This week, the students in the class I would normally be observing were taking a test, and so I was sent elsewhere. Just down the hall and to the right, I came to a small room with a small handful of students and a teacher. One student was using a computer, one was finishing up something by herself, one was getting some help on an ELA (English Language Arts) worksheet, and one was working with graph paper. When I explained why I was there, I was asked to sit down with the one drawing the graph. His name was Daniel, and he was graphing from a table in his textbook. Oh, crud, math, I thought to myself. Luckily, I'm better with visual math than I am with the more abstract stuff. This is when all that "professional disposition" stuff came in. I figured I should be professional, that if I showed confidence that I could help him out, he would have confidence that I could, as well. If anything went wrong, I figured that I would just do the equivalent of calling the manager when I have a register problem at the drug store, and ask the other teacher for assistance.
Everything went great! I helped lead him to finding his mistakes and fixing them while making sure he knew why he was making the changes. One question asked which axis the independent and dependent variables would go on, and I wasn't 100% sure myself. So we worked it out together logically and came to the correct conclusion. It was a very rewarding experience, and I hope I was able to help Daniel in a way that sticks. Unfortunately, I probably won't know if I did, since it looks like my placement time slot comes just before his math class. Maybe I'll get to see him again and ask, though.
He was extremely cooperative and well behaved. Every time I go into this middle school, the students continue to defy the harsh stereotypes other teachers seem to give them. It seems like anytime a professional has talked to one of my classes about middle school kids, he or she will focus on how crazy and moody and rebellious they are. I guess I can definitely learn a lot from the teachers at the school I'm placed in, since they're obviously doing a lot of things right.