I Am My Thinking About Education By Gary Fenstermacher And Jonas Soltis

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As preparation for meeting the married teacher couple I was to interview, I started reading Approaches to Teaching (Thinking About Education) by Gary Fenstermacher and Jonas Soltis. It was early in the semester, only a few weeks in, and the overload of theory boggled my mind from the start. I set the book aside and approached the interview with a mindset to get a good outline of who these people are and how they teach. In the setting of their home, in the company of their young child and our mutual friend, I found two caring individuals with similar thoughts on their teaching experiences. Mandy* has been teaching at a large public high school for the last three years. Her degree is in engineering and she loves teaching her seniors…show more content…
Mandy employs an Executive Approach, though she was not familiar with the pedagogy of it when I inquired about what her teaching style is. I surmise this is in large part to her technical background and previous employ as an engineer. She focuses on guiding students through the lesson in a timely, structured manner. Her classroom is inviting in that it is not so rigid as to be sterile, but it is clear she values the structure in time. She has several places where timelines for staying on task are set up, reminders of dates and times for important assignments or tests, and throughout the lesson, she redirects focus to the question at hand. Through each of the two class periods I sat in, she introduced a clear, simple plan for the class of what they would work on and accomplish that day, then led the class through that process. She interacted with the students as they entered the room initially, spoke briefly to a few while individual work on a problem commenced, and watched to be sure the class stayed on task. In reviewing the features of the Executive approach, I found a near exact description of her room, “these time-management skills are intended to increase the percentage of engaged time relative to allocated time, and include such techniques as monitoring seatwork, reducing idle chatter, maintaining a down-to-business atmosphere, and providing students with an easy, comfortable means to signal their confusion with material under consideration”. She
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