Sink or swim

So, today we presented our very first lesson plans.  Mine was, well, my first lesson plan.

I think it went okay, but being the very first one I found many things that I could learn from.

I started off my lesson with a PowerPoint presentation, and the first slide was a quick quote from a movie to get the students hooked into the lesson, after which I was intending to have a quick discussion on whether one of the characters was correct in saying that quotation marks meant that he did not believe another of the characters.  The students were hooked by video, but because I did not ask them to specifically watch for anything beforehand, they were fairly unresponsive and my planned discussion flopped.  Afterwards I went through my PowerPoint presentation.  I had intended to move about the classroom as I talked, but instead my knees locked and I stood right next the board.  The presentation itself went okay though.  There were a couple technical difficulties, but I didn’t freak out when they happened so everyone chuckled and moved on.  Afterwards the students worked on their assignments and I made sure to move around the classroom, answering questions and keeping an eye on whether or not the students understood the instructions and were able to complete the assignment.  Finishing this, I gave a few more examples to help the students understand, and then ended the lesson.  Right at the end, a couple of students had a question regarding the role of question marks, which I was able to answer well to them.

Things done well:

My presentation was well planned out.  I used words or phrases that they understood.  I walked around and helped out during the assignment.  When asking questions during initial examples, I didn’t immediately answer, but tried to probe as to why they gave a right or wrong answer.

Things to work on:

Move around classroom during presentation.  Make sure students have materials out before teaching.  Clearly explain why we are watching an initial video.  Give students enough time to write down notes.  Give clear instruction in making groups.  Use teachable moments for the whole classroom.  Have a clear signal to get students focused back on the front.  Come up with a way for students to inform you on their learning (like a thumbs up/down gauge).

Overall, there are definitely a few things that I need to work on, but I think that a lot of those could be solved preemptive planning, at least now that I know what to look for.

My coop teacher and placement partner were both very helpful in helping me identify not only areas needing improvement, but my areas of strength.  When something goes wrong, it is very easy to focus on the negative, but when your colleagues come back with encouragement and constructive criticism, it really helps in moving forward.

So, after my first ‘performance’ I’m not going to quit, but treat it as a learning experience and keep moving forward to becoming the best teacher that I can be.

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3 thoughts on “Sink or swim

  1. James – sounds like you’ve gotten off to a good start with your field experience and that you have some things to work on! You’re doing a great job of identifying areas for improvement – especially great that you realized the importance of giving students a purpose for viewing any media!

  2. Pingback: Out with the old and in with the… well slightly revised version | James Lamb's Blog

  3. Pingback: James Lamb's Blog

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