Artificial Grass is not Chest Hair

The first of April was my last day in my field experience. I wanted to build on my last Social Studies lesson, but I also wanted to do a fun activity because it was our last day. So, using one of the management strategies that was shared in my ECS300 lab, I had the students create their own infomercials. It was incredibly relevant, so bonus marks for that!

Last week we had covered how advertisers sell their products to consumers. We talked about association, using famous people, and appealing to appearance and gender. To start yesterday’s lesson off, I showed them a few YouTube videos. I showed them the “Slap Chop” infomercial, and then the “Fashionista Daddy – Doritos” commercial. They got a good laugh out of the videos, then I explained the assignment.

I told them that I had a bag with 6 random objects, (I asked a student to grab it and bring it to the front for me) and I told them to get into their own groups (which I had problems with but I’ll mention that later). I told them that they would pick one item for their groups, and would have to sell the object to me, infomercial-style, as something other than its intended purpose. For example, say the object was a plunger. They could not sell it as a plunger, they would have to sell it as a hat, or something entirely different. To explain the assignment in a visual sense, I showed them a video of “Whose line is it Anyway,” where they had to use random objects to create an infomercial on how to cure snoring. It was similar to the assignment, and just a fun video to watch.

When they split off into groups, there were 4 students in the corner who didn’t gt up out of their desks to find a group, they just sat there, looking at me with huge bambi eyes. I asked them, “Do you guys want me to pick groups?” One boy really wanted me to pick the groups instead of letting them choose their own groups. I suspect it’s because he was afraid of not being accepted into a group, so to make him feel less left out, I went around and shuffled the groups a little bit to “Make them similar sizes,” and then put the four students in the corner into one group. It worked out, because they seemed really happy to be put into a group together. The reason I let them choose their own groups in the first place though, is because I was worried that if I chose the groups for them, they would be put with a peer that they did not feel comfortable with. They were going to be performing in front of the class which is intimidating in itself. If they were with a peer they were not comfortable with, then it would be all the more intimidating. I let them pick their own groups so that they would be more comfortable. For the most part it worked out, but I had more problems with chatting because of it.

The activity went really well, though. They all had a lot of fun. One group sold a long weasel-shaped dog toy as a fashion scarf, another sold a patch of artificial grass as “stick-on chest hair,” and another group sold a lunch tent as a “partial umbrella, for when you want just a little bit of rain.” A group of girls sold Easter garland as a toilet seat warmer, and the last group sold “hand rakes” as shoes.

For those of you who don’t know what hand rakes are, this is what those monstrosities look like:

Photo Credit: A.Perry

The class had a blast, and my lesson went well. They all managed to incorporate the advertisement strategies we went over last week and had a lot of fun while doing it. That’s all for now!

Thanks for reading,

Frances

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Manly Yogurt?

What a roller coaster of a week! This last Wednesday, I was supposed to teach Phys Ed. I wanted to try and incorporate my idea for including Treaty education into the gymnasium, and to further polish my first lesson plan. However, I got an email two days beforehand letting me know that the gym was no longer available. Oh no! My cooperating teacher suggested that I take the Phys Ed lesson outside, which I entertained for awhile. I tried to come up with a way I could get my class engaged and excited to be outside, but after Tuesday’s storm, I didn’t know what kind of weather we would be having on Wednesday. I had an idea of creating snow sculptures, but I couldn’t be sure that the snow would be sticky enough to make sculptures, or if it would all melt. (Stereotypical Saskatchewan problems..)

Photo Credit: taivasalla via Compfight cc

So instead, I had to step entirely out of my comfort zone, because one of the last outcomes left to cover was in Social Studies.

