Tag Archives: Sleepy

Reflecting on teaching “Sleepy”

Overall, I feel that my teaching presentation this past week went fairly well. Thank you all for being such good students. 🙂 And thank you for bringing “Sleepy” to class and staying awake during my presentation. (Lame joke, I know.)

I’m embarrassed about how nervous I get when I give a presentation in front of my peers in grad classes. I’m fine in front of my students. I’m fine in front of my colleagues at school. I’m fine in front of strangers (for the most part). I’m not quite sure what happens when I present for a class, though. I’m still working on those nerves.

I wanted to start my presentation similarly to how I might start a class period with my own students. I hoped to then give a solid  but concise overview of the background and context of the lesson on “Sleepy.” I hope that that contextual information was conveyed as I was fighting back those nerves during those first few minutes. As I mentioned, I chose to work with “Sleepy” since Chekhov short stories is a new selection in our IB English I curriculum. I’ve never taught Chekhov before, so I really used this teaching presentation assignment to help me prepare to teach Chekhov. I started with my lesson plans for “Sleepy,” and then built other Chekhov lessons around that lesson–the short story review assignment, the Chekhov research assignment, and the group presenation on a selected short story. Then I also incorporated a focus on critical reading lenses into these lessons on Chekhov short stories. So, what started as one lesson created for the teaching presentation for class ended up as a unit ready to teach this school year! I was very excited to work with incorporating different activities that we had worked with over the course of the semester (especially Blau’s ideas/activities), and I was thrilled to have a ready-to-use unit created by the time I was done. However, the lesson-turned-unit presented some difficulties when it came to a 30-minute presentation.

After introducing the background for my focus lesson on “Sleepy” and I shifted from “presenter” to “teacher,” I felt much more comfortable! I was in my element, I guess you could say. I truly love teaching, and even though teaching is in some ways like acting or putting on a show/presentation, as Professor Sample said (sorry–I don’t remember the exact wording), I feel I am truly myself when I am teaching. So when I shifted from talking about my lesson to actually leading the class in the activities, I felt much more comfortable. Looking back, I wish I would have structured my presentation better so that we could have spent more time with the activities. I wanted to be sure to explain how the lesson was situated within the unit I ended up creating, and I guess I figured that providing the handouts on the critical lenses and the critical essay would help save time for actual activities. However, I feel that I probably spent too much time with explanations and short-changed the actual activities. I really loved hearing what others thought of the story and would have liked to have had even more discussion.

The teaching presentation is a unique assignment. I enjoyed working on my presentation, and I have definitely been enjoying all the other presentations! I’m enjoying the works that everyone is selecting, and I love that we’re sharing ideas and activities through these presentations. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks!