AIMING FOR EXCELLENCE
C/011/004 DAVID PRETTO
Achieving excellence, the ultimate challenge for any teacher.
We challenge Middle School English Language Arts teacher, David Pretto, to go from
giving a good lesson to an excellent one.
An ELA education expert will observe one lesson, and a teaching coach will fine tune
David's practice and improve his presentation.
He then gets three weeks to take on the advice before the education expert comes back
for the final verdict.
I DIDN'T ACHIEVE EVERYTHING I WANTED TO DO. AND AS I GOT ABOUT 25, 20
MINUTES IN I FELT LIKE IT WAS A LITTLE TOO AMBITIOUS.
TITLE: "Aiming For Excellence"
"Improving Student Engagement in 8th Grade English Language Arts"
Wagner Middle School is a large, ethnically diverse school in New York City's upper east
David Pretto is an 8th grade English Language Arts teacher in his 7th year of teaching.
He is a National Board certified educator ...
and one evening a week David is back in the classroom as a student.. .. (UPSOUND)
studying to become a school administrator.
I FEEL LIKE I'M A DECENT TEACHER ... I FEEL LIKE THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THIS
BUILDING, AND PEOPLE OUTSIDE, WHO ARE LIKE LEAPS AND BOUNDS BETTER
The English department rates his teaching as good ...
NINA MAUCERI, Assistant Principal:
DAVE IS THE TYPE OF TEACHER THAT IS EXTREMELY REFLECTIVE AND I THINK
THAT THAT IS HIS LARGEST STRENGTH. HE'S CONSISTENTLY LOOKING FOR
WAYS TO IMPROVE HIS CRAFT. HE WANTS HIS STUDENTS TO BE DEEP
I THINK HE'S A GOOD TEACHER BECAUSE WHEN IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND
SOMETHING, HE'LL LIKE SIT THERE AND EXPLAIN IT TO YOU ... BUT THEN, IF
YOU STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND IT THEN YOU CAN GO AFTER SCHOOL, OR IN
THE MORNING, TO ASK HIM FOR HELP.
I FEEL LIKE I'M PROUD TO BE A TEACHER MORE OFTEN THAN I'M NOT PROUD
TO BE A TEACHER,.DEFINITELY. I REALLY WORK HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT I
HAVE MORE PROUD DAYS THAN NOT PROUD DAYS.
It's ?am on the morning of David's first observation.
And like most mornings, he is rushing to catch the subway from Brooklyn to Wagner
Middle School in Manhattan.
He has a lot on his mind.
I HOPE EVERYTHING GOES WELL TODAY. I'M KIND OF NERVOUS ABOUT MY
KIDS, COS THEY WEREN'T GOOD YESTERDAY IN THE AFTERNOON, SO I'M A
LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT HOW THEY'RE GOING TO PERFORM.
(arriving at school)
With 40 minutes to go to the start of his lesson ... David still has to complete his last
I'M NERVOUS, I'M DEFINITELY NERVOUS ... AND I'M WORRIED ABOUT STUPID
STUFF, LIKE IF MY PANTS GO ALL THE WAY TO MY SHOES, KNOW WHAT I
Renee Cherow-O'Leary is an English Language Arts expert who has overseen the work
of hundreds of teachers and she will be assessing David's lesson today.
So, what is Renee looking for in an excellent class?
RENEE CHEROW-O'LEARY, ELA Expert
I WILL EXPECT THAT THERE IS A LESSON THAT BUILDS TOWARDS A CLIMAX,
LIKE A GOOD STORY, A KIND OF DENOUEMENT WHERE EVERYONE IN THE
CLASS REACHES A POINT OF COMPREHENSION. AND THEN I LOOK FOR HOW
HE LEADS THEM THERE AND THEN ONCE THEY ARE AT THAT PLACE WHAT HE
ASKS THEM TO DO WITH THAT INFORMATION.
Today, David has one lesson to impress our assessor. He's teaching Harper Lee's To
Kill a Mockingbird ... focusing on the use of symbolism.
He starts the class with a question.
THE QUESTION IS: "WHO IS MORE QUALIFIED TO TELL YOUR LIFE'S STORY,
YOU OR SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU? EXPLAIN WHY YOU THINK SO. YOU OR
SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU?
I WOULD SAY ME, BECAUSE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ME MAY NOT KNOW MY
WHOLE LIFE STORY.
