Processing the Microteach

I was unreasonably nervous for the microteach–and it was one of those anxious days when I couldn’t talk myself down. I, still, don’t know why I was nervous. I had a plan, I knew what I was doing, I knew it would be fine. But for some reason, the idea of doing what I do almost every day in front of a group of peers, rather than students, made me nuts. Anyway, once I got up there, I felt at home in my teaching “personality” (that’s what I call it, but what I mean is that it feels like when I’m teaching I’m a slightly different version of myself–an actress in a lot of ways) and got through the lesson as planned. It always strikes me how comfortable I feel in front of students–it makes me feel like I’m pursuing the right career.

Things I thought went well: I felt like students, despite the fact that the text was difficult, were still interested in figuring it out. That was helpful to know. I was concerned that the text was difficult and interesting only to me–and that the interest in the piece wouldn’t transfer to students. I was pleased that people seemed invested in trying to figure out what was going on in the story, in trying to solve the puzzle. I also think teaching the lesson in real-time was helpful for me to gauge how much time I could spend on that chart activity (I could probably spend a few more minutes on it).

Things I wish had gone better/ things I second-guessed afterwards: I wondered if I should have students acknowledge their confusion about the piece in a more concrete way (by rating it, or by doing a short free-write about it, etc). Honestly, part of the reason I didn’t do that in my microteach was because I felt like it was something all of us probably considered using, and I didn’t want to bore people with the same activities other teachers might introduce. I do think it would help students figure out where they stand with the piece at the beginning of the lesson though, and I think it might be a good way for us to start the “this thing is really hard” conversation. Also, in listening to myself teach, I used the words “kind of” like 50 times. Clearly I need to be more mindful of that.

Overall, the experience was helpful, for sure. Also, now I have a full lesson on “San Francisco” planned and tested for next semester!