Personally, I had a pretty poor experience in Social Studies. I moved in grade 5 from a small town to Saskatoon, and the curriculum seemed to be reversed. Things I had already covered/learned in earlier grades seemed to be what was being covered in later grades in Saskatoon. So from grades 4-7, I learned pretty much the same units on repeat. I am not entirely sure how that worked out, but after colouring a map of Canada 3-4 years in a row, and learning about the Hudson Bay Company over and over again, I gave up as a student on learning anything more about Canada. It wasn’t until grade 12 that I felt like I learned anything worth while, and that was the first time I had really had any sort of Treaty Education, too. I feel like I have little experience in Social Studies, so it was kind of scary for me to teach a lesson in it.

I based my lesson on Consumerism and Advertising. At the beginning of the lesson, I reminded my class that we had problems with the noise level last week, so I draw three smiley faces on the board and told them their homework would increase in size every time I erased a smiley face. I told them if they got loud, they would get a warning, but if they didn’t quiet down, I would erase a smiley face and they would have to write two more answers on top of the 6 that were already assigned. It worked wonderfully. I didn’t end up erasing a smiley face, but I probably should have. They still talked often, but it was because they were having a lot of fun with the lesson I prepared for them.

I started the lesson off by asking my students to share examples of commercials they have seen recently. I would follow up their story by asking them, “How did they sell the product to you? How did they convince you to buy it?” After a lot of examples, (at one point, the class burst out into song together, singing the Dempster bread theme song? I didn’t even know that was a thing!) we moved on to talk about the definition of consumerism. I got them to analyze the same examples of commercials they had talked about, and how they thought it was contributing to consumerism. From there, we looked at examples of ads in the PowerPoint I had prepared. We looked at a beauty ad, and talked about how the advertisers try to associate being beautiful with their product. I was so proud, because I wasn’t entirely sure if the class would understand the concept of beauty standards. Instead, they all were fast to point out that the model in the ad was clearly photo-shopped, and a girl who was normally silent through all of my lectures, raised her hand about 5-6 times. That was the most I had heard from her since I started my internship at that school. I was ecstatic! My students were so engaged with the lesson and so excited to share their opinions on the commercials. We had a lot of fun making jokes about “Protein yogurt,” which is a brand of yogurt catered to masculinity, because according to one of my students, “Yogurt commercials are aimed towards women,” which is entirely correct. We then talked about recycling, reducing, and reusing items in creative ways to help reduce waste, and those reduce the cycle of supply and demand.

Lots of students had things to share, so we ran out of time towards the end and they only had a few minutes to finish their assignment. They had to list 6 ways they could fight against consumerism, whether by thinking twice before purchasing something, recycling, or reusing various objects. It was a wonderful lesson, and they had a lot of fun. Next time around, I’m going to make sure I enforce my smiley face rule, but other than that, I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Thanks for reading,

Frances

Clear Directions Will Always Be An Excellent Idea

This week I got the opportunity to teach Arts Ed yet again! I have been loving the chance to create lesson plans that build on one another as the weeks roll by. This week we focused on perspective and scale.

I created a PowerPoint again that we went through at the start of the period, and showed the students examples of perspective and scale. The images were similar to as follows:

Photo Credit: timbobee via Compfight cc

After each picture, I would ask them to describe how the picture was taken. I used pictures of the First Nations University of Canada as well, and took a moment to talk about how the design of the building has no corners, which I am proud to say most of the students knew had to do with the First Nations beliefs. We talked about that for a bit, then looked at various perspectives of the First Nations University, and how subjects in the foreground and background could make the university look bigger or smaller. From there, I introduced the assignment and asked the students to bring up an object and place it on my table. Big mistake! I didn’t ask them to do it quietly, nor did I set a limit on how many items I wanted. The class went a bit crazy and started bringing up way too many items, or items that were too big or too small, or just ridiculous. Now I know for next time that I should give clear directions BEFORE I tell them to get up and move around instead of trying to give them those same directions while they’re already moving around! It took me awhile, but I eventually got the students to calm down again, then explained the lesson.

