A Reflection On Student Teaching

A Reflection On Student Teaching

What went right? What went wrong?
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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.

Cover Image Credit: ehowcdn

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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