A little anxiety never hurts

I was excited to do the microteaching activity, but I must admit that I was feeling anxious prior to starting the lesson. I think the main reason for my anxiety was that I was concerned about how to organize the fifteen minutes in a way that would be informative, and fun at the same time. While planning the lesson I found myself drawn to some of the teaching approaches outlined in the Blau text. For example, I liked the writing about a line activity, and the jump-in reading exercise he described in his book. Given the text that I was teaching, however, I knew that time would not allow for me to do a jump-in reading exercise of the whole text, and I didn’t think that writing about one line of “Orientation” would be the best activity for the short story. Ultimately, I am glad that I included a variation of the pointing exercise in the activity, but I was a little bummed that the clock ran out before the class could fully work through the exercise.

I wanted to do a small lead-up activity prior to the pointing exercise. I was certain (of course) that my classmates would be able to start with the pointing activity easily, but I wasn’t sure that the students I designed my lesson for would immediately be able to recognize the critiques present in “Orientation”. There were so many questions that I wanted to start off with that it was hard for me to narrow down my handout sheet to just three. I changed my handout numerous times trying to figure out which approach to take. In the end I was really encouraged by the feedback that I received in class. I was happy that responding to the discussion questions felt like a natural transition to the pointing exercise. I also really enjoyed the class discussion about the text.  It was so great to see that people enjoyed reading the text, and I hated having to limit the conversation about it.

As I reflect more on the experience I am glad that we were only given fifteen minutes for the teaching presentation. When the lesson was first introduced I was skeptical about how much could get done within that time, but I learned a lot from my participation, and by watching others while also participating in their lessons.  As a “student” I found myself jotting down notes for techniques to use while teaching. I like that most of the lessons involved group work that didn’t feel superficial, and at sometimes was even difficult.  I will admit now to everyone that I plan to borrow/steal the really great handouts and materials that were covered in class. This was a good learning experience that not only left me with new ideas, but valuable experience that I can transfer to the classroom. I am excited now to work through a lesson on “Orientation” the next time I teach a class, and I don’t think I will feel as anxious next time.