T-4 Weeks

I have four weeks of classes left before my second practicum in my BEd program, and I am SO excited to get into the classroom again!

I’ve began reflecting more on the lessons I learned from my first practicum:

1. SLOW DOWN – it’s more important for students to understand depth rather than breadth. This comes from my observations in the classroom, but also directly from the students when I go them to fill out an assessment of my teaching at the end of the first practicum. This both goes for talking speed, and how fast to move through the unit.

2. Enthusiasm changes everything – there was such a stark contrast in student engagement between when I was excited about a topic or not. I distinctly remember not being super enthusiastic in class, even though I found the topic interesting, and the students mirrored my energy. The next day, even though I was showing them calculations, I was excited, and so were they!

4. Incorporating technology is important – I wasn’t sure what my stance on technology in the classroom really was until I used it, and saw how the students really grabbed on to it. I want to use it more and more now!

5. Let go of “academia” expectations – I found myself being a bit too hard on the students on things that I’ve been able to expect from university students (putting names on assignments, plagiarism, even paying attention in class). I’ve now realized that it’s my job to teach students these things – I can’t expect them to know them unless they’ve been taught!

There have been many other  lessons I have been reflecting on, and will write more in the coming weeks leading up to to my second practicum.

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3 Responses to T-4 Weeks

  1. Andrea says:

    Reading this made me smile. I had so many of the same thoughts during my placements and it’s still an ongoing process! #1 and #5 are especially common, I think, when starting out.

    There were two things that I found helpful for #1. During my first placement, my AT would sit at the back of the room and write me feedback as I taught each day, then we’d debrief during prep. There were lots of times when I’d read through her notes and it would say “STOP TALKING!!!” when she felt like I gave them too much info or went too fast. Now I sometimes imagine her in the room during lessons and if I start to feel like I can see her writing “STOP TALKING!!!” that’s my cue to shut up.

    The second thing that I have found really useful, especially for math, is from Fred Jones’s Tools for Teaching. It’s the Praise, Prompt, and Leave method. Praise the work the student has done correctly so far, prompt the next step, then leave them to work it out. This prevents rehashing problems over again and lingering too long. Also promotes more independence and confidence for the student. It also helps if there’s an example/visual instruction plan in their notes or on the board that can be easily referred to for steps. I still have to remind myself do this but it’s made a huge difference!

    Good luck in your next placement!


    • Alyssa says:

      Andrea – YAY for being my first commenter on this blog! 😀

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice. It’s nice to know that I’m no the only one having these issues/thoughts! It will be interesting to see how things change in the second placement.


  2. Pingback: Math – Here I Come! | Joyous Understanding

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