Teachers get observed ALL the time. Mostly it’s by their students, but often you’ll have student teachers, special support teachers, speech teachers, Curriculum Support Teachers, principals, and Tom, Dick and Harry.
In this district, particularly with the district joined in a collaborative model with the local university, out classroom doors revolve daily. If you’re a people person (and a veteran) like me, it rarely ruffles a feather.
Well, almost rarely.
I have a particular uncanny talent of morphing into Lucille Ball every SINGLE time my new (and wonderful) principal walks into my classroom. I don’t know if someone has cursed me, or if I have accidently cursed myself, but it happens far too often to be just a coincidence.
I was wrapping up a short “Antonym” lesson at 9:45 Monday morning. (I had spent hours in my classroom over the weekend preparing lesson plans and materials for the coming crazy Halloween week, and felt ready for anything. Silly me.)
I was emailing our Reading Support teacher when I noticed Mr. P-pal walk into the room. He quietly seated himself along the perimeter of the room and opened his laptop for his (Surprise!) observation. I called the children to the carpet for the “share and wrap up” portion of the lesson, and they brought their Antonym books and charged the carpet like a pack of wild zoo animals. Stanley threw his backpack on the floor yelling that he “was hungry!”, George “accidently” tackled David to the carpet, and Delilah decided it was the perfect time to take off her pants and change into shorts. (So basically it was business as usual.)
After I managed to get them all (somewhat) settled, we began a brainstorming session of the antonyms they came up with for their booklets. They were amazing! And then, someone added, “See and hear!”.
I smiled and said, “Oh, I don’t think those are antonyms. Those are similes!” I said, and promptly misspelled the word on the board. I glanced at my teacher’s aide, Mrs. Wilson, who looked at me quizzically. (That happens too often, I’m afraid.)
I looked at the board (apparently thinking of the simile activity we were going to do the following week) and realized my mistake. (Sweet Cheezus.)
I hurridly said, “Oh, NO! Silly me, I must not have had enough coffee this morning boys and girls because what I meant to say was synonyms! Those words are synonyms, because they mean the same thing. “ I proceeded to talk about synonyms like a crazy lunatic trying to talk her way out of a speeding ticket, and barely noticed Mrs. Wilson looking even more confused.
I wrapped up the lesson quickly and lined the kids up for their bathroom break. Mr. P-pal quietly made his way out of the room, and before I could walk the kids down the hall Mrs. Wilson said, “Um, excuse me, Mrs. Smythe, could I see you a minute?” She was trying to contain herself, and I was afraid to look her in the eye.
I walked back to her table and said, “Oh my Lord, aren’t you supposed to shoot me when things start going downhill?”
She looked at me laughing, “Well, I figured you were doing a pretty good job of shooting yourself!” I shook my head and she added, “And by the way, not to add salt to your wounds, but I’m not completely sure that see and hear are synonyms.”
I looked at the board, even MORE mortified.
Great. I am, (again), officially an idiot.