To begin, I can honestly say that I was very disappointed with my mini-teaching lesson. I chose to teach the class how to pass a rugby ball because this is a skill I am very familiar with, and have taught many people this skill in the past. Despite my disappointment, I am pleased to see that I have a lot of room for improvement. Before I harp on myself for all of the things I felt I did poorly, I will point out a few things I thought I did well.
First, I feel as though the volume of my voice was perfect, which is something I have always felt confident with. Second, I made sure to make eye contact across the entire class, rather than just staring at the wall or at one student. Third, I feel like I had the attention of the class – now, this could be because of the way I was speaking, or perhaps (and more likely), it was because they are my classmates and they know me personally. Overall, my intentions when teaching this lesson were to reflect how I feel about teaching and learning in general. I truly feel as though the best way to learn, especially a skill such as passing a rugby ball, is by doing. As I said during my lesson, I could have stood at the front of the class and explained the science behind the pass, but in order to actually learn how to pass one must practice this skill.
Now, for the bad stuff. First of all, this lesson felt like more of a presentation because of the way I delivered my words. I spoke as if I had a rehearsed set of lines in mind, rather than just speaking freely about a subject I am quite knowledgeable in. With that in mind, we were told we could teach our lesson to any age group we wanted – in my case, I chose to present to my fellow teacher candidates rather than a class of elementary school students. If I had chosen to pretend my fellow teacher candidates were a group of 11-year-olds, I would have acted and spoke differently.
With word choice in mind, there were some big mistakes on my part which I noticed. My use of the words “Um”, “So”, and “OK?”, were used way too much to the point where I continuously sounded like I didn’t know what I was supposed to be saying next. Saying “OK?” (or something similar) to confirm that students are following what you are saying is not a terrible thing to do, however I did not allow enough time for students to respond in case they were in fact getting confused with what I was saying.
Time was also an issue. I felt a little bit rushed when teaching my lesson, but this is my own fault considering I was well aware of the time restriction well ahead of my lesson day. With this in mind, my entire lesson came across rushed, and many of my “students” may not have been able to answer the three questions that were asked of them. My intention was for students to be learning a new skill, in order for them to be comfortable with trying or exposing themselves to new things – however, this message may have been lost in my rushed demonstration. Additionally, I wanted the class to learn by doing, and to confirm that they had learned the skill by physically proving to themselves that they could do it. Again, these intentions were lost in the rush.
Overall, I was disappointed with my lesson because I know I can do much better. With this in mind, I was very thankful for the opportunity to watch myself teach because from this I was able to easily point out areas I can improve on. From this exercise, I have become aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and as a result I am feeling much more confident as my first teaching block quickly approaches. I look forward to seeing how I progress, as well as critiquing myself further. I will be sure to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses again after my first true in-class teaching experience.