I THINK THAT NOBODY LIVES MY LIFE AND THEY ARE NOT WITH ME EVERY
SECOND OF MY LIFE, SO I KNOW MYSELF THE MOST.
After a further 5 minutes of small group discussion, David shows his class the opening
moments of the film adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird." He wants the students to
notice the objects shown in the opening credits.
(shots of film)
WHAT'S THE LAST IMAGE THAT WE SEE, BEFORE THIS IMAGE? GENA?
WHAT'S SOMETHING ELSE THAT WE SEE?
BEFORE THE PICTURES, THERE WAS A CRAYON.
YES, SHE WAS DRAWING WITH A CRAYON. AND WE SEE A LOT OF DIFFERENT
OBJECTS, RIGHT? AND TOM BEFORE MENTIONED THE PENNIES ... SO, WHAT
WE WANT TO DO IS, WE WANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THESE THINGS MEAN.
AND THAT'S WHAT THE PURPOSE OF TODAY IS, ALRIGHT? AND WE'RE GOING
TO BE LOOKING AT SYMBOLS. SYMBOLISM, ALRIGHT?
THERE ARE MANY UNIVERSAL SYMBOLS OUT THERE IN THE WORLD THAT WE
ALL KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN. LIKE, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
IT MEANS STOP EVERYWHERE. IT MEANS STOP IN THE STATES, IT MEANS
STOP IN EUROPE. IT MEANS STOP IN ANTARTICA. IT MEANS STOP
EVERYWHERE. AND WE ARE ALSO FAMILIAR WITH THIS IMAGE. WITH THIS
SYMBOL. WHAT IS THIS SYMBOL? WHAT DOES IT SYMBOLISE, EXCUSE ME?
JOSE? IT SYMBOLIZES LIBERTY. FREEDOM, RIGHT. ANYTHING ELSE? PEACE,
.. . AND LET'S JUST GET A BASIC DEFINITION. IT'S AN OBJECT, A PICTURE, A
WORD, SOUND, OR ANOTHER THING, THAT REPRESENTS SOMETHING ELSE.
The class looks at several objects from the book and tries to explain their symbolism ...
eventually achieving greatest success when interpreting the meaning behind the soap
HE'S TRYING TO START OVER WITH THE KIDS. JUST CLEAN, FRESH START. SO
HE GAVE THEM SOAP.
ALRIGHT. I LIKE THIS, I LIKE THIS. THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS GETIING CLOSER.
WE'RE A LOT CLOSER.
SO, WHAT'S BOO TRYING TO TELL THE KIDS?
GERARD WHAT DO YOU SAY?
NOR WHAT DO YOU SAY?
CAN ANYONE SAY WHAT HE SAID?
NOT MAKE MISTAKES THAT WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE, I GUESS.
I LIKE THIS. THIS IS DEFINITELY GETTING TO SOME BIGGER MEANINGS.
BECAUSE THESE ARE MEANINGS ... COMING BACK TO THE IDEA OF THEME.
THESE ARE MEANINGS THAT WE CAN TAKE AWAY LIKE BIGGER IDEAS ABOUT
LIFE THAT THE AUTHOR IS TRYING TO GIVE US, RIGHT?
TODAY I LEARNED THAT IF THERE IS AN OBJECT IN A BOOK TO SEE WHAT THE
REAL MEANING IS, BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE A MEANING BEHIND IT THAT
YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE.
I THINK I LEARNED HOW TO LOOK DEEPER INTO THE BOOKS TO FIND THINGS
THAT THE AUTHOR MIGHT HAVE PUT IN FOR A REASON, NOT JUST THAT SHE
PICKED OUT OF A HAT OR SOMETHING, AS MR. PRETTO SAID.
SO WHAT DID WE DO TODAY? WE TRIED TO INTERPRET SOME SYMBOLS. WE
WERE LOOKING AT OBJECTS. AND WE WERE LOOKING AT THEM KNOWING IN
OUR HEAD THAT THEY MEAN SOMETHING ELSE, AND WRITERS DO THIS
OFTEN. WHAT I WANT YOU TO START LOOKING FOR IN YOUR INDEPENDENT
READING, AND IN THIS BOOK AS WELL, IS FOR BIGGER MEANINGS BEHIND THE
OBJECTS AND OTHER KIND OF RANDOM STUFF THAT ARE PUT INTO BOOKS.
