My original goals, prior to the pre-internship experience:
1. Confidence in Teaching
For my first goal, I want to maintain confidence when delivering lessons to students. By keeping this is mind, I should speak slowly and at an appropriate volume and be clear with directions. By maintaining a professional demeanour and confidence in the classroom, students are more likely to engage in learning my lessons and also be respectful. I will have Tyler provide feedback to me after my lessons. Specifically, I will ask him to be attentive to the tone, volume, and speed of my speech when delivering lessons, as well as my body language and sense of presence in the classroom.
2. Develop Teacher-Student Relationship
During pre-internship, I hope to build respectful relationships with the students. I will do this by remembering all student names and using their names whenever possible. In addition, I hope to take some time to connect with students by asking questions, being attentive to their personal interests, and allowing the students to get to know me. I will ask Tyler to pay attention to whether students respond in a positive way when I am in front of the class – something I may not notice if I am caught up in trying to deliver a lesson.
3. Lesson Plans
For my lessons, I hope to create engaging, enjoyable, and educational presentations and activities for the students. In the future, I hope to incorporate as much inquiry-based learning as possible in my classroom. As a pre-intern, this is more difficult to do. However, I hope my lessons will provide me with some practice in determining the best way to offer students choice with their learning, while also guiding them to the outcome of focus. Before each lesson, I will ask Tyler to read over my lesson plan and provide me with brief feedback on whether or not the lesson would appeal to a majority of students, based on the opportunities and choices involved. This goal may be more difficult to measure, however I feel that it is important for me as I grow and improve as a future teacher.
I believe I have drastically improved in regards to confidence in the classroom. Day one was definitely a nerve-racking experience and I think my nerves were reflected in my lesson delivery. My first lesson was a learning experience, and I continued to learn throughout the following days in the classroom. I seem to improve and grow as each week passes, which provides me some relief in knowing I have chosen a suitable career path. Days in the classroom are ever-changing and continue to offer new learning experiences. I have learned that my confidence is tied to how I connect and relate to the students. For my first lesson, I was worried that I may mix up names or forget to include a student. This has completely changed throughout pre-internship as I have developed relationships with the students and have a good grasp on each student’s personality, mannerisms, and demeanour. Not only have I learned each student’s name but I have tried to learn about the students, aside from how they are academically. It is important to ask students questions about their lives outside of school, what they enjoy doing, and to create laughter amongst students. I find this to be one of the best ways to develop relationships. This is reflected in how I speak to the students and also how I ensure they are understanding my instructions.
In regards to my lesson planning, I feel that I did well addressing the curriculum outcomes and indicators. I tried to create engaging lessons that varied in teaching strategy. I did not want to rely on direct instruction as my teaching strategy, so I naturally opened up the opportunity for a more noisy and chaotic classroom. Although I think the students enjoyed most of my lessons, I do know that I struggled with classroom management. As an individual who tends to be quiet and reserved, I need to work on methods of getting student attention. I need to find ways to be assertive as the teacher, yet also be relatable and approachable. For my three week block, I hope to really find techniques of ensuring I maintain classroom management.
Overall, these past eight lessons have been thoroughly enjoyable and I am excited to continue working towards my career goals. I am confident that I will be the best possible teacher I can be. This will require heavy workloads, long nights of lesson planning, and exhausting days. I know that it will all be worth it and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.