Students had to pick two of the however many objects, and try to create an example of scale or perspective. For example, if they draw a pencil sharpener in the foreground, it will look significantly bigger than the stool in the background. A lot of students did a pretty good job of the assignment. To give the students more options, I told them they could incorporate what we learned about complimentary colours, and could colour the picture if they had time to do so. I also told them that it was due at the end of class.

Probably due to the fact that it was the very last period of the day, the students were all very rowdy and I had to put my foot down in regards to telling them to be quiet. They kept getting loud and getting up and running around and disturbing other students, so I had them all sit down quietly and explained to them, “I’ve asked you to sit down and not disrupt your fellow students 7 to 8 times now. That is no acceptable, and I should not have to say it that many times. Make sure next week that when I ask you to work at an acceptable noise level, you do it.” They all looked very sheepish and sad that I seemed upset with them. I wasn’t actually upset, I just had to let them know that I would not let them push their boundaries that far, and that I meant it when I asked them to be somewhat quiet. (Not completely silent, but not explosively loud either.) The lesson went well other than that! It look like this will be my last Arts Ed lesson, and I will get the chance to teach social studies next week. I’m excited to try a lesson in something I am not completely comfortable with, but of course I’m nervous, too.

Thanks for reading,

Frances

“I can’t draw!”

This last Wednesday was a blast! I continued on from my previous Arts Ed lesson. Students brought an image of a place that meant something to them, or their families. A lot of students brought pictures of a beach somewhere in Mexico or Cuba, but some brought photographs of baseball diamonds and hockey rinks. It was AWESOME. They were so excited to show me what image they brought and to tell me about why it is important to them.

At the start of the afternoon, I had them raise their hands and tell me what we covered last week, then we went over the assignment from last week. A lot of students thought that “complimentary colours,” are colours that just look nice with each other. I explained again that they are colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. To make sure they understood, we went over a few famous paintings such as “The Milkmaid,” and some Vincent Van Gogh works as well. I had them point out the complimentary colours in each painting.

After we finished going through the images, I set an apple, a coffee mug, and a water bottle at the front of the class, and asked them to redraw one of the three objects, but colour it using pairs of complimentary colours.

For example, they had to draw an apple with purple and yellow, blue and orange, or red and green. They had fun with the exercise, and they handed it in at the end of class.

That’s when we started the final assignment. They started to recreate their images. That’s when I started to hear them all say something along the lines of “I can’t draw!” Or, “I’m not good enough to draw this!” It was really disheartening! I knew that they all had a greater measure of talent than they were giving themselves credit for, and I made that clear. I sat down with every student who said something similar, and showed them that they can indeed draw. I walked them through steps to help them make the start of the drawing less intimidating. I told them to draw guide lines, or perspective lines (like what we learned in the last class), and then to separate the object or image into chunks. I told them to draw chunk by chunk instead of focusing on the entire image all at once.

I was scared to help these students at first because I’ve never really helped someone get over their fears of drawing. I haven’t even gotten over my fears of drawing. That’s why I was so pleased and excited when my instructions and tips seemed to completely turn it around for every student I talked to. One boy came up to me after he got half of his stencil done, and started telling me about how much the guide lines helped and how excited he was to finish the rest of the drawing. Watching students so clearly benefit and enjoy something that you provided to them is the greatest feeling in the world. They loved the lesson, and I showed them that they are more talented than they give themselves credit for. Wednesday’s lesson was an absolute success.

Thanks for reading,

Frances

Photo Credit: Martin Beek via Compfight cc

Apple Painting found here.

“So like, purple apples?” Yes.

On Wednesday, I taught my first art lesson.

I created a PowerPoint and came to class with a stack of blank colour wheel assignment sheets, and some blank sheets for my class to draw on.

When they settled down after recess, I took a few minutes to see what they have learned so far. Apparently, they have only started a guitar unit, but have not done anything else in Arts Education so far. That was both intimidating and exciting, because it meant that I could take the lesson in any direction I wanted, but I had to start from absolute scratch. Really, it didn’t cause a problem because I had my lesson plan written out to start from scratch anyways. I was prepared!