SO, PLEASE PUSH IN YOUR CHAIRS AND HAVE A NICE WEEKEND.
I THINK I WAS ABLE TO REACH EVERY KID WITH VERY BASIC KNOWLEDGE
LEVEL CONCEPTS. LIKE I THINK I WAS ABLE TO REACH EVERY KID WITH THE
IDEA OF WHAT A SYMBOL IS. AND I THINK I WAS ABLE TO REACH THE IDEA
THAT YOU USE QUESTIONS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT A SYMBOL MEANS, BUT AS
FAR AS GETTING INTO THE BIGGER IDEAS OF WHAT THE BOOK IS TRYING TO
TEACH WITH THOSE PARTICULAR SYMBOLS, I DON'T THINK I REACHED EVERY
KID. NO, I DON'T THINK IT WAS AN EXCELLENT CLASS. IF IT WAS AN EXCELLENT
CLASS THEY ALL WOULD HAVE GOT IT. IF IT WAS AN EXCELLENT CLASS THEN I
WOULD HAVE PLANNED FOR ALL THE THINGS THAT HAD HAPPENED. THAT
WAS DEFINITELY NOT AN EXCELLENT CLASS.
So, how did David do?
WOULD YOU MIND TELLING ME HOW YOU THINK THE CLASS WENT. IN YOUR
I FEEL THAT IT WAS NOT A COMPLETE SUCCESS. I FEEL THAT THE ULTIMATE
GOAL WAS NOT ACHIEVED.
I KNOW YOU WANTED TO DO A GOOD ACADEMIC TYPE ... BREAKING DOWN THE
WORKSHOP MODEL SOME READING, SOME WRITING AND HAVING THEM DO
NOW ... AT THE SAME TIME I THINK THE CONTENT OF THIS PARTICULAR
LESSON LEANDED ITSELF TO SOMETHING THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN MORE
ENGAGING AND ACTIVE AND DRAMATIC ... IT'S GOT TO BE ALIVE.
IT'S GOT TO BE A GOOD SHOW.
IT'S GOT TO BE A GOOD SHOW. A GOOD SHOW THAT CAPTURES THE
ARE YOU MAYBE THINKING ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE ROLE PLAYING EVEN, LIKE
HAVING THE GROUPS ACT IT OUT AND USING THAT. ..
SO DAVE, WE DID NOT ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN THIS CLASS. NEVERTHELESS,
I THINK THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN WORK ON THAT I WOULD HIGHLY
RECOMMEND. THE FIRST WOULD BE, YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT A LITTLE
MORE THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF THEIR READING THIS BOOK AND WHAT
YOU ARE HOPING THEY WILL TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. THE SECOND IS,
TO GET THEM MORE ACTIVELY ENGAGED. UP AND OUT OF THEIR SEATS,
DOING, SPEAKING, ENGAGED. AND THE THIRD WOULD BE TO THINK ABOUT
YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT, THAT IS IN YOUR INTERRUPTION OF YOURSELF
TODAY IT LOST ITS MOMENTUM. THINK LESS SO MUCH IN TERMS OF THIS
TASK, NOW THIS TASK, NOW THIS TASK, NOW THIS TASK, WHICH IS VERY
LINEAR, AND THINK ABOUT IT MORE IN TERMS OF THE FLOW OF THE ACTIVITY
WHERE ONE BUILDS ON THE OTHER. SO, YOU ARE SCAFFOLDING NOT ONLY
THE LEARNING BUT THE WAY YOU ARE USING YOUR TIME. SO, THOSE ARE THE
3 THINGS I WOULD URGE YOU TO DO. .
With David's first observation behind him .... it's now time to bring on the teaching coach.
To boost David's progress help comes from arts education expert, Carol Fineberg.
Before David arrives Carol watches his lesson.
HE DOESN'T REALLY START WITH ANY KIND OF GRABBING. HE DOESN'T GET
THE KIDS FOCUSED ON HIM AND THE PURPOSE OF THAT SESSION, AND THAT
CAN HAUNT HIM THROUGHOUT THE CLASS.
YOU KNOW, HE'S MAKING LOTS OF MISTAKES, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER
IS, HIS NICENESS AND HIS LIKING OF THEM COMES THROUGH.
So, what coaching tips can Carol give David to help improve his teaching.
