how to dissect a flower and identify the sex organs. They all did the same on their own afterwords and taped their findings into their interactive notebooks (which is another AWESOME thing Wellington Middle School does, but that could be a whole new post).
She asked us when the students left, what we noticed about her lesson. We debriefed, which is something I also really enjoy because it helps me bring closure to what we just witnessed and we could ask her questions, etc. We noticed that in this single class period, she used almost all of the multiple-learning intelligences (i.e. kinesthetic, logic, etc….). It was incredible. She said she tries to use/incorporate all of them in each lesson and she has all of them listed on her back wall so she can test herself while teaching to see what she has or hasn’t used. It was incredible. Even though I like to think I’m not an immature, self-obsessed, dramatic middle schooler anymore, her class put me right there with all of them, and I was awe struck.
I learned right along with the little ankle-biters and if anyone asks me what the sex organs in a flower are called, I could tell you right now! She was that good. While teaching and demonstrating, Mrs. Jordan would describe to her students ways they could remember the terms for the organs/parts of the flower. She said the boy part that was called the staymen could be remembered because usually in their classes, the teachers always had to tell the rowdy boys, “Hey, STAYMEN!” Get it? It stuck with me, obviously. She did this for most of the terms and I could probably ace the test.
The class she taught today was interesting as well, but I really loved her plant-sex lesson because it really opened my eyes to more strategies that are really helpful that students don’t really notice. She is good at her job and really is a star teacher. It makes me wish she could have been one of my teachers.