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Our Professor assigned us an observation to practice the protocol for taking down observations to help us prepare for our Action Research in our Master’s of Arts in Teaching program from San Diego Christian College.

We were directed to find a public place to observe our environments. I chose the greenbelt of my high school in the middle of campus, during my prep period. 1:00-1:30 PM. It was a school day, and I categorized my observations based on my senses.

See:

Students walking around delivering call slips to high school classrooms
Administrators and campus supervisors supervising
Seagulls flying in and out, picking up scraps from lunch
Groundskeepers maintaining lawns
Squirrels occasionally running up and down trees
Maintenance carts driving around campus
Sprinkler systems coming on
Wind blowing branches on trees
Blades of grass blowing
Trees across campus
Sparse bags and plastic debris leftover from lunches
Sidewalks and concrete walkways
Four sectors of classroom buildings
Mostly clear sky, occasional clouds rolling by
The main office building
Benches where students eat lunch and work on homework
My shoes, black
One or two planes flying over periodically

Hear:

Students talking as they walk around
Whistling wind
Sprinkler systems
Birds chirping
Doors closing in the distance
Grounds crew discussing their plans
The sounds of chain locks blowing against the gate behind me near the swimming pool
Splashing of students in the swimming pool
The sounds of students running and talking around the track during PE class
Cars in the parking lot, and sometimes music from the open windows of those vehicles
Radios of administrators chirping about activity around campus
Occasional sounds of crickets

Sense:

Reflecting on the relative peace of mostly quiet
Reflecting on relative calm of the campus of 2,700 students when class is in session
Gratitude for being at a school that is safe to sit in and conduct an observation protocol
Feeling the weather change and get warmer as the shadows shift in the middle of the day
Feeling the cool breeze Smelling the remnants of lunch in occasional wafts of the breeze

End the observation by noting your interpretation of and insight into what you have learned from the process. – This process was relaxing, and almost meditative. Focusing on external factors takes one out of their own head for a little while. I enjoyed the quiet, although the first few moments my brain was still running back to the to-do list waiting for me in the classroom, or the copies needing to be picked up and cut in half in the staff room. Our textbook, and Education Research in the Public Interest, both encourage thoughtful reflection. We need to have our ears and eyes open, but also be sensitive to our senses. I tried to get out of my own head and just write during this observation period. What was I seeing and not seeing. What was I hearing, and not hearing.

I tried to run through these questions as I made my recorded observations. Do the field notes represent accurately the context of the observation? Yes. How rich and detailed is the description of the participants’ actions? Fairly detailed Are the voices of the participants heard? I could hear voices but not follow full conversations. Are the tentative interpretations supported by the data? Data could include temperature, wind speed, and other weather of the day. Upload a typed protocol of your assessment to the online classroom, highlighting what you learned from the experience. This information is typed into the table above.

References included below References Ladson-Billings, G., Tate. (2014.) Education Research in the Public Interest. New York: Teacher’s College Press. Mills, Geoffrey E.. Action Research (p. 145). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

This program contains content sponsored by San Diego Christian College, as I begin my journey to earn my Master’s of Arts in Teaching Degree. Each week I will bring you a summary of my learning, activities, and interactions with students enrolled at San Diego Christian College, for their online Master’s in Teaching program. San Diego Christian College presented me with an opportunity that could re-shape my educational future as a lifelong learner. 

For more information please visit https://sdcc.edu/graduate/master-arts-teaching/