What I first did when I arrived at Corcoran High School today was go to the library. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a great deal of time to browse, but I have to say that I am very impressed by the library. There are plenty of books, and it is a very warm and inviting atmosphere. Student artwork is on display on top of bookshelves, and I am very impressed with that, too.
I observed two different classes today. The first was Gear-Up. If I haven’t mentioned Gear-Up before, it is sort of like a Study Hall, except that it is a time for students to take advantage of tutors from Syracuse University. Unfortunately, a lot of students who could use the extra help don’t take advantage of it, though, and that is sad. Secondly, I observed Ms. Patapow’s English class.
Ms. Patapow, before I observed either, was incredibly helpful. I needed a copy of the school’s Code of Conduct, so she gave me that. She also gave me a copy of the new ELA specifications. Although the latter said document is not required for my EDU 301 class, it is still a good resource to have to have. I recall taking the ELA in eleventh grade, and it was two days long with two exams. Now, it is only one day long with only one essay. It is interesting to see such a striking difference. Ms. Patapow is not happy with the change, saying that the more useful of the two essays is the one that was scrapped, and she is also not happy with the fact that teachers were just recently notified of this change, which does not give them very much time to review with their students using the new specifications.
A student during Study Hall was rapping, which Ms. Patapow thought was funny for a little while. However, she eventually grew tired of it, especially when he began to swear. He used the F-word and also used the word “gay” as an insult. Ms. Patapow was not happy about this, which I appreciated.
The English class was, as usual, difficult to get quiet. It started out doing a quiz, and then it reviewed vocabulary. Throughout this entire time, most of the class talked while doing its work as Ms. Patapow waited for it to finish. When it finally did, they went over the vocabulary that they had just reviewed, and then they read the first twelve pages of the final chapter of John Steinbeck’s The Pearl.