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I observed Mr.

Jeremy Brunsons High School Economics class, his High School


Government class, and Mrs. Kelly Smyths World History class. The school was Thomas
Jefferson Charter and it is in the Vallivue school district.
I think the best piece of advice that Mr. Brunson gave me wasnt really a piece of advice.
He had shown an Anonymous video to the class on Guy Faulkes Day and talked about modernday oppression. It sounded a lot like propaganda and that is what he told me when the class was
over. He said that that was okay, because at least it was something they should think about. In
other words, they might not agree with him, but at least now they have something to think about
rather than apathetically accepting whatever they thought was right. This is the kind of teacher I
want to be: someone who makes his students think, even if they dont agree with me.
Mrs. Smyth gave me some good advice too. She pointed out time and again how
important organization is. She kept her graded and ungraded work in different folders, assigned
seats in the classroom, and kept a record of who she needed to talk to next, whether students or
parents.
I would be more careful in giving both sides of an argument than Mr. Brunson or Mrs.
Smyth. While Brunson did a really good job describing the pros and cons of Socialism and
Capitalism, on other issues, like his interpretation of the Adam and Eve story and modern
politics, I found him to be very one-sided. Now, granted, those particular things werent part of
the official curriculum and were more like asides, but, even so, that is something I would do
differently. Mrs. Smyth did a good job in World History, but her view of things was very
America-oriented. Not necessarily a bad thing here in the United States, but Im thinking about
including some foreign viewpoints in my history classes.
Class size was definitely a big factor in the class culture. There were only four students:
one girl and three boys in Economics. Everyone sat at different tables except for two of the boys
who sat together. Obviously too, there wasnt as much interaction in the class as in the other one
in which I observed Mr. Brunson teach. Mrs. Smyths class was a lot more interactive, as she
asked a lot more questions of a lot more students. She was also friendlier and the students were
more open with her.
I did enjoy the grade level with which I worked. Some of the kids are able to carry on a
good discussion and ask good questions. That is what I enjoy. However, I also realized that not
every high schooler is that way and I will have to be satisfied with that.