Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reflection 7

Something I've learned this week in 276, everyone has something about their personality that is a strength in their teaching. It's so cool!! For example, Kim's natural care for others that she puts off or Josh's quick pace that keeps you moving along with him. These things are different from person to person and are what set them apart from other teachers.

What I think is important for every teacher is to figure out what a key element of their personality is that plays into their teacher. Once this element is found, the teacher needs to build on it and use it to their advantage. If you don't try and use this quality of yours in your teaching, it could also set you back. For example, if Kim (nothing against Kim!) were to be too sweet to her children to where they get comfortable, it might get to the point where the students felt like they could push her over. This would not be good! On the other hand, she can play off of her her naturally sweet personality to create an environment where the students feel like they can really accomplish things and feel comfortable with getting help from her. This is what we want. Each of us have something about our personality that sets us apart. We just need to see what that is and then make sure to play that to our advantage when teaching!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reflection 6

This week I had the opportunity to teach my STL, standard of technological literacy. I felt like it went ok. I had gone over the material and come up with different ways to teach the different categories, but I know that I struggled a bit and for some reason felt a little nervous! One thing I will say is that I am in a way glad that I went first. By going first, I taught without any impressions from anyone else. With this, I think overall I was better able to learn what are things that I do wrong and need to fix. By making mistakes, I was more able to understand what to do better as Geoff and the class was critiquing me. So here are some things I learned from my teaching experience:

  • Change teaching techniques based how the students are doing (if your technique used is not helping them learn, then change it!)
  • Have basic phrases that are easy to remember when tying into examples
  • Don't apologize! (this is something I would do because I was nervous...)
  • If you have lots of info to go over (which I did) then try a handout to help guide them along!
  • Do not hide behind something (a desk, podium, etc.)
  • At the beginning of a lesson, say the learning objective and outcome that will be achieved during lesson (students like to see where you are going with the lesson)
  • Give the "Why" of the lesson! (ex: the STL is one of the commandments for being a tech teacher)
  • When writing on the board, size and color of stuff matters. It helps things stick more if it is bigger
  • Have students drive (this helps them learn it better and allows you to not waste time at the board or computer)
  • When assessing the students and they are struggling, go back and review the material! Clearly they didn't get it completely the first round!
Overall, with teaching, you need to be aware of your students needs! You need to see how they are doing and if they get it, if not, you need to adapt your teaching styles. This is key. The teacher needs to see what the problems are in the classroom and then try out different solutions til the problem is resolved.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reflection 5

This past week I went to Pleasant Grove Junior High and sat in on Mr. Frey's class. The class was very similar to the last one I sat in on. He quickly lectured and then put them to work in the shop on their CO2 cars. As I observed this class, I could see that Mr. Frey liked to teach like Dewy. He preferred to have to students run the class and try and learn things on their own. He stayed out of their way except when they really did not know how to do something.

For the most part, the students knew what they were doing, but there were certain areas that I felt the students needed more direction. I felt like there were some things that they should have received instruction on but did not. With this there were a few things happening in the classroom that should not have. Besides this, the class seemed to be under control and ran smoothly.

What I gained most from this experience was what I learned from Mr. Frey. He talked to us about being a teacher and what he recommended for us. One thing he mentioned to us is that we should try and get out in the schools as much as possible. The only experience I have had in the schools is what I have had this semester in this class. He recommended that we sit in and observe whenever we can. He also said that we should try and be substitute teachers whenever possible as well. Talking to him about this made me realize that no matter what we will not be completely prepared for teaching our first year. The best way to prepare myself now is by actually going into the schools. I need to take advantage of the time I have now as a student to learn everything I can about being in a classroom. I need to try and find time now for all of this.

Another thing that Mr. Frey talked to me about was my emphasis. Just like me, he was a multi-media emphasis. BUT here he has primarily been a tech teacher doing woods and metals. This somewhat frightened me! What he is teaching now has nothing to do with his emphasis. He told us how sometimes you have to take what jobs are available and that they don't always relate to your emphasis. He told us how we need to try not to focus on just one area in our major but to try and learn it all. Even though electronics, circuits, and robotics may not be my favorite areas, I still need to learn them!! I need to know all of the areas in TEE, as I do not know EXACTLY what I will be teaching. I need to keep my options open by being well-learned in all areas of TEE. Before I had talked to him, I would sometimes dismiss things I did not understand in Shum's classes, but now I think more about what I am learning in those areas of technology and realize I need to be focused on learning those areas of my major as well. For all I know, I might have to end up teaching such areas that are not my preference! I need to prepare myself now so I will be able to teach any area in TEE.