So the grade seven curriculum for Arts Education focuses on the idea and importance of place. When I was trying to decide on an outcome, I had no idea what that meant or where to start. I remember when I was in grade seven, we made really awful plaster plates that we stuck rocks in while it was still wet to make a picture. They looked terrible, and I did the same project when I was in Kindergarten. The only other art assignment was plaster face masks. I think the school must have had an excess of plaster and wanted the teachers to use it all for their art assignments. It wasn’t very creative, and it  just created a huge mess. It didn’t teach us anything, nor did it make us think about our identity or what the “Importance of place” may be. Therefore, when I was looking at the curriculum, I had no idea what I was doing.

I decided to ask my mother (who I like to claim is an artist, though if you ask her, she’ll be timid and just say she likes to paint) what the importance of place is.

She asked me, “Well, what makes place important?”

It was an incredibly simple question, but that’s what I based my entire lesson plan on. I started class by asking my students the same question, “What makes a place important?” We listed ideas on the board until they had a satisfying answer.

Essentially, memories make a place important. I used the example of a tree. Somebody might walk by a tree on the corner of a street and think nothing of it, but somebody else could walk by and think, “That’s where I waited for my friend every day after school!” Or, “That’s where I had my first date!” Examples like that. I showed the students examples of Wilf Perreault’s paintings of back alleys in Regina. He’s a Canadian artist who paints beautiful, realistic pictures of locations in cities he’s lived in. After we felt comfortable with the importance of place, I moved on to the concept of the colour wheel.

We talked about primary, secondary, and complimentary colours, and I had the class fill out a blank colour wheel, as well as write down the different colours we went over. A lot of students took complimentary colours in a very literal sense, and would write down colours that they thought just “looked good together,” instead of colours that are opposites on the wheel.

I gave them time to work on the assignment, then asked them to bring an image of a place that is important to them to class for next week so that we can create images that mean something to us. I’ll be asking them to write a paragraph or two about why that place is important to them, and it will be handed in for marks. I’m excited to be teaching the second part of this lesson, especially since my students seemed really excited about bringing images to class that they get to redraw.  I told them that they will have to try and play around with the colours as an exercise next week, and asked them what colours they could use to draw an apple. I got the generic red, yellow, and green, then I asked them to name any colour. A boy at the back said, “So, like, could we draw purple apples?” I said yes. Who wouldn’t want to draw purple apples?

I felt like the lesson may have been a little bit boring because we hardly covered any material, but it gave them more time to have fun and just colour, which is always a great little brain break.

Until next time!

Photo Credit: Jasmic via Compfight cc

Management 101: Stop with the Vague Rules!

Classroom management is a daunting, difficult, and creative process in which educators have to find out how they can communicate values, rules, and expectations to their students. In an article by Dr. Richard Curwin (which can be found here), he argues that teachers have fallen into a trap, believing that the fewer rules a classroom has, the better.


This is not true. Having fewer rules only creates more room and possibilities for confusion. When the line is not clearly set, students will feel obliged to test the teacher’s patience and rules. Curwin says in his article, “Often, the only way students can find the real lines is by crossing them. This encourages rule breaking rather than stopping it.”

While these are great values to have in a classroom, they do not specify rules or repercussions, thus are too vague.

By setting fewer rules, expectations and repercussions are not clearly outlined, which is what allows for the confusion. However, if values are explained, and then the rules that are in place to enforce said values are also explained, students know exactly what to expect. Students know when they are crossing the line and they know they will be held accountable for it.

A good method to get students on board with specific rules is to ask them for their input. That way, students won’t feel too pressured, nor will they feel as though the rules are unfair because they will have the chance to base rules off of their values, too. Asking for students’ input in their own behavior can help them reflect on what they are doing, which can mean the difference between having control of the classroom, and having no control at all.

