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Monday, July 18, 2005

Team Teaching Video

Watching myself on tape this second time around wasn't nearly as painful as the first. Perhaps this sounds a bit naive considering that I was teaching to a bunch of graduate students instead of rowdy sixth graders, but I was surprised at how much better my lesson looked. It's pretty amazing, but I didn't seem to be quite the green teaching youngster from the days of ole' last month. I spoke clearly, looked very relaxed, had good body language with no nervous ticks, and I sort of came across as a semi-legitimate teacher.
Of course there are many things that require additional work. Watching the video impressed upon me the effect of turning one's back to the students while writing on the board. I was blessed with a small group of well behaved twenty somethings for students, but this would certainly be suicide with anything else. I'm trying to work at this, but my penmanship is bad enough as it is, and writing on the board while standing sideways is an art I still have yet to master.
I made jokes and smiled a lot. This is who I am and I can't help this, but I hope it won't become a problem come fall. I don't think I could be an effective teacher if I defied my own personality traits, but I still have to work on toughening up a bit before I hit the classroom.
Watching the video also leads me to grow concerned that many of the strategies I've evolved for dealing with 5 of my peers will be entirely useless in the classroom. We've tried to make this as realistic as possible, and I am greatly indebted to my peers for their attempts to mimic sixth grade behavior problems. On the other hand, I am aware that I will encounter significant difficulties trying to manage the same excercises using the transparencies and student participation in a real setting. I am somwhat worried that in the fall I will find out that I need a comprehensive overhaul of my lesson strategies to suit the reality of a sixth grade classroom.
Concerns aside, I feel much more confident after completing this course and watching myself on film. I feel more like a real teacher now and I think that to some degree I am.
(ominous background voice: "so you think you're a real teacher now ... just you wait ...)

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