Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Reflection On My Student Teaching Year
Looking back over all of my posts from this new blog spot and my old one at edu blogs, I have came to realize how much I have grown not only as an educator, but also as a person. I remember when I took over my first class and when my first discipline problem arose, I sounded like a scared little girl (that is what my fellow TA told me on the way home). Now when a discipline problem arises, I handle it much more effectively. I am not saying I am perfect at it, but I am not scared to discipline a student these days for distracting others in their learning.
I have also grown into my own teacher now. When I first started I had all kinds of questions for my C.T. How do I teach this? How do I do that? How much time should I spend on this? You know, the usual questions when you are first sent out to teach your very first lesson. Now as I am sitting here looking at how many lessons I have planned over the past few months without even thinking about time and how to go about teaching it, it astounds me. I still have questions that my C.T. was thankfully able to answer, but these questions have matured to I wanna do something along these lines, but not quite sure how to do it. Such as planning an activity, I know that I wanted to do some type of review activity but wanted different options for this activity. I don't want to be stuck doing the same thing over and over and having it become just another task to students.
There are many other improvements that I have seen in myself, a lot to do with the confidence that I now have standing in front of a classroom full of students wanting to learn from me. But I would not be anywhere if it was for two very influential people in my teaching career Dr. David Coffey (twitter @delta_dc) and Dr. John Golden (Twitter @mathhombre). I had the luxury of having these two educators as professors during my teaching assistant semester. When either one of these professors would come and observe my teaching, they would take finely detailed notes on what happened during the lesson and afterwards when we were discussing the lesson, we could look back and see exactly what was asked and how I responded. This was by far the most beneficial observations I have ever had and probably will ever have. I am hoping to find a job placement near Grand Rapids in order to continue to have these two come and observe my classroom to make me a better educator.
I especially have to thank Dr. Golden, as he was the one that initially had all of us teacher assistants start blogging and start using twitter to reflect on what has been happening in our daily teachings (using twitter) and reflecting on the overall week (through blogging). I was very against the twitter aspect when I first started using it in August. Now I love it and wish I had more time to join #mathchat and #edchat and other talks that take place on twitter. I would not be nearly as capable as a teacher without the help that I have received from many other educators around the world supplying me with their knowledge of what an effective teacher looks like and lessons that they, themselves, have used. When my students were struggling to understand a certain topic, I was able to get help from twitter on possible solutions. When I am stuck in the design of a lesson, twitter is there again to help me out. If you are an educator and not taking advantage of twitter, then you are never going to reach your maximum ability. Just one post a day reflecting back on the day allows you to look over how your year has gone. It also allows for a nice reflection on what not to do the following year.
Blogging has done much the same as twitter for reflection purposes. In blogs I was able to achieve a more detailed version of my tweets with how my year was going. I may have not got as many responses/comments to my blogs as I would have liked or wanted, but it was a way for me to look back over and see how I have progressed. It also allows me to remember certain times that otherwise would have been forgotten by now. I can not thank Dr. Golden enough for his influence in twitter and blogging.
So now that I am basically done and ready to graduate on the 30th, I wonder where life will take me. I am not scared because I know that where ever I end up, I still have the power of twitter and blogs to help me become an effective educator!