A fun way to get students involved in the constructive criticism of their own behavior is through an app called ClassDojo. My only concern with this app is that I cannot see it working with older grades. With elementary students, being able to customize your own avatar and get instant feedback through a cute -but childish- application can be very constructive for adjusting and maintaining proper behavior. In high school I see it as something that may actually instigate more unruly behavior than it would help maintain positive behavior. Teenagers can be stubborn, and if they are told through a cartoon-looking avatar that they are losing points because they didn’t hand something in on time or were interrupting the class, they might just turn up the attitude. The ClassDojo app, though its a fun and cute way of providing feedback, looks as though it is very childish, and the last thing a teacher wants to do to a teenager full of attitude is to treat them like a child. Teenagers respond better to constructive criticism when they are talked to like adults. I think students need to be treated like adults, so that they have the opportunity to prove themselves as being respectful and responsible.

While I would like to use ClassDojo with younger grades, I do not think it would be as effective in a high school class.

Photo Credit: Rhys A. via Compfight and venspired via Compfight cc

Am I a Wizard?

My first lesson was in Physical Education. When I was talking with my cooperating teacher about which subjects I could choose from, I had the choice of Health, Phys Ed, and Social Studies. My partner chose social studies, and I chose Phys Ed. I thought it would be a challenge to try to teach a class that took place outside of the classroom.

The day started off well, but the students were riled up because they had yet another indoor recess. That’s when I found out that they played basketball during the indoor recess, because half of my students went missing! Before recess started, I wrote instructions on the board, but most of them didn’t read it and instead went rushing to the gym. As a result, I lost control of the class for a bit. A lot of them decided that because they were already in the gym, they didn’t need to come back to the class, which would have been nice because I had all of their instructions on the board. Instead, I went to the gym, where half the class had followed my directions (yay!) and had finished their warm-up and sat down at the center of the gym. The other half decided they could do whatever they wanted and started to pull out other equipment. I was worried that it was an absolute disaster! I only had half of the class paying attention, so to get everyone else’s attention I told them that, “You have two seconds to put your equipment away and sit in the center of the gym so we can start the game.” I felt like a wizard. In seconds, all of the students put their equipment away and came running back. Not only did they sit where they were asked, but they were attentive, respectable, and quiet.

I explained the game to them, which is called “Pac-Man.” It’s a form of line tag, but two students are it at all times and have a red dodge ball that they have to tag other students with. They cannot throw the ball, nor can they step off of lines in the gym. To change it up, I yelled out different forms of movement (jumping, skipping, running, etc) or different colours of lines that they had to stick to. Thinking back on it, it was hard to yell it out all the time, so on the advice of my cooperating teacher, I’m going to invest in a whistle. That will make things a lot easier for next time.

While the students loved the game for the first fifteen minutes, lots of them got tired and didn’t put their full effort into the game, which was a bit disheartening. Somebody told me (unfortunately can’t remember who) that the hardest part of teaching is filling in the last 40 minutes after you completed a 20 minute lesson. I had the same problem. After the game was essentially over, I didn’t know what to do to get their interest back into the game. I’ll do better next time, though!

All in all, it was a wonderful first lesson and I can’t wait to teach again this week. I get to teach Arts Ed, which is in my field of interest! Yay!

Culturally Responsive Classroom Management

Our schools are run by mainstream, sociocultural norms, and cater to the “dominant” part of society. What this means, is that schools do not allow room for cultural differences as much as they need to. This is obviously a problem, because teachers must learn to teach beyond the “sociocultural norms” in order to provide equal opportunities for all of their students.

Teachers must learn to recognize that all behavior is influenced by culture. It is important for a teacher to understand that when they enter his or her classroom, there is an ethnic self, and ethnic other. The ethnic others are the students, and their cultural influences must be recognized.

Colour-blindness is not the answer.

