STUDENT TEACHING IN THE INNER-CITY
H.D. Woodson Senior High is a Public High School on the North East side of Washington D.C. This school was founded in 1972 by Howard D. Woodson who recognized the need for a High School in the area, and was instrumental in establishing this vital inner-city school. The actual building, 7 stories high and referred to as the "Tower of Power" by those who work in it, stands as a representation of many of the problems in inner-city education today. The student body is 1000/0 black, and represents one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. The school has a population of about 1,000 students, 43 Teachers, 4 Assistant Principals, 1 Principle, and one white student teacher. I worked with Charlotte Fisher, a veteran Spanish Teacher at Woodson. As Department Head, she only had four Level Two classes this year. I could tell from the first day that this woman is quick, tough, yet popular among the students. She could relate well with those around her and also demanded respect. My observation under Charlotte facilitated my transition from student to teacher in the new environment. I eased myself into this new role and culture by observing Charlotte in the classroom and outside of the classroom. I wrote down the activities which she did with the children, and some techniques which I found particularly interesting. I observed how she interacted with the children, how she spoke to them, touched them, her general positive attitude towards them. She was always ready to help a student with academic or social issues. One can tell that she loves her job and cares about her students.