Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week Nine: Goodbye Spring Break, Goodbye Israel

It was wonderful to be back in the classroom this week, and to be able to jump right back in after two weeks of Spring Break, six thousand miles away. It was also remarkable to me how much education had been on my mind during those two weeks. Our last day in Israel, as we sat around in a circle in Jaffa on our last night, I remember explaining how the trip had validated everything I believed about the importance of experiential, student-centered learning and how it had served to solidify my teaching philosophy.

My greatest intrinsic reward this week was the excitement of my students and the exclamations of "she's back!" It was also interesting to see how the dynamics of the classroom had changed, however subtly. Aside from some unrelated hiccups, it was clear that the change in the weather and the proximity to their spring break had affected behavior in the classroom. I was made aware of an increase in student misbehavior and while most of the students remained focused during class this week, it was obvious which ones my cooperating teacher had been referring to. Though, everything considered, it was a surprisingly normal week.