Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Teaching is Hard

Yesterday was my first day teaching in an actual school. I thought I did okay, but there were definiely problems. Class management is always an issue, and it's very hard to determine whether the class is understanding the material. The one thing my class shined on was form -- they all understood the general teacher pattern very well, so they knew exactly what to do. We worked in pairs; today we had to work on our own.

I felt the class today went worse, but the evaluator said it went better. The children were younger -- a lot younger -- and there were more class management issues than before. There were a few kids sitting together who were the most rambunctious in the group. Why they were seated together is beyond my comprehension. The class just didn't seem to understand the dialogue I'd set for them, which I thought was pretty easy:

A: What's the weather like outside?
B: It's raining.
A: What should we do?
B: Let's watch TV.

With "raining" replaced" by different kinds of weather: snowing, cloudy, stormy, and so on. They did very well with identifying the different kinds of weather, but had problems asking the main question: What's the weather like? Later on, the teacher told me what I'd done wrong: I needed to shorten the dialogue to just one question/answer, and I needed to do more class repeats, since many of them had a real problem with the word "weather", which turned out to be a new unknown word. I received praise on my classroom management, though, which is nice.

Tomorrow I'm in the same class as I had yesterday, a bunch of fifth-graders, so hopefully I'll have learned lessons from today and yesterday, and tomorrow will go more smoothly. But the main thing I have learned so far is that lessons do not usually go exactly as planned.

1 comment:

Aunt A said...

Hi Jordan,

You have just learned the fundamental lesson of teaching! I remember my first observed student teaching lesson. I built my whole lesson about the first question I asked - I had assumed no one knew the answer. Guess what - one of the students did and I was so rattled, I think it took me 10 minutes to get back on track.

Keep learning - teaching is incredibly rewarding.

Aunt A