I thought my lesson went pretty well. As always, there are things to improve. I was exceptionally nervous that day, probably because I was being observed. I have to stop letting different people in the classroom influence my teaching. I need to just go with the flow. Hopefully the more I teach, the more comfortable I will become in front of students. I came into student teaching with the attitude that I was going to be great at whatever I did. I felt like teaching was in my blood. I have several family members who are teachers, including my mother. I also had the pleasure of having my mother as my teacher for four straight years. I saw the inner workings of the profession. I went into student teaching with full confidence, but it bordered on cockiness. Now I know I need to take a step back and reevaluate my reasons for becoming a teacher, as well as realizing that I’m not the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I am a little apprehensive, especially with my group of kids. Many of them are very smart and tend to throw out facts and anecdotes about the lesson that sometimes I haven’t even heard before. I really need to brush up on my content, especially in global studies. Throughout college, I focused on American History courses because that was what I wished to teach. I focused my curriculum plan and unit plan on that subject as well. So, with each lesson I do, I need to take extra time out when planning to delve deep into each subject so that I’m not so surprised when a student says something a little off the mark.
I also need to remember that the children are young. I grew up attending Catholic schools, where behavior was never an issue. Everyone was prim and proper, sat with their hands folded, was always prepared and ready to learn. Talking during class was out of the question. Here I see that public school is entirely different. I need to not let people talking during class bother me so much, because it detracts from the lesson. I need to find more ways to get students engaged so that they don’t veer off topic or turn to their peer to have a conversation.
I noticed that I spoke a lot during the lesson, almost as if I was giving a lecture. I did use some student led activities, like a Turn and Talk and a Stop and Jot, but I noticed that it may not be enough. The students voices need to be heard more, and I need to create more discussion amongst the students rather than an A to B conversation between student and teacher. Although I did ask them many questions, they were simple answers. Students didn’t have to delve deeper into the topic. The only inference they made was regarding the era of exploration by looking at a map. (I will definitely include more maps in the future, as those skills definitely need to be strengthened with this particular group of students.) Perhaps I can do more group activities in the future, or extensive pair activities that take up more time than just a few minutes. I think the best way to do that would be with a graphic organizer or some other kind of cooperating activity.
Overall, I am becoming more and more confident every day that I teach. I am doing more research on the topics so I can pepper in bits of information and stories that I think will be attractive to the students. I think this a good way to make them more engaged in what we are learning.