LET'S STOP. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I THINK I'M TALKING 100 MILES AN HOUR AND I CAN HARDLY UNDERSTAND
MYSELF WHAT I'M SAYING.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THAT'S WHAT SLOWS DOWN THE WORK AND EFFECTS
THE PACING. NOW, IF YOU WERE TO CHANGE YOUR TECHNIQUE FROM
TELLING TO ASKING, YOU WOULD INCREASE YOUR PACE AND YOU WOULD
ADDRESS YOUR ISSUE OF OVER TALKING, WHICH WE ALL DO, AND YOU KEEP
THEM CLOSE TO THE BOOK.
IF YOU ASKED ME, HOW CAN I END THIS CLASS WITH A BANG, NOT A WHIMPER,
THANK YOU T.S. ELIOT, THE WHOLE POINT OF OUR CONVERSATION COULD BE
WRAPPED UP BY A GREAT GIMMICK. HOW ABOUT HAVING A SUMMARIZER OF
WHAT HAPPENED TODAY? WHAT DID WE DO? WHY DID WE DO IT? HOW DOES
IT RELATE TO THE BOOK? AND WHERE DOES IT LEAD US NEXT?
LIKE SOMEONE ELSE DOING IT?
EXACTLY. THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S AN EXCELLENT IDEA. .. AND SOMETIMES I QUESTION KIDS, WHAT DID
WE DO? BUT NOT SOMETHING WHERE I SAID, OK, YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. AND
MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE ALL READY TO GO.
Later that evening David is relaxing at home with his wife Vanessa, and 2 year old
He shares his coaching experience with Vanessa.
SO, HOW DID IT GO WITH CAROL TODAY?
IT WENT REALLY WELL. YOU KNOW, SHE WAS REALLY NICE AND GAVE ME
VERY HELPFUL TIPS.
WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS?
I WAS TALKING TOO MUCH, WAS A BIG PROBLEM (LAUGHS). SHE GAVE ME
SOME LITTLE IDEAS TO KIND OF SPICE IT UP OR TO MAKE IT MORE DRAMATIC.
JUGGLING BEING A TEACHER, A PARENT, A STUDENT, IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.
I FEEL I'M SPREAD REALLY THIN. BUT I AM PROUD WHEN I DO SEE KIDS WHEN
THEY COME BACK OR EVEN AFTER A LESSON WHERE SOMEONE SAYS THAT
WAS AWESOME, I LEARNED SOMETHING TODAY.
I WANT TO SEE A LESSON GO FROM GOOD TO EXCELLENT. I WOULD BE
REALLY UPSET, AND WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS, I WOULD BE REALLY UPSET IF
WE GO THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS AND THEN WE GET TO THE SECOND
LESSON, AND THEN I IMPLEMENT THE STUFF, AND IT DOESN'T GO RIGHT, AND
IT'S STILL JUST GOOD OR DECENT.
And David does have his work cut out for him ...
Facing challenging moments with some of his students ... which he captures in his video
HI. .. IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF DAYS SINCE I SAW CAROL, AND MY CLASS THAT
I'LL BE TEACHING THE SECOND LESSON WITH IS FALLING APART A LITTLE BIT. I
WAS JUST CURSED OUT BY ONE OF THE STUDENTS AND I JUST HAD THREE OF
THEM WALK OUT ON ME WHILE I WAS SPEAKING TO THEM AFTER SCHOOL. SO,
THIS IS GOING TO BE TOUGH. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
David takes this all in his stride and now days before the final assessment, he feels like
he's making progress.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT WRITING DOWN THE LINES YET. JUST SAY THEM TO
EACH OTHER WHEN YOU'RE ACTING OUT THE SCENE.
I'VE ALREADY STARTED NOT JUST HAVE THAT WORKSHOP ROUTINE HAPPEN
EVERY DAY,. TO BREAK THEM OUT OF THEIR HABITS A LITTLE BIT. AND IT WAS
EFFECTIVE. AND I'VE TRIED TO ENTHUSE MORE FUN .... THE ENGAGEMENT WAS
UP AND I WAS SEEING A LOT MORE RESULTS.
He's taken Carol's advice to assign a lesson summarizer.
IS SOMEONE WILLING TO BE THE SUMMARIZER? SOMEONE TO SAY THAT
WE'VE HIT ON ALL THESE GOALS. CATHERINE? WITH 5 MINUTES TO GO WE'LL
STOP THE LESSON, WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK TO YOU AND GO BACK TO
THIS CHECK LIST AND SAY, AND YOU'RE GOING TO DECIDE AS
REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS CLASS, DID WE HIT ALL THESE GOALS, ALRIGHT?