When teachers strive to be culturally responsive by claiming a sort of “colour-blindness,” they are not acknowledging all cultures by doing so. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite. Ignoring all cultures and striving to “treat everyone the exact same,” ignores the experiences and values of your students. While a teacher may have good intentions behind it, colour-blindness leads to accidentally marginalizing groups that would otherwise be recognized and respected in the classroom. The entire point of having a culturally responsive style of teaching is to acknowledge these cultures and letting them enrich your classroom experience. Teachers must be conscious of their own cultural biases and how they interpret student’s behaviors. By demonstrating a willingness to learn about students baggage that they bring with them into the class, teachers will demonstrate an openness and acceptance that will enhance their experience in school.

Just some important thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

Introduction Day!

On Wednesday, I participated in a grade 7 classroom as part of my field experience. After stopping by in the office and meeting the vice principal of the school, we met our co-operating teacher and went to her class. The weather was quite cold, so my partner and I got to experience an indoor recess, which can be easily translated to anarchy and cute chaos.

The students were hyper.

When we got to the classroom, the students were all there and were excited to have interns in their classroom. This was the first very good sign. The students were angels. Despite having so much pent up energy, they settled down and read for 10-15 minutes when class started again, and after their reading period, my partner and I introduced ourselves. We said the basics, like our names, what we’re studying, why we were in their classroom (to learn how to be teachers), and our hobbies. I told the students that in my spare time I like to play video games, and that my favourite game is Skyrim. The students seemed really excited to hear that. I said I liked video games because I couldn’t think of any other hobbies of mine that might be more interesting to hear about. Looking back, I am so glad that I said what I did. It created an instant connection with a lot of the students, and they were really excited to talk to me about Skyrim and dragons. Both my partner and I started off on a positive note, and it set the mood for the rest of the day.

We started our lesson by describing our expectations for the students. We told them that if we say, “Clap twice if you can hear me,” we expect them to clap twice and quiet down. It worked out at first. We also told them that we would be, “Using the same expectations rubric that they are used to,” and that we would only answer students who raised their hands. They took it well, then my partner started to explain “Shrinky ink” paper. While she was explaining, I handed out a package that had one sheet of shrinky dink paper, and four caricature templates to every student. The idea was to have students trace a template and draw in their own faces, or to draw whatever they want so long as their names were on the sheet. We brought a toaster oven, and as they finished their drawings, we would put the paper in the oven and it would make the paper shrink down in size. After it cooled, we put magnets on the back, then put it up on the board.

shrinky dinks no names

The lesson went very well. It was new, engaging, and apparently very interesting to the students. A part of me suspects that they were just happy to be able to say the word “dink” in class. This gave us the opportunity to walk around and talk to the students while they were colouring, and to learn their names. We made them laugh, and did our best to build relationships. A lot of the boys showed me their sketchbooks, because they wanted to show me their “Skryim drawings.” I spent some time talking to a particularly shy girl about Doctor Who, and other television shows that she liked. It was the perfect opportunity to get to know the class, and for the most part, everything went as planned. There are things we could have done better, but it was a definite success.

One thing that we need to work on is time management. We had the idea that the students would have a certain amount of time to colour, then when our co-operating teacher wanted to start her lesson, we would move to the back and shrink the paper while the class was working. Instead, it went for the entire period until the recess bell went off. We did not set a definite closure, nor did we give them instructions as to what they should do if they finished early. A lot of them finished early and due to their pent up energy, started to run around the class and disrupt those who were trying to colour, or work on other assignments. The packages were also stapled, which was not effective since they could not take the package apart easily. Next time we will probably use paper clips. When it was time to pack up, I had a hard time getting their attention. I tried saying, “Clap twice if you can hear me,” but after I said it three times, I gave up. I walked over to a group of boys and repeated what I had to say about cleaning up, but I wish I hadn’t.

