Blog #7 – Reflection on Final Observation

It has been one week since my last observation and going in to this one, it felt much more purpose-driven. I knew specific areas in which I hoped to improve on. This made lesson planning feel less stressful. Knowing what works and hasn’t worked for me makes it easy to ask my peers, CT, and professors for specific-content and/or behavioral skills insight.

While the lesson planning went better than my previous attempts, my play-by-play dialogue still had many holes in it. Over the summer, I am going to play with different layouts and lesson plan templates to find one that might better suit my speaking skills. I’m surprised it took me this long to think about doing that. After all, I’m in a program that encourages teachers to let students complete their work using mediums, such as graphic organizers, that best suit their learning style instead of enforcing one universal way of learning. Of course, all of the templates in the world will not perfect a lesson without investing the time, knowledge of your students and energy into creating them.

My CT and I decided to do a co-teach model (of course, she was able to wing it, but in hindsight I should have included prompts for her in my lesson plan). It is very helpful to me to have someone who is able to “pick up the slack” during the lesson. What she adds to the lesson and especially during times when I’m stuck or unsure of how to move forward, she steps in and lightbulbs go off in my head! It is almost more beneficial to me then the post-observation reflection session because I’m immediately given “feedback” in real time. I’m going to make a habit out of immediately jotting down these “insider” tips after the lesson otherwise they get lost in passing.

Overall, I thought the implementation went well but I was already thinking of things I could improve on to feel super confident I did a great job. Plus, its hard when you’re not with the students everyday to see what worked for them and what didn’t. My CT sat in on the post reflection along with my professor. I was glad to see my CT so upbeat and positive and confident that I have what it takes to evolve into an effective teacher. Some positives include:

– Knowledge of standards and students

– Kept non-examples short

– Use of visuals and technology

– Reminds students what purpose/goal of lesson is

– Students were engaged and behavior issues kept at a minimum

Some areas of improvement include:

– Keeping an eye on the whole class. I tend to focus on the perimeter students, or students who tend to have behavioral issues. I need to remind myself during my teaching to do this. I can write a reminder on my student list and antedotal clipboard.

– I could have included text decoding – I included it during my PM class and it was much more effective

– Forgot to read instructions – As a student, I know I need directions in order to know what to do so I need to slow down and follow my plan to make sure I don’t forget something as obvious as this.

My semester reflection will include more improvement plans and suggestions that are beginning to really click and work for me as a developing teacher!

Until then,

Erica

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