A Unusual View Inside the Classroom
When Peggy Rubero first arrived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she fell in love with the people and the quality of life. “It felt like home,” she said, “ I had moved eighteen times before graduating from high school. My father was in the Air Force.”
That’s why Peggy, who is Director of Human Resources at Pearson, jumped at the opportunity to join a program for community leaders in Iowa. “Anything I can do to help in this town—to make this community stronger—I’m happy to do it.”
Through the program, Peggy learned about an “Educator for a Day” event. Participants shadow a teacher to better understand classrooms and learning in the twenty-first century.
Peggy was paired with Dana Melone who teaches AP Psychology at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids.
“I was so impressed,” Peggy says.
A Better View of America’s Teachers
From the start—very early in the morning—Peggy marveled at how Dana’s class brought high energy to a group discussion about homework reading on cognition and perception theories.
Peggy was shocked to realize students use Twitter to connect with classmates on assignments.
When the class was divided into groups, they were given two instructions: Define a series of terms in their own words, and associate an image with the term they’re defining.
“Dana wanted her students to work together, collaborate, use effective communication and build on ideas,” Peggy said. “If they didn’t recall a particular word from the reading—they were able to look it up—but had to write it with a blue marker.”
It was assessment in real time, Peggy says. By looking at the words in blue, Dana was able to easily identify which words and concepts her students didn’t grasp from the reading. Her future lessons could be tailored to fill in those gaps.
“Dana was measuring the class’ collective understanding of the reading, but, by asking them to engage with what they didn’t know, she was also instilling values of what it takes to be a twenty-first century employee.”
“Being in the classroom was such a great learning experience,” Peggy says.
“We need to do a better job of exposing the public to the modern day experience of teachers.”