Teacher in Training: Learning How to Juggle the Variables

Micro-Teach was a valuable and difficult experience that I will long remember.  Clear instructions for the assignment and the positive culture in our classroom were extremely helpful stage setters that I will take away and try to apply in practice.  The class was so kind and receptive!  I believe Professor Sample established a tone and expectation of professionalism, creativity, tolerance and constructive participation.  High morale is an intangible that makes a big difference.  

Yet, the exercise remained difficult, and I can only begin to imagine how such a challenge is compounded when a classroom consists of less responsive and unevenly prepared students with varying attitudes.  The comments that many of you have provided on such realities provide clear warning.  I have more work to do to continue to understand what works in the classroom.

Micro-Teach was a humbling experience.  The assignment taught me as nothing else quite could that one must think very concretely about timing, audience levels, entry points for stimulating interest, a framework of enduring objectives, and all those other steps and techniques that the teacher needs to thoughtfully devise in order to engage students and help them reach higher learning levels without risking over-reach and confusion.  In the process, the teacher needs to be prepared to accommodate detours, keep her eye on the overall design (without seeming to do so too consciously), and to shift the game plan around on a slippery dime according to class dynamics.  In a way, I bet that’s what Billie Holiday did, and Mal Waldron, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and maybe even Frank O’Hara.  ENGH 610 has showed me – and made me practice – many ways to approach teaching as its own art.     

I look forward to hearing from anyone adventuresome enough to do my homework or to otherwise comment on the challenge of “Lady.”  Thank you all sincerely for making this experience so worthwhile and lasting in my mind.  It is exactly why I decided to go back to school.  Yours, Mimi