Next time, we need to set more expectations, especially regarding the end of the lesson. We left the end too open, and could have lost control of the class because of it. A definite schedule needs to be set, as well. We forgot to say, “Work on this for the next 15 minutes then we are going to clean up for another 5 minutes.” Also, I have to have more confidence in expecting the students to listen to me. If I say, “Clap twice if you can hear me,” I can’t be afraid to wait and expect them to listen. I’m still new to working in a classroom, so I’m sure that I will find more confidence the more I work in a classroom. For next week, I have to plan a lesson in Physical Education. I wanted to start with something not quite in my comfort zone, and gym class was one of my options. I’m excited to have the chance to teach, and I’m going to use what I learned to ensure that next week is even better!

me

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Frances Kurtenbach

Teaching Goals and Reflection

While I am very excited to finally be entering a classroom with the opportunity to teach, I am also nervous and vaguely uncomfortable. For the first year and a half, the education program has taught us much about the theory of education, though very little to nothing in practice. Now is my chance to apply the theory we have learned to a classroom. However, we have just started looking into classroom management and strategies a few weeks ago. I feel very unprepared, and that is where I find my discomfort.

Tomorrow is the start of my placement, so it is time to set a few goals. These are some of the attitudes and methods I hope to gain experience in, so that I may work towards becoming a better teacher.

1. Enthusiasm and confidence

In my lab last week, I told my professor about how nervous I was feeling. His response was to ask me if he (my professor) looked nervous. I said no, then he told me that he was. Instead of showing that to his students, he uses his own nervousness to give him an “edge.” My nervousness does not have to destroy the experience. My seminar leader gave me some more helpful advice. This placement is where we are going to learn to teach. One mistake will not ruin my career as a teacher; it will just be another learning experience from which I can become a better teacher.

I expect to reach this goal by reminding myself of what my professors told me; that I shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes, and instead should focus on learning. I am going to enter the classroom and show the students my enthusiasm, and share with them my confidence that we will have a good, successful day. Even if the lesson goes off track, it will still be a valuable experience. If the lesson starts to fall apart, I will not let it ruin the day, because it doesn’t have to. I have the opportunity to work with my co-operating teacher and my placement partner to make sure we handle everything to the best of our abilities. If someone were to be looking for signs that I have achieved this goal, they may find it in my reflections, and perhaps in my post-conference with my co-operating teacher and partner. At the end of the day, if I can take away from the experience with confidence and enthusiasm, and can create a plan to do better the next time around, that would show that my confidence has not been broken, and that I still have the enthusiasm to be in a classroom and to teach.

2. Speaking to everyone in the room and moving around

Since this will be the first time I get to stand at the front and teach a lesson to a room full of students, I know that I will feel a bit intimidated. If this is the case, it will be hard to concentrate on practicing the few strategies we have learned in class while simultaneously keeping our lesson plan in order. I want to make sure that I do not fall into any limiting “comfort zones.” I want to make sure that I do not fall into a habit of talking to the one attentive student sitting at the front and instead, focus on speaking to the entire room. I also do not want to remain at the front of the class like a statue. Every student needs to be engaged, and it can make a huge difference just by asking all students questions, walking around, motioning to students’ work, and making eye contact. During our lessons, I will make the effort to engage all students in one way or another.

An observer will be able to tell if I have done this successfully if they see the students watching me attentively, and if they are more engaged in the lesson than they were before.

3. Varying my approach in teaching

It’s important to acknowledge the different ways that students learn. Again, I don’t want to pick just one approach; there needs to be variety in order to address all students. I will achieve this goal by providing visual, auditory, and written resources for the students. An observer will be able to tell I have achieved my goal if all of the learning needs of the students have been met. Students will be able to retain the lesson easier than before.

4. Staying relaxed and have fun!

Classrooms can easily get out of hand, messy, and chaotic. Especially when you’re new and still learning how to establish classroom rules. I will achieve this goal by not getting worked up or stressed. It’s important to have fun and to remain enthusiastic! An observer will be able to tell if I’ve reached this goal if the students and I are still having fun. Everything can be a learning moment, so there’s no need to get upset. Instead, I’m going to have a positive outlook!