Tonight, in my education class, I had to teach a 15-minute reading-based lesson to the other students in my class. I never thought that teaching a class full of teachers would be so intimidating! While I was very nervous to receive criticism, however constructive, from my peers, I did not realize how helpful it would be to hear their ideas. Throughout the night, we each got up and presented our reading lessons. I enjoyed seeing all of the different ideas that a room full of Secondary English teachers comes up with when the only thing they’re told they have to do is teach a reading-based lesson that meets the teaching standards. We had a wide variety of lesson that were taught that ranged from using context clues to discussing logos to using thinking maps to help organize thoughts.
The coolest thing about teaching this lesson to my class was that it was a trial run for me, since I will actually be teaching an 80-minute lesson to my freshman students next week. My lesson was about thinking maps that students would use to help them summarize articles from newspapers, which ultimately could be applied to any text that they read. I only taught my education class one portion of the lesson, since it was a shorter amount of time and then just explained what I would do for the rest of the lesson. Thanks to the feedback from my peers, I was able to gather ideas that I will be able to use when I teach the lesson to my actual class. I would have never thought of having a note sheet for my students to use while I was teaching my lesson. The feedback was very constructive, and I believe that it will help me to teach a better lesson to my students. I am also hoping that these ideas will allow my students to comprehend more.
Not only have I learned that I should not be nervous to teach to my peers, since they will be able to help me find new ways to teach my students, I should also be grateful for the types of classes we have at McDaniel. If I was at a large university, I never would have the opportunity to be in a class that is so discussion-based and allows students to get feedback on everything that we do. I have learned to love the small class sizes at McDaniel because they allow a much more personal feel to classes.