At least he didn't chuck a tomato

Since I teach in a regional program serving a low-incidence population (kids with hearing loss), I've become used to having visitors drop by. Other professionals may be curious, or representatives from other school districts want to evaluate our program for whatever reason.

Yesterday my supervisor dropped by with two strangers in tow. I knew they were coming, and when they walked in the door, I was in the middle of a language lesson about superlatives. (And in case you've forgotten all that you've learned about English grammar, here's an example of a superlative: smart, smarter, smartest.)

I was feeling all superior with my snazzy pictures (three different sizes of apples for "smaller than" and "smallest") and my sentence strips. But the lesson just wasn't clicking with four out of my five students. I was arranging the pictures on the pocket chart and labeling them with "smaller than" and "smallest".

I would prompt every once in a while with "Is this the right order?!"

And then...

while three adults were watching me...

one of my little first graders yelled "BOOOOO" right at me. Thumbs down and all!

I laughed nervously (my lesson was already going south), and directed a comment towards my grown-up audience: "Well, this is the first time I've ever been booed during an observation before!! Haha...ha."

I realized a little later that this student had actually booed in response to my question about the order of the apple pictures.

Why he didn't just say "No" is a mystery I'm still trying to solve.


Sparkling said...

I haven't had that during a real observation, but my principal is trying to do more "walk throughs". She just appears out of nowhere. The first time, they were taking a quiz, so I was at my desk, back to most of them, shoveling popcorn into my mouth as I graded some papers. Not wanting to seem alarmed, when she walked in, I just kept right on shoveling in the popcorn.

A few weeks later, I was LIVID with a class and just about to blast them and as I was taking my breath to let them have it, she appeared at the door. I wasn't going to swear or anything, but it would not have been my finest moment.

A few weeks later, they were all doing an activity, so I sat at my computer to email maintenance that it was so hot in my room I might have to undress. At some point she walked in and must not have noticed me sitting there. I got up, not knowing she was there because she was leaning over looking at work and thought HOLY SHIT SHE'S HERE AGAIN WATCHING ME LOOK BAD. BUt I think she thought I'd just been on the other side of the room. I'm small and I teach middle school, so no one can ever find me in the classroom.

I never worried about observations until this principal came along. I haven't had a bad experience with her yet but I hear about how she makes up stuff about people not having agendas posted and things like that, so I'm on edge when she's in there.

I had a very funny observation a few years ago where the assistant principal kept pestering a kid, asking him how he knew what we were doing, how did he know what these words meant, etc. Each time, I watched the kid answer him and kind of look at him like he was nuts. By about the 5th time, I thought the kid was going to tell him to just shut up already. It was one of my worst kids and very funny to see him thinking that this adult was so stupid that he didn't know that I pass out vocab sheets and everything comes from that.

Renee said...

"No" would have been the normal response. Since he's a child, normal is no good, so "Boo" it is! Hope your visitors had a good sense of humor about it.

~A said...

Ah! That is too funny!

Dramatic kid!

During one of my observations for a student teaching experience, I gave the students the beginning half of a fable and asked them to write the conclusion in groups. Needless to say, some of my fifth graders are rather creative... a story about a show-down between a cricket and a coyote suddenly involved pigeons dropping atomic poo bombs on the enemy...

Sherri said...

Oh, that's classic! Of course it can't just be a simple "no" with all of those observers there!

It has to be a bit stressful when they show up, even if you expect them. My principal will come into my social skills groups once a month or so, and he steals my thunder. And I only have half an hour! But I've never been boo'ed!

Elissa said...

I remember my Mom's Preschool/Daycare being observed by a county rep for the lunch reimbursement. All the children were sitting at a picnic bench eating with the rep when one child asked my Mom where babies come from. My Mom played it cool and said it was a question to ask their parents. When One girl piped up and yelled "Boys have peanuts and girls have pajamas!!!"

Maranda said...

Haha! At least he knew the right answer right???

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