It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but as new teachers will find out, you will be the most busy at the start of the year.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been given the opportunity to have two student teachers in my class this month. I enjoy having student teachers, because I find their enthusiasm and their save-the-world attitude refreshing. After 22 years of teaching, I often times get frustrated with the politics of education, the lack of support from society at large, and the apathy of some parents. These new teachers, however, always seem to remind me of why I entered this profession.
I am lucky to have been assigned two young ladies who are both passionate about teaching and have chosen this career for the right reasons. I have had student teachers in the past who were looking for a career that was in their opinion “easier” than their last job. That opinion gets changed right away. This year, however, I have been fortunate to have two great student teachers.
This last week, I have seen my two student teachers learn some basic, yet essential lessons about running a class, making lesson plans, giving a lecture, creating a test, etc. I want to use the next few posts discussing some of these lessons. When I did my student teaching, I learned these lessons by trial and error. My master teacher left me in the room alone on the second day, and then she went to help out in the office. Those were fun times.
Here’s one of the first lessons we learned this week: When giving a lecture using a PowerPoint presentation, and you want students to copy down what is on the screen, you want to set up your slide show to reveal one sentence or one bullet at a time. What happened in class was that the entire page was revealed and the students were told to copy it down, but we learned that the students were too busy copying down all the notes to listen to the lecture. What I do is talk about the information, then I reveal it for the students to copy.
Also, only put the important information on the screen. You can’t give the students the option to paraphrase or decide which information is note-worthy. What I told my student teachers was to tell the kids to write down everything that is on the screen word-for-word. The teacher, and not the student decides what is essential. I told them to also keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Give them basic fact, and let your lecture elaborate. Don’t put your elaboration on the screen. It will be too much for the kids to write.
More to come.