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.