Week 4 Reflection

Well this past week was a really big week and it was jammed pack, I don’t even know where to start. I started teaching at 50% this week, and so I continue to teach my grade 8s and now I have a grade 11 Pre-Calculus class that I am in charge of. The grade 11 class is where I am teaching the flipped classroom style, so I was pretty excited to begin with them and have them watching the video lessons I had been working so hard on.
It so happens that the classes I’m teaching right now both land on the same days, so I’m basically teaching full days every over day right now with the other days left for prep and observation. The day before teaching my 11’s for the first time I was able to sit down with my sponsor teacher and go over my lesson plan and things that I should look out for or go over with the students during class time. I felt pretty confident about everything for the class because I was prepared and I knew what I wanted to go over with them.
As soon as the clock struck 9am the next day my confidence dropped drastically! I was so nervous all of a sudden and it probably showed. I was able to cover most of the topics that I wanted and guide the students through the trouble areas of the unit that they would struggle with, but I knew that it wasn’t as clear or smooth as I would have liked. I had moments where I was talking too fast because of my nerves, I forgot this one perfect example that would of been very beneficial, a bit of my math lingo was off during the instruction and I doubted myself while I was going over a question so I paused and had to look to my sponsor teacher for clarification. I felt pretty vulnerable in front of them that day because they were going to start watching my video lessons and judging my work. I finished the class off feeling ok of the overall product because during work time I was able to help many students and they all worked hard the entire class. However, I was also feeling pretty disappointed because I knew of the issues I had during class and that my sponsor teacher would of recognized them too.
I went into my afternoon classes feeling pretty blue and nervous because I was also to be observed that day by our Faculty advisor, and I’m still working on classroom management issues with them that she would want to talk about. We were starting a new unit so I gave time to review the previous unit test and then to introduce the new content and give time for practice. Each task took a lot longer than I thought it would, I had a lot of students asking questions, there were a lot of transitions so the students were energetic and talkative and so I was starting to show frustration with getting things under control. I felt pretty awful about the class and then having my observation meeting right after which was good and insightful, but just too much all in the same day.
I was defeated and broken, so I had a huge breakdown that evening and really needed time to breath, take it all in and then get a good pep talk. I did receive feedback from the day that was great such as talking my time, pointing out or picking up on the little issues in class, and really breaking down the instruction for better understanding. So the next day when I was able to sit down with my sponsor teacher and with my faculty advisor I felt a million times better because I was able to really understand the feedback they were giving me, and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that I was progressing really well with my classes.
From there I went into the next classes with their ideas in the back of my mind, and it really helped. I was able to make smoother transitions, pick apart questions for better understanding, slow down to cover all the points I wanted, and have a good time. It was the first time I felt really good about an entire class.
For next week I really want to be able to give my students lots of time for practice and to address their individual concerns. I hope to accomplish this by being strong with repercussions and transitions, breaking down solutions to problems, and recognizing progress and student attention. Class sizes are very large with a variety of personalities, so I know that I need to get better at recognizing whose attention I have, whose I don’t and who is understanding and who seems to be confused.
To finish things off, I glad I had my break down this week because I am know feeling stronger from it. It gave me the chance to acknowledge that I’m not perfect and I don’t need to be right now because I am learning and practicing. I know what I’m good at and I know what I need to work on, so from here all I need to do is work at it and grow into a place I’m really comfortable.

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