Being observed by my supervisor last week was a very interesting experience! I was reviewing how to reduce fractions with a small group – the activity involved coloring in a set number of squares for each color, figuring out the fraction of 100, and whether or not to reduce. For each observation, the master’s student is meant to create a lesson plan and tell the supervisor what to look for while he/she is teaching. I asked him to make sure that I was not calling on the same students to over and over, watch my overall management of the students, and check that I didnt give too many hints. It was somewhat difficult because my group was in the middle of the hallway at desks, rather than in a room which made the scene distracting. The students also were very into their coloring so it was hard to bring them back when it was time to do the fractions and reducing. I was slightly nervous to be observed because it makes me self-conscious to know that I am being evaluated; however, once I started teaching the lesson, I totally forgot he was there and paid attention to the kids. After the lesson, my supervisor debriefed with me about what I thought I did well and he explained my areas to focus on next time. Transitions, clear expectations, and monitoring behavior were the main ones. It would have been easier if I gave expectations at the beginning and middle to give the students guidelines – such as put down the marker and eyes on me please. Transitioning between coloring and doing the math would have definitely helped. I knew that behavior was something to work on -since I wasn’t in her room or my own space, it was hard to keep kids’ attention and prevent them from talking to each other. This observation was very insightful for the many things that go on during teaching a lesson and what to remember to include. I’m glad we will have a few more observations this term and next! Looking forward to teaching math next week to the fifth graders 🙂
I am fortunate to be in a program that has excellent supervisors and individual support systems. The educators really are here to help us be successful with our classes, field placements, and the whole process of getting a job. They breakdown what’s needed to receive our license, make sure we understand when everything is due, and even discuss the interview process. This past Friday, we had a meeting about interviews in which two teachers gave a list of possible questions to be prepared for, as well as how to act/dress and what to expect. This meeting was very informative and we are having practice interviews in a few weeks to get us ready for the job fair in April. It is exciting to know that they are there for me to fall back on if I am freaking out. As teachers of future teachers, they really show us what’s it like to be a good educator (no matter what age group you are teaching, even adults!). They are perfect examples of how to truly care about your students 😀
In this fast-track Master’s, it is necessary to remember that we have wonderful resources to take advantage of when we really need it. I have been attending all the preparatory meetings and really listening to what they have to say. I have also emailed and negotiated issues with them when something arose. Your peers are very useful if they know the answer, but when they don’t, feel free to email the head of the program or someone else in the department. They are more than happy to answer and make you feel comfortable! Be grateful to your mentors and all the time/effort they put in – you won’t have them for much longer, so keep in touch as much as you can.