Student Teaching Experience Reflection
-What went well? What did you learn?-
This semester I learned may things but my main take-aways include classroom management, importance of planning, having clear objectives, as well as organizing of supplies and cleanup. Classroom management is something that I still struggle with but I have a deeper understanding of its importance and I have seen how a lack of management can make running a classroom very difficult. I have learned that there are many different management styles as well as activities to keep students in line. Through the semester my teaching partner and I tried many different things with our students and some worked better than others. One of the main things that I took away from this semester in the classroom management aspect is that students need to be given clear expectations and rules at the very beginning because trying to create expectations and rules in the middle of the semester is not going to have as big of an impact as if the semester or year is started with exactly how things will happen in the classroom. Planning is more than an outline. I have learned that it should be exactly what I am going to teach. It can be changed as I teach, but knowing exactly what I want my students to get out of the lesson and how they will be reaching my goal will make my lessons go so much smoother. Having an exact plan of what students will be doing and why they are doing the activity will make their learning more concrete. I will know what I am expecting and I will be able to clearly explain my expectations to my students. One thing that I struggled with was making my expectations clear to my students and I believe that I had that problem because I was not one hundred percent sure in what I was wanting them to do for me. Objectives fall into the planning and the clear expectations. My objectives need to be clear and concise. They need to talk about exactly what I want my students to learn and how they will learn it. If my objectives are clearly written I will know if and how well my students were able to complete what I was expecting from them. Having a plan for how set-up and clean-up will go is very important. When teaching multiple classes there will be very little time between classes to tear down and re-set up items for the next class. It is important to have a timeline for when thing will be getting done. Clean-up needs to have very specific expectations for each student in the classroom. This is important because if I have five students picking up supplies what are my other students doing? Are they running around or are they sitting quietly at their desk waiting to be dismissed to line up? This semester I have learned that having a plan for everything is one of the most important things I can do in my classroom.
-What would you do differently?-
Classroom management is still something I need to work a lot on at this point in my teaching career. I think my management will change based on the different classes I have. I think that it will have the same foundation but will be adjusted based on how students act in the classroom. After this semester one of my professional goals is to become better about getting my students to dig deeper with the questions that I am asking them. This is one thing I think I struggled with this semester at Polaris; students would answer my questions and I wouldn't make them think deeper about their questions and I think that it could have really helped to solidify or increase the learning done in the lessons had they been given the opportunity to think on a deeper level.