HERE'RE THE GOALS ....
YOU SEE IN THEIR FACES, YOU SEE IN THEIR EYES, WALKING IN EXCITED TO
SEE WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. I SEE A CHANGE IN THE STUDENTS WHERE
THEY'RE MUCH MORE ENGAGED IN THE LESSONS AND AS LONG AS THEY ARE
ENGAGED, THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE FOR THEM TO LEARN .... SO THAT HAS
BEEN A BIG CHANGE.
It's days before David's final assessment and we've invited our coach Carol Fineberg
into the classroom, to take a closer look at his teaching ....
and after the lesson, Carol provides David with some last minute guidance and tips to
teach an excellent class .... she's impressed with the progress she's seen so far.
I NOTICED WONDERFUL INSTANCES OF IMPROVEMENT IN TODAY'S LESSON.
FOR EXAMPLE, I NOTICED THAT YOU HAD PREPARED VERY WELL WHAT IT WAS
YOU WERE GOING TO SAY, AND YOU SAID IT. NOW, HERE'S THE OPPOSITE
PROBLEM, YOU SAID MORE THAN YOU NEEDED TO SAY AND YOU COULD HAVE
ILICITED FROM THEM THE VERY INFORMATION YOU GAVE TO THEM. AND WHY
WOULD WE DO THAT? TO GET THEM ENGAGED RIGHT AWAY.
I HAVE JUST TWO TIPS FOR YOU. ONE HAS TO DO WITH WHERE YOU CAN GET
THE KIDS ENGAGED QUICKLY ... AND THAT IS TO ASK, DON'T TELL. AND IF YOU
REMEMBER THAT, YOU WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THEM MORE
AND MORE VOICE IN YOUR CLASS.
I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. PLANNING OUT THE QUESTIONS AND THEN
ASKING THE QUESTIONS WILL LEAD THEM TO THE ANSWERS I WANT THEM TO
I ALSO NOTICED THAT THERE WERE OPPORTUNITIES WHERE THE KIDS SPOKE,
WE COULDN'T HEAR VERY WELL. IF YOU MOVE AWAY FROM THAT CHILD AND
THE KID STILL WANTS TO TALK TO YOU, BUT THEY'VE GOT TO PROJECT THEIR
VOICE. SO, THE SECOND TIP THAT I WOULD MAKE IS TO USE THE SPACE OF
THE ROOM ... USE THE GEOGRAPHY.
SO, IT'S THE NIGHT BEFORE THE LESSON, THE SECOND LESSON WITH RENEE,
AND I'M REALLY NERVOUS, AND I'VE BEEN NERVOUS ABOUT THIS IN THE TIME
BETWEEN THE FIRST LESSON AND NOW. WORKING WITH CAROL HAS BEEN A
HUGE HELP AND I'VE ACTUALLY REVISED THE LESSON AGAIN TO SCALE IT
BACK MORE, AND MAKE IT MORE MANAGEABLE. I WANT TO COME OUT
TOMORROW WITH HER SAYING, YES, THAT WAS AN EXCELLENT LESSON.
It's the day of David's final observation.
After three weeks of preparation he's ready to face Renee again and meet the
I THINK IT'S DEFINITELY SET UP TO BE AN EXCELLENT CLASS. ALL OF THIS IS
EXCELLENT. EXECUTION IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT THING, YOU KNOW WHAT I
Renee Cherow O'Leary is back .... our English Language Arts expert is ready to closely
watch what David has learned and make her final assessment.
So, with 3 weeks of practice behind him can David improve and reach his goal by
teaching an excellent class?
TODAY I'D LIKE TO START OFF WITH THE END OF YESTERDAY'S LESSON,
WHICH CATHERINE SUMMARIZED OUR GOALS. SO, CATHERINE, IF YOU COULD
DO US A FAVOR AND HOP UP TO THE BOARD AND JUST GO THROUGH REAL
QUICK WHAT WE DID YESTERDAY.
WE MADE TEXT TO SELF CONNECTIONS, FROM OUR LIFE, WE DID THAT. ..
David picks another student to outline the goals for today's lesson on To Kill A
I'M GOING TO CALL YOU UP AGAIN AT THE END OF THE LESSON AND YOU WILL
GO THROUGH TO MAKE SURE, AND SAY WHETHER OR NOT WE HIT ALL OF
THEM. OK? ALRIGHT, THANKS.
I'VE TAKEN SCENES FROM THE MOVIE THAT ALSO EXIST IN THE BOOK. WE'RE
GOING TO READ THAT SCENE, READ THE SCREENPLAY AND THEN MAKE A
DECISION FOR OURSELVES, COME UP WITH A THEORY. WHAT'S THE REAL
PURPOSE BEHIND THE SCENE.
David models the assignment with one of his students ...
SO SAM, LET'S READ THROUGH THE QUESTIONS REALLY QUICKLY.
the class then start the exercise.
OK, SO LET'S STAND UP .. ..
(students reading to each other from scenes)
11 38 I FELT MORE ENGAGED IN CLASS TODAY BECAUSE WE GOT TO
PARTICIPATE TOGETHER, INSTEAD OF SEPARATELY.
TODAY'S CLASS WAS BETTER THAN BEFORE'S BECAUSE TODAY WE WERE
MORE INTERACTIVE. BY BEING INTERACTIVE, SOMEHOW WE PAY MORE
ATTENTION AND THEN WE STILL HAVE FUN, AND THAT GOT US IN THE MOOD
TO DO WORK,
The students now try to get to the purpose of the scenes they've worked on by noting
the differences between the book and screenplay ... and answering David's prepared
WHAT SCENE DO YOU HAVE? MALIK, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE SCENE?
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SCENE? MALIK, REMEMBER, YOU'RE OUR
SUMMARIZER. YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU HIT THE GOALS. THAT MEANS
THAT YOU NEED TO HIT THE GOALS.
CAN I JUST INTERRUPT VERY BRIEFLY. SO, BEING MINDFUL OF TIME, IT'S 12:20
RIGHT NOW AND OUR CLASS ENDS IN ABOUT 5 MINUTES. SO, BEFORE MALIK
COMES UP AND SUMMARIZES FOR US WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE
COME UP WITH A THEORY OF WHAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS SCENE IS. TAKE A
COUPLE OF MINUTES WITH YOUR PARTNERS AND COME UP WITH A THEORY.
WE'VE GOT OUR FINAL 2 MINUTES AND WANT TO GET TO OUR SUMMARIZER. IF
WE CAN JUST PAY ATTENTION TO MALIK.
HE STARTED TO GET PEOPLE TO SAY WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING AT THE END
OF THE CLASS. IT HELPS YOU ESTABLISH WHAT THE ACTUAL GOALS ARE, SO
YOU'RE NOT UNSURE AT ANY POINT OR ANYTHING, SO YOU KNOW EXACTLY
WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO AND WHEN YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT.
WAS ANYONE ABLE TO COME UP WITH WHAT THEY THINK THE MEANING OF
THAT SCENE WAS? IF YOU DO, PLEASE STAND UP.
WE HAD SCENE 2. WE THOUGHT IT WAS ATTICUS COMPROMISING.
THE AUTHOR WANTED TO TEACH US COMPROMISE.
EXCELLENT. THANK YOU.
AMBER, TABITHA, I SAW YOU JUMPING UP REAL QUICK. DO YOU WANT TO
QUICKLY SHARE WHAT YOU THOUGHT THE PURPOSE OF YOUR SCENE WAS?
THE PURPOSE OF OUR SCENE WAS TO ACCEPT PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE.
SO, YOU GUYS DID A FANTASTIC JOB TODAY. HOLD ON TO THESE SCENES
BECAUSE WE'LL CONTINUE WORKING WITH THEM.
I THINK MR PRETTO BECAME A BETTER TEACHER IN THE LAST WEEKS, JUST
BY US GETTING MORE INTO THE BOOK AND DOING DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE
COMPARING WITH THE MOVIE, LIKE THAT WAS DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER
CLASS THAT I'VE DONE.
GOOD. NOT EXACTLY HOW I WROTE IT UP? IT WENT GOOD. I'M NOT SURE IF IT
WAS EXCELLENT. I HOPE IT WAS.
So, what did Renne think?
SO DAVE, THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH FOR LETTING ME WATCH THIS CLASS.
I THINK THIS CLASS HAD A FULLER SENSE OF ENERGY, STUDENT
INVOLVEMENT, AND A REAL SENSE OF WHERE YOU WANTED TO GO. AND THE
STUDENTS UNDERSTOOD THAT. HOW DID YOU THINK IT WENT?
I DON'T. .. I MEAN ... THE LESSON, IN PARTICULAR, WAS NOT COMPLETE. I DIDN'T
FINISH THE LESSON. I GOT CONCERNED ABOUT TIME. I LOST 8 PLUS MINUTES
AT THE BEGINNING WITH THE TRANSITION BETWEEN CLASSES.
IT WAS APPARENT THAT YOU HAD AMBITIOUS PLANS THAT COULD NOT BE
HANDLED IN THAT TIME PERIOD. THEY ARE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT THE
NECESSITIES OF EACH FORM. THAT IS THAT A NOVEL DOES THIS, THAT A
SCREENPLAY DOES THIS. THEY'RE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEXT. YOU
READ THE DIFFERENTLY. THAT ALONE COULD HAVE BEEN A WHOLE LESSON.
I REALLY TRIED TO ADDRESS THE PACING AND I REALLY TRIED TO ADDRESS
THE ENGAGEMENT. I REALLY TRIED TO ADDRESS THE CLEAR DIRECT GOALS,
AND WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH IT I FELT LIKE I DID AND THEN, LIKE I WAS
TALKING ABOUT BEFORE THE LESSON HAPPENED, YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS
HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE EXCELLENT AND, BUT THERE ARE STILL THINGS
THAT COULD HAPPEN. AND NOT ONLY DID THINGS HAPPEN, BUT ALSO THE
PLAN ITSELF WAS STILL, LIKE YOU'RE SAYING, IT WAS STILL TOO AMBITIOUS.
WELL, IT'S STRENGTHS WERE THAT YOU HAD A SUMMARIZER, TWO
SUMMARIZERS, AND I THINK THAT FORCES THEM TO PAY MORE ATTENTION. IT
STRUCTURED THE LESSON BOTH IN THE BEGINNING AND THE END. AND IT
REMINDED THEM OF WHAT THEY HAD TO DO. I THOUGHT THAT WAS GREAT AS
A WAY TO START. HAVING THEM STAND AND READ ALOUD AND HAVE A
PARTNER ALSO WORKED, I THINK, TO AT LEAST KEEP THEIR EYES ON TASK
AND YOU CAN'T BE SOMEWHERE ELSE IF YOU'RE HAVING TO READ AND
SO DAVE, IN LOOKING AT THE THREE POINTS I HAD MENTIONED IN OUR LAST
SESSION: PACING AND GOAL SETTING, AND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, I REALLY
FEEL THAT YOU MADE PROGRESS IN ALL THREE. I WOULD SAY THIS WAS NOT
YET AN EXCELLENT CLASS BECAUSE THERE IS STILL MORE TO THINK ABOUT
IN TERMS OF TIMING AND USING THEIR ENGAGEMENT A LITTLE MORE
CONSTRUCTIVELY TOWARD YOUR GOALS. BUT I WOULD SAY, FOR THIS
LESSON, YOU ARE MOVING WELL PASSED WHERE YOU WERE BEFORE AND
I'M DISAPPOINTED THAT IT WASN'T EXCELLENT. SHE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON
ALL THE POINTS. I APPRECIATE HER SAYING THAT I'D MADE AN IMPROVEMENT.
IT'S HARD, IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO IT. I WISH IT HAD BEEN EXCELLENT. I'M
NOT DEFEATED. I THINK I GOT A LOT OF POSITIVE THINGS OUT OF THIS
EXPERIENCE, THAT I DID GROW. I STILL NEED TO WORK ON WHAT'S DOABLE
FOR MY KIDS IN A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME.
I DO SEE MYSELF BECOMING AN EXCELLENT TEACHER. I DO UNDERSTAND
THAT IT'S JUST ONE LESSON AND I'LL HAVE ANOTHER LESSON TOMORROW,
AND THE NEXT DAY, AND I'M GOING TO TRY AND MAKE THAT ONE AN
EXCELLENT LESSON. AND, YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY RENEE WON'T BE
SITTING IN THE ROOM EVERY SINGLE TIME TO LET ME KNOW IF IT WAS OR
NOT, BUT I THINK WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN AND CONTINUES TO HAPPEN, I'LL BE
ABLE TO TELL MYSELF, YES, THAT'S WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.