Coming into my final year as an Education student and into the internship experience, I knew I had to begin to think about my strengths, weaknesses, and and areas of progress that I left off with in pre-internship. One thing I have always known: I have no problems with organization. I actually ENJOY organizing – perhaps the reason it is one of my strengths. I do not struggle to organize content or materials for teaching and I seem to be very well prepared at the beginning of each day.
A great tool is Planboard – I actually can’t believe I hadn’t been shown this prior to internship! Whenever I recommend this scheduling and planning tool, I mention the obvious all-important organization method of COLOUR-CODING :). If anyone is like me, they will understand the significance of this. Planboard really makes planning seem way less stressful and tedious. For internship, we are supposed to have at least one formal lesson plan written for each day. I have been doing this for my first unit (that I began teaching at the start of the school year) and have been planning the rest of my lessons through Planboard. Here is a snapshot of a month in grade 6/7 at GMS:
In addition, I have been entering everything that my cooperating teacher has been teaching during her lessons. I think this will be a great reference in the future, especially as a first year teacher scrambling to plan the year.
During pre-internship, we were supposed to have a PDP target sheet ready for each lesson taught in order to receive feedback from our observing co-ops and our teaching partners. These handy target sheets are great because they can allow you to really focus on one goal at a time. A few examples of targets for me have been interaction/presentation skills, creating positive classroom environment, and classroom management. What I have noticed is that rather than just choosing targets randomly, I have really started to choose logically. If I don’t seem to need improvement in an area, why should I continue making these targets?
Some of my strengths as a pre-service teacher:
- Organization – refer to my rant about the importance of colour-coding above 🙂
- Interaction with students – I am often told that I have a calm yet confident demeanor in the classroom. I notice that students feel comfortable around me, find me approachable, and I can connect with many students on different levels.
- Lesson Planning – I have not yet experienced any major problems with planning. If anything, I sometimes seem to be a bit too ambitious with ideas. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than the feeling of being unprepared. On the other hand…
- Improvise! – In the beginning, I was nervous about what I would do if a lesson ended 15 minutes early and I didn’t have anything planned to fill the time. Now, I am noticing that I can actually quite easily do this. To me, the key is knowing your students and building those positive relationships. Example – If you have 15 minutes to spare, why not have a informal conversation about something you saw in the news?