October 6, 2008

A Teacher in the Making

Today was the first day of my two week block practicum and I survived to tell the tale. I'm in a grade 3/4 split class led by a phenomenal teacher. For the next two weeks I'll be teaching up to 25% of the lessons each day. My lesson plan for Writing today was B-O-R-I-N-G but I made it through the introduction to leads and I'm fairly certain the kidlets now understand what the elements of a good lead are. I know they're permanently etched into my brain after hearing them a zillion times in 40 minutes. Tomorrow's lesson will help me to assess whether the little monkeys really grasped what was drilled into their little beans today.

A few key things I learned from day one of teaching: avoid delivering mega dry lessons if at all possible; creating examples of written work on the spot with the help of 20 eight and nine year olds is more difficult than one might think; tell volunteers what they're volunteering for before selecting them or you might end up with a child looking totally stunned and uncomfortable in front of their peers (thankfully I thought quickly and fixed this scenario before any permanent damage was done); when you've run out of time but still have kids who want to share their thoughts have them turn to an elbow partner for ten seconds of sharing, if you don't do this you may have what appears to be a deflated child on your hands. Oh and just to ease your concerns: no children were harmed during the delivery or this lesson.

2 comments:

tanzi said...

Ooh--an elbow partner! What a clever trick! I love it--good idea, James.
Don't be too hard on yourself. I often repeat the mantra (to myself and the kidlets) "I am not your entertainer...". Not everything will be super thrilling. As long as they get that you're into the material and that you care about them, you're good.

So proud of you! As I'm sure you know, there are some awesome resources on-line. It can take forever to surf thru 'em, so if you want me to direct you to some, just say the word.

I wish I could watch you in action--i KNOW you're awesome!!!

Jaime said...

Well thank you Miss. T! Please do pass along any fabulous resources you might be aware of! I'm always hunting for useful sites and I'm supposed to share with my classmates as part of my participation mark. :)

You're so right about not being the kids' entertainer, I have to remind myself of that. Of course it's less painful for me as well if the lesson is at least somewhat entertaining. :)