Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hand Shake

To start ~ 2 weeks have passed since my last post, and there are a few housekeeping items to address first. First, I brought a microfluidic device into class 2 weeks ago and in the back of the room quickly noted the experiment seemed to give positive results, but would have been too difficult to demonstrate to the class. I did pass the device around at the end of glass while describing how biologists use many other tools beside petri dishes. The students seemed intrigued and had a few questions. Second, we will be learning about organelles soon. I am going to teach this subject to the class, and I think it will be really neat for the students to hear from me for an entire class period. Any suggestions as to how to do this are always welcome - I think I am going to try a group a activity with a round table like feel.

Now the topic I really wanted to talk about. Last week we (the TFs) listened to Richard Weigel (YPSD Assistant Superintendent) speak about how to use our proximity to the students as a teaching aid. More or less he was also talking about shaking hands and showing students respect - because they recognize respect and will reciprocate. Ironically, earlier that day I had gone to shake a student's hand, and he wouldn't shake my hand. The concept was foreign to him - it wasn't the cool thing to do. After a few moments - I took his hand, put it in my hand, proceeded with the handshake, and said "That's how you do it." I then told the student that I have to shake hands with my boss, people I work with, and people I'm introduced to all the time. He still said he would never do it, and I left the conversation at that. After hearing Richard Weigel that evening, I decided i was going to shake this students hand every day for the rest of the semester. On Tuesday I shook the students hand, twice, the student didn't object at all and seemed to enjoy the interaction. Even more surprisingly, we must have been observed by another individual in the class and she later wanted a hand shake. We will see what tomorrow brings.