Things got real today!
Ms. Ho is a teacher from Hong Kong who comes every year to do professional training and observations with CereCare in Shanghai. She observed group blue (my class) today. I bumped into Ms Lieu, the founder of CereCare, this morning and we observed the class together. Every kid had an adult working with them and Daisy was teaching this class. She was modeling directives like stretching arms from left to right and top-left to bottom-right, and the kids followed along as best as they could. Ms. Ho takes notes, sometimes briefly interrupting to help correct the class as she saw fits. At one point, she talked to Ms. Gao, the director in charge of the teachers, who then proceeded to ask one of the trainers to exit the classroom with her. Why, you ask? Well, he started dozing off, again. He does this every day, so I’m not surprised he got in trouble. I wonder why he’s always so tired, and how everyone has put up with him dozing off all the time. I was asked to fill in for him, and it was pretty fun, it made me feel involved for once.
The children had to do some writing exercises today. I could tell that everyone was trying to be alert and on their best behavior. For the teachers, I would say that half of them are always on top of their game, one or two are alert but not doing as well as they could, and one or two is putting on their game just for this lesson. For example, one of the girls in the class is always slouching. 10 seconds after you ask her to straighten up, she slouches back down. I don’t really think the teachers normally remind her to sit up nearly as often as they should or as they did today. But also she’s not trying hard enough, it would kind of be ridiculous to have to ask her to sit up every 10 seconds (I counted, not exaggerating). Another girl in the class is not as intellectually developed, so the teachers usually give her much easier tasks because she lives a lot in her own bubble, and her sitting posture is not too bad. But I would say they probably paid more attention to her today than usual. The teachers didn’t dilly dally or chitchat with the kids in class, whereas normally a lesson would move slower because of all the chitchatting and not as much doing.
As I sit in the back of the room and type this, we are all in the conference room debriefing on today’s lesson with Ms. Ho. She’s asking for comments on what the kids have trouble with and eliciting solutions for these difficulties. I think it’s nice that it’s a conversation rather than a speech. Sometimes the teachers do offer suggestions, but otherwise they just sit there and wait for Ms. Ho to give them ideas. Ms. Ho probably realized that the center is not working as hard as it could and not pushing the kids enough. It’s probably a good challenge for them to have to pay more attention to the small problems and actively think of solutions.
The only thing left is to implement them.