Hey everybody! I hope this post finds you well.
In “What I Wish My Professors Told Me” I think by biggest takeaway was dismissing the notion of perfect lessons. I’m quickly discovering that my lessons change and fluctuate depending upon how class is going that day, with that class period, and how they’re understanding the material. I keep finding that I am either going too fast or too slow based on the original lesson plan and have to adapt it at that moment to suit the needs of the students. Sometimes they’re so on the ball that it rolls right over me and I am racing to give them enough material to gobble down. At other times it seems that I’ve overloaded them with work to do and we need to slow down to ensure that everybody is on the same page as we continue to move forward. I would love to create perfect lessons, but a lesson plan is just words on a page and when theory becomes practice the game can change in surprising ways.
From “Let Care Shine Through” I picked up very much on the practice what you preach mentality when it came to classroom expectations and pushing students to succeed and believe in themselves. I must believe that I can help them believe in themselves and that I can give them strength and I too must be strong for and with them. My students will only be as capable as I think they can be, which should be VERY. I also think the section “Expanding The Meaning of Achievement” was very important and I’ll carry it with me. The goal is always moving forward and striving towards success in the next step of schooling, life, and work after school. These kids are going places and it’s important to be a part of their success and support to help enable them to be the best they can be. I love the part in the article where they state that the student is not viewed as “average” so they shouldn’t sell themselves short.
The question of how I’ll create a safe and engaging learning environment for all students is tricky. I have to consider where they come from, what they came to me knowing, how they’re doing that day, that week, that month… First and foremost rules need to be strictly enforced and I need to follow them myself. The engagement aspect of this is at least partly addressed above, I need to challenge students and they need to know they can rise to the challenge. Just because I know what I need to do and what they need to do doesn’t mean I know how to make that happen. There is no blanket answer to student success. Engagement will largely be due to my creativity and flexability.
(here’s a site with some tips and tricks for teaching)