SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: John Didrichsen Part Deux

Monday, February 9, 2015

John Didrichsen Part Deux

Now onto Part II of Does John Didrichsen of PS/MS 291 in the Bronx Have Flaming Pants?

So John tells me he will return. He returns to yet again observe me on June 11, 2013. The class I am working with is a special ed. 3/4 class. This class was a great bunch of kids and I really enjoyed working with them.

The lesson was on using quotation marks. I don't recall the lesson in detail other than I did it by the book. The independent work was geared towards this class and their abilities (DIFFERENTIATION!!!) and not only were the students on task the entire time of independent work, they learned something as well and had fun!

Oh, but wait. it was not good enough for John and his RIGORous ways.

John said he would be back in a few days to show what a truly rigorous lesson entails.

He came back to see me and do that demo lesson I had been asking for since November on June 18.

Punctuation marks was the lesson and what a lesson it was. Not only did the students have a great book read to them, so many punctuation  marks were discussed. But first we had to go through the agenda, the objective(And the definition thereof), and the definition of what punctuation.

After this the students were not only confused they were bored.

So many punctuation marks the students had to work with and learn about. Commas, and periods, and exclamation points, OH MY! Not to mention quotation marks (REDUNDANT), question marks, and apostrophes. SIX SKILLS they students had to work on.


The students were restless and not focused on the carpet. The were fidgety and not focused. Oh well, it's been a long day. They were touching and hitting and being silly. Perhaps once they got to independent work things would be better.

It got worse!

Pencils were flying across the classroom, noses were being picked, eyes were gazing outside. Not a single student completed their assignment.

Oh, and John did not use the Level 2 Card System. In fact he used zero discipline measures.

The lesson was not attuned to these students needs. He did not know the students (Nor did he know the students that I had worked with May 16) nor did he know what he was doing.

The May 16 lesson I did was with the lowest skilled 1st grade class with some of the most emotionally needy students in the school. The fact that I got them to even write a sentence or two should be commendable.

So what if Schmuel Rabinowitz was seeking my attention every 2 minutes and being a nudge. If I went any further he would have had a major meltdown. His meltdowns usually involve hitting someone else.

I am all for getting the fullest effort out of students but rigor for rigor sakes is illogical.

I saw someone so in love with their own thoughts he couldn't see the students true needs through the trees.

Oh, and when asked where was his report on his observation of June 11, John replied;
"I don't know."

Really? This is my judge and jury?

No comments: