Day #8 – March 18, 2013 (Monday)
I am learning so much! I haven’t had a “perfect” lesson yet. On one hand, this is frustrating. I want the students to like me and like the lessons that I present them. On the other hand, though, it has given me the opportunity to reflect and make my lessons, planning, and presentation better!
Day #9 – March 19, 2013 (Tuesday)
Lessons, teaching, and planning are definitely improving. And I have learned to expect the unexpected and understand that teachers must be “flexible but firm.” Let me explain.
Over the last two days, especially, I am feeling much more confident as a teacher. I am developing classroom management strategies and developing lessons that engage the students more. I am feeling more prepared and organized for my classes – not that I wasn’t before, but as I pick up more classes and have more papers to sort out, I’m feeling kind of messy!
I have learned the need to be flexible both with the timing aspects of class as well as with the students’ attitudes and behaviours. Several aspects of my lessons are taking longer than I expect them to. For example, the Canadian landscape lesson I had planned to span 1-1 ½ classes is taking 3 class periods. The students are learning, are engaged, and are preparing for the major assignment coming up, but it seems to take so long! Nonetheless, giving them the extra class time is allowing them to get more in-depth into the material. I have also come to respect that I must be flexible with my students. Not all of them want to be in school, nor do they enjoy school or English class. Moreover, allowing the 30 seconds of being off task and asking students about themselves and their lives has given me a chance to really get to know them. Not everything needs to be on a ridiculously strict schedule!
Last, but not least, I am learning that I need to be firm. Deadlines are deadlines, and expectations are expectations. At the end of the day, what needs to be done should be done. I want to be flexible, but I also want to hold my students accountable – this benefits both them and myself!
Day #10 – March 20, 2013 (Wednesday)
Another full and busy day, but definitely enjoying the experience and learning a lot!
My first-period Pre-AP 10 class is working on performing poetry. It is interesting to see them dissect their lyrics to look for meaning, tone, and imagery to focus on in their presentations that will help them and their class better understand the poem. I think they are really enjoying this assignment!
My second-period English A30 class did some mini-presentations today, so it was interesting to see them present for the first time and begin preparing for their major multi-media presentation on Monday!
And my highlight (or not so highlightish thing) of the day was teaching my first math lesson ever. This was interesting, to say the least. I began a two day lesson on completing the square – a lesson that I thought was fairly easy to understand and that I understood quite easily when I was in high school. One “problem” that I ran into was the fact that I did not know what they knew for pre-requisite knowledge, and I made the assumption that because the textbook did not review any of the prior skills and knowledge, the students must have covered them fairly recently. I was wrong. It took longer to explain some of these skills, plus I almost confused and flustered myself because I was not entirely prepared to have to teach them. Overall, my math cooperating teacher is pretty supportive, and now I have a new plan of attack for tomorrow!
Day #11 – March 21, 2013 (Thursday)
Pre-internship has been a great opportunity to try out things and to learn what kind of teacher we are and what kinds of things we will – and won’t – do when we become teachers. I feel as though there has been a lot of both – learning both what I will and won’t do doing internship and my time teaching.
My first two classes today were work periods, so there is not a lot to say about them. It is interesting moving about the classroom/ hallway to talk to students and observe as they work. Young minds focusing and engaged in the assignment that I have given them is a nice feeling. Both the poetry performance assignments and the multimedia assignments are going really well. It is difficult to get specific students on task. There are a couple students in the class who don’t participate or stay on task. I think, though, for at least a couple of them, the reason they get off task is because they do not understand and they don’t want to appear incapable in front of their classmates. It’s an unfortunate reality, and although these students are frustrating at times, my heart goes out to them.
Day #12 – March 22, 2013 (Friday)
It’s almost difficult to NOT say the same things that I have been saying every day. I am learning so much. This is a great experience. I am having a great time. I am so busy. I am so tired. It’s so hard not to say these same things every single day because every one of them is true. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I know that this is what I want to be doing.
I finished off my first math lesson ever today. It went alright, and I definitely learned a lot that I can use in the future for planning and teaching my math lessons. Math is A LOT different than English, so I am glad that I have had the chance to experience that opportunity.
The poetry performances went fairly well, but my cooperating teaching and I are planning a follow up lesson to develop skills that students will use for their next speaking assignment. The multimedia presentations start on Monday. I look forward to seeing what the students come up with . . . and I hope that the students are prepared!
I’m looking forward to planning some more lessons for next week! For the last three days, I have been teaching three classes, so it will be nice to “slow down